Bennett Rookie Diary: 8th Entry

The Chicago Bears are plenty sick of the preseason and want everything to start for real, but Thursday's exhibition matchup is still important for Earl Bennett and some other draft picks. In this installment of his Rookie Diary, Bennett writes about finishing strong and securing a spot on the roster.

Well, it's almost time for the regular season to start. It's incredibly exciting to be so close.

The last game was a disappointment. It seemed that things were moving along pretty well, but then we just couldn't finish it out. Just because it was preseason, it doesn't mean that we all didn't want a win. But I guess the best face you can put on the loss is that it gave the rookies more time to acclimate to this level of play and should get us in better shape both mentally and physically for the regular season.

Cuts are coming soon. That's a difficult time, as you just never know for sure that everything is going to be fine until you see your name on that final roster sheet. The game this Thursday against Cleveland will be a last opportunity for many of us to show what we can bring to the team. The veterans won't be out there too long, so I think most of the time you'll be seeing us out there.

I've been working really hard the past few weeks. Just because training camp has relocated from Bourbonnais to Halas Hall doesn't mean that things are any less intense. I've been spending a lot of time on the playbook. There's just no excuse not to know everything that's in there once the season begins.

I'm also working with my coaches and with the other receivers on routes and techniques. We were all really impressed with the way Rashied Davis played last week. He's still helping me out, and I know I'm learning from one of the best. I'm satisfied with my progress thus far, but understand I still have a long way to go.

Physically, things are good. I've been watching my diet and trying to get as much rest as I can. I know that the season is long, and not taking care of my body now could cause a problem as the season goes on.

WR Earl Bennett
Rex Arbogast/AP Images

Playing at Soldier Field was fun last week. I'm getting a little more accustomed to the fans and the general surroundings. The locker room is amazingly crowded. It's always that way before the final cuts to the roster. There are temporary lockers set up in the middle of the main room, and everybody is bumping into everybody else before and after the games. It's crazy in there, especially when the media comes in after the games.

The other rookies and I are still using the basement locker room at Halas Hall. We aren't allowed into the main locker room there until the season begins and we've made the final roster, so I am looking forward to moving up and out.

We are beginning to watch film on the Colts for our first regular season game Sep. 7. For the rookies, it's a learning process as far as how our coaches approach our preparation. When my dad comes to town, we watch Indianapolis at home on TV, as well. I think the more I can see a team I am going to face, the more I'll learn.

And a night game against a top team means everybody will be working even harder. Our friends will be watching, and we all want to perform. It's my job to be prepared and to go out there and give it my best. It's been a lot of work but a lot of fun so far. I'm looking forward to this entire experience.

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

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