Bears win! It was great to go into the locker room after the game and have everybody in a good mood, joking around and having fun. There is a real difference as far as what happens when you win and when you lose. When you win, it's a lot more fun obviously. There are no regrets or second-guessing. That's the way we'd like things to be all of the time.
It was good to get more playing time Sunday, but I'm very sorry that it came at Cedric Benson's expense. When he went down I was extremely concerned, as were all of the players on the team. He's a good guy, somebody who always is giving 110 percent. Hopefully his injury won't be a serious one. But until I get more information as far as his condition is concerned, I'll be worried about him.
All of the Bears have become my friends since I joined the team, but Cedric and I are very close. I've always felt grateful to him for putting in the time to help me progress as far as making the transition to the pros. He's a nice guy and a fine player. We're all hoping he'll recover quickly and be back to join us on the field soon.
It's a strange feeling when you are accustomed to standing on the sideline for much of the game and then suddenly your number is called. Coach Smith took me aside when Cedric went down and told me to go in there and make things happen. Adrian Peterson stepped in right away of course and gave us good field position, then it was time for me to play.
A big part of being a pro is also to be ready to come in at any time. You just can't afford to let your team down in any way, which means you have to be ready physically and mentally at all times. That's what I always did in college and what I've tried to do at this level.
I guess my main reaction when I got called in was to get down to business mentally, and get in that mindset of complete concentration that you have when you are on the field. I'd been in on some special teams plays before Cedric's injury, so I was warmed up and feeling fine physically. I think that the skill involved in a situation like that is to learn how to get up to speed quickly. I felt comfortable out there right away, so I think all for the preparation earlier this season paid off.
From here, I have no idea exactly what my role will be. I'm sure once Wednesday comes I'll have plenty of opportunity to talk to the coaches about this. If my role with the team ends up increasing, then I'd expect to have quite a few more reps in practice. But as I said it's way too early to tell, and I'll know more once we begin practice the middle of the week.
RB Garrett Wolfe
Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images
Winning on Sunday was a tremendous boost for the morale of the team. While we never doubt that we can win any given game, coming out ahead after a difficult game like that was particularly satisfying.
I can't say enough about Devin Hester. Standing on the sideline and watching him go is amazing. Having a weapon like that on your side makes a tremendous difference because you never know when he's going to break a game wide open for you. It also works to our advantage as far as how the other team's defense handles things. They understand that when Devin is on the field, he's a threat. That tends to open up things overall.
He really puts our opponent in a position that is extremely difficult. They can either kick the ball short and give us great field position, or kick it deep and take the risk that Devin is going all the way. I was surprised that Denver did kick it deep for so much of the game.
When you have a drive as we did at the end of a close game, a lot of what happens is a matter of confidence in your abilities. I don't think there was ever a point when any of us felt we wouldn't win the game. Adrian played great. Rex Grossman was right on. The receivers made the plays that counted. So did Robbie Gould and all of the special teams players. It was really exciting.
After the game, I was told that many of the fans who had started to leave when we were behind by 14 in the fourth quarter turned right around and came back to their seats once that kick was blocked. I know when I looked around toward the end of the game, the stadium seemed full. That was great. It was our first home game in a while, and we definitely wanted the support of the fans.
Next week, we go against the Giants. Again, a potentially tough game. But we're looking forward to sustaining the positive momentum the team generated today. We'll all be back at Halas Hall soon enough working on the game plan. But between now and then, I suspect we'll take just a little time to enjoy Sunday's big win.
All of that plus much more in the January issue of ...
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