I'm back here now and eager to play. They say that most players hit a wall rookie year when they just don't want to compete. I can say for sure that hasn't happened to me, at least not yet. I'm as excited about football as I was the first time I came up here to be on this team.
People have been asking about the mood of the team. I think that it's very positive. The past is past. It doesn't matter what our record has been up to this point if we start winning from here on. That's what everybody here wants, and we'll do everything we can to make that happen.
The best way to cure a string of losses is to start getting victories. There are 11 games left in the season, and you never know how things might turn out. Every game is important for us right now and we aren't going to take any team lightly.
We are ready for an intense week of practice leading up to the next game in Detroit. The main thing we'll be doing is learning how to eliminate mistakes. One mistake can make a huge difference in the outcome of a game, no matter how well you play for the rest of the time. You just don't want to give the other team any kind of an opportunity to take advantage of a situation.
Although Detroit may not have the reputation of being one of the top teams in the NFL right now, they have a strong offense and can be very dangerous. Harrington is good, but he's also an inexperienced quarterback. We want to be sure that he makes some mistakes. Our job will be to put the pressure on, to get in his comfort zone, and play the kind of aggressive ball that the Bears are known for.
The most important thing is to stick to our game plan. If we plan to blitz, then we'll do that. If we've decided to stay in the zone, that works well too. We want to make the quarterback as uncomfortable as possible while doing what works best for our defensive line.
I don't think that there will be any adjustments made to allow for the fact that this is a new stadium with a new field. Detroit and Champaign have the same type of turf. Really, the trick is to treat every game as if it were a home game for the Bears.
You don't let the crowd noise get to be a distraction, and you don't worry about the type of surface that you are running on. Although I think that just about any player would prefer to be on grass, we can make the necessary adjustments. It's not a huge deal if you don't want it to be.
Some have wondered if the artificial turf is one of the causes of the injuries we're seeing.
There have been some questions about our guys slipping and not being able to get the kind of traction they need. I think that we have to make due with what we have, and to be able to go out and to perform at a high level regardless of the conditions.