Player Diary

It's getting cold here. I'm a southern guy and I'm not sure just how well I'm going to like these temperatures. I'd been around Chicago in winter before but never for this extended period of time. I'm getting used to it, but I hear that day by day it's going to get worse. The other players tell me that I should wait to complain until there's snow and ice on the ground but it seems to me that the time to start talking about this weather is right now.

I guess the main thing that concerns me is the possibility of muscle tightness. There must be a way to work around that but I haven't discovered it yet. I'm sure that the coaches and the trainers will be helping those of us who aren't used to the climate. The other thing that surprises me is the lack of sun. I think we've had clouds for 14 days straight. That's very different for me.

My ankle continues to improve. I finished rehab on it a while ago. Now I am concentrating both on weights and on speed training. There definitely is room for improvement but the desire is there and I'm sure that the results I'm looking for will follow as well. My main job is to stay alert, to learn the system, and to improve every day. That's what the coaches expect from all of us.

It's hard not to have had a lot of playing time on the field so far. I'm eager to play and can't wait to get into the game. Playing against Randy Moss a few weeks ago was a real experience. He's fast and he's good. You have to watch him every second so he doesn't get by you when you're not expecting it. That's the kind of challenge that I really enjoy.

With the injuries that the team has had this year, many of the rookies are getting more time on the field than they had anticipated at the beginning of this season. We come to work every day eager for our chance to impress the coaches. We usually don't find out until the end of the week just who will be starting in the next game. That's what I've been heading for and I know that I'll be ready to go when my time comes.

I talked to Bobby Gray earlier today. He's getting along fine and his wrist is healing just as the trainers expected. I know that he wishes he could be back on the field right now, but he's working out a lot and going to team meetings. That way he's able to learn as much as possible without actually being in the games. Bobby's spirits are good and he's definitely looking forward to being out there next fall. I know we'll be glad to have him back in the lineup.

The coaches are putting the game plan for the Patriots together right now and we'll be working with that for the rest of this week. We're also watching a lot of film, which is the way the week of practice usually goes. I think that the spirit of the team is still good. Everybody wants to win and everybody certainly is ready to win. It's important to stop this slide right now and to get this thing back on track.

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