Bennett Rookie Diary: 1st Entry

Bear Report is very happy to announce that wideout Earl Bennett will be the star of Rookie Diary during the 2008 season. In his primary installment, Bennett writes about feeling a little jittery on his first visit to Halas Hall and the difference in the playbook from Nashville to Chicago.

It's great to be here in Chicago. It's exciting. I really don't know what else to say.

I felt very confident when I was on the plane coming to town, but I have to tell you that once I actually got to Halas Hall, a little bit of nerves set in. You could see that today on the practice field. It's pretty overwhelming to be playing for one of the best teams in the NFL. I dropped a couple of balls that I shouldn't have dropped. I'm not concerned. This is a much bigger stage now. But I know that I'll get used to it and that I'll settle down pretty soon. Overall, I feel ready to go.

What I want to concentrate on are my overall skills, route running, that kind of thing. Lining up, getting the timing right are key components in the NFL. I know the coaches here have a lot to teach me, and I'm ready to learn.

It was great to find out that Chris Williams and I were going to the same team. We've been close for years. I was excited for him when his name was called, but it was amazing when Chicago called me, as well. I picked up the phone as soon as I heard to let him know, but he was still sleeping. Probably had a big party the night before.

Chris was the first guy I ran into at the airport right after we got off the plane. There's nothing better than having a teammate who is also a good friend in the same town. He's a talented, dedicated player who wants to do everything he can to help the Bears get to the Super Bowl. Let's hope he's saying the same things about me.


WR Earl Bennett
Warren Wimmer Photography

As for myself, I think I'll be able to pick up things pretty fast. I'm a hard worker, and I know how to study a playbook. So far, it doesn't seem that the Bears system is much like the offense we had at Vandy. So there might be a bit of a learning curve there, but I'm willing to put in the time to get things right.

I followed the Bears while I was growing up, just as I followed all of the pro teams. But my brother, he's a crazed fan of Chicago. It was the strangest thing. We live in Birmingham, Alabama, and suddenly one day he's running all over town in a Bears cap. He was real excited when the Bears won the championship. Where did that come from? I have no idea at all.

But you can bet he's really happy now that I am here on the team. When they called my name, he went screaming through the house. Don't know what he'll do when I actually get on the field.

Draft weekend was difficult to say the least. I expected to go somewhere in the second or third round. That's what my agent had told me going in. There's just no way to avoid getting nervous while you're waiting. We had all the family over, and my mom was cooking for everybody. When the phone finally rang, we had a celebration. They probably are still celebrating down there.

What I hope to bring to the Bears is my speed and ability to catch the ball and then run with it. I think I've been pretty successful so far at making defenders miss. Technique is important. The coaches at Vanderbilt had us work on this a lot. I think the fact that I have worked so much on this aspect of my game should be important at this level as well. I realize it's a whole other kind of competition right now, but I'm sure I'll learn what I need to know to be successful.

Earl Bennett writes his Rookie Diary with longtime correspondent Beth Gorr every week exclusively for BearReport.com.


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