Bennett Rookie Diary: 6th Entry

The receiver position is up in the air this season for the Chicago Bears, and third-round pick Earl Bennett has been stepping up in training camp right away. In this installment of his Rookie Diary, Bennett writes about the positive reviews he's been getting in the press and Family Night at Soldier Field.

Training camp has been a lot of fun so far, but of course it's also a lot more work than I'd anticipated.

This is where rookies really see the difference between college football and the professional game. This is your occupation as a pro, and the coaches rightly expect you to give 110 percent.

Most days run from about seven in the morning until at least eleven at night. We're always busy, either working out, practicing, or attending team meetings. There's really no time to do anything but pay attention to football.

Physically, I'm doing very well. It's been pretty hot for most of the daytime practices, but I'm from Alabama, so temperatures that might bother some of the other players don't matter to me at all.

I'm learning to pace myself in terms of energy expended. I'm also paying attention to my diet and conditioning routine. I realize that this is just the beginning of a very long season, so I understand how important it is now and will be in the future to stay in the best possible shape.

My coaches have been shifting me around a little on the field, so learning how to do that well has occupied most of my on field time. I want to know the routes perfectly and learn the techniques of the various quarterbacks. I can't say that I prefer working with one quarterback over another. They are all excellent players who are helping me progress in my skills.


WR Earl Bennett
Warren Wimmer Photography

I'd also like to mention Rashied Davis who just continues to help me whenever I ask. It's important as a rookie to know that some of the veterans are going to be there for you. It lessens the stress level considerably.

I've been asked if the positive press I've gotten during the first week of camp has put any additional pressure on me to succeed sooner rather than later. My answer would be a simple no. I'm working as hard as I can right now, and nothing any media is going to say about me would affect that one way or another, Of course, it's always nice when people are saying positive things about you, but we're all so busy right now that none of us has any time to read what's being written about us.

The situation is slightly different from college when I'd be mentioned in game articles. That would always be flattering, but I never took it too seriously. With the Bears, there are so many big-name players on the field any given day that I'm grateful to be noticed at all. My expectations for media coverage are pretty modest. Before I expect too much of a fuss to be made about me, I need to go out there and prove myself to the coaches and the fans.

This Friday, we'll be headed to Chicago for our first practice at Soldier Field. I saw the facility a few weeks ago at the fan convention and thought that it was incredibly impressive. I can't even imagine what it will be like to put on the uniform and get out there on the field. We'll be looking forward to seeing the fans and enjoying the evening.

Then it's back to Bourbonnais to prepare for out first game. I expect the practices to get much more intense as we head into the preseason. But that's why we're all here, and I'm certainly looking forward to it.

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


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