Halas Hall Chat: LB Joey LaRocque

Chicago Bears rookie linebacker Joey LaRocque was drafted into a tough situation. How confident does the seventh-rounder feel that he'll make the final 53-man roster after the preseason slate is complete? LaRocque spent some time with Bear Report after Tuesday's practice at Halas Hall.

John Crist: One of the cliches you hear about making the jump from college ball to the pros is the speed of the game. Have you noticed a discernable difference with what goes on out here compared to what you saw back in the Pac-10?

Joey LaRocque: It's exactly what everyone says. Everybody's bigger, faster, and stronger. It's basically what everyone's telling you.

JC: What's more important with regard to this fourth and final preseason game? Putting on a great performance and leaving a good taste in your mouth headed into the regular season, or just getting out of Cleveland as healthy as possible?

JL: Well, I'm sure for the vets it's just to stay healthy, and then for all of us younger guys [it's] to get out with a big victory and all playing hard and doing everything correct. So everything has to go into that.

JC: You're leading me right to my next question. Are the veterans approaching this game any differently than the younger guys are, since they won't be playing much and you'll be out there most of the night?

JL: Everybody's approaching it the same. We're all in there looking at the game plan and stuff like that. It's just we know the vets will get a little less reps and we'll get the majority of them in this game. Everybody's going to have to prepare, so it's all about the same.

LB Joey LaRocque
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

JC: What's it like to watch another linebacker like Rod Wilson go down with a season-ending injury? I know he's a friend and a teammate, but all of a sudden your chances of making the team increase a little bit.

JL: It's unfortunate. Rod's a good guy. He's one of the guys that helped me out on my special teams and stuff like that and let me know what I needed to do. He was always willing to help me whenever I needed help, so it's a shame that he had gone down. And like you said, I've been pretty lucky to be in the linebacking corps that I'm in right now. Shoot, we've got the best linebackers in the league right now and I get to learn from them, so I'm pretty happy about that.

JC: How confident are you that you'll make the final 53-man roster once cuts are announced after Thursday's game? And have you given any thought to just putting as much good play on tape as possible in order to attract attention from other clubs in case you don't make it?

JL: Absolutely. Everybody's going out here to make as many plays as they can. I hope I'm on this team. I've got some good friends on the team and stuff like that. I like the program and I like the coaches and all that, so I don't want to leave. But I've got to go out and make plays, and if somebody else sees it, you never know. Who knows what could happen? So I'm going to play hard and see where it goes.

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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