Player Diary

<!--Default NodeId For Bryan Knight is 348765,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:348765]>Bryan Knight</A> had a sack and forced fumble in the Bears 24-14 loss to <!--Default NodeId For Carolina is 119,2005--><A HREF=http://panthers.TheInsiders.com>Carolina</A>. The rookie looks ahead to the season finale against <!--Default NodeId For Tampa Bay is 117,2005--><A HREF=http://buccaneers.TheInsiders.com>Tampa Bay</A>.

Well, we're heading into the last game of the season. This time we're going against Tampa Bay in Champaign. We'll see how they do if we get some of the cold weather that is predicted for the weekend.

I watched just a little of their Monday night game. What I saw was that their team is vulnerable and that they can be beaten. Now, we'll have to see what the Bears will do with that information.

Personally, I know that I'm really tired of losing. It can get you down after a while. The mood of the locker room is completely different after a win than it is after a loss. Things tend to get really quiet when nobody has anything positive to say.

What we develop as players is a type of selective amnesia. By that I mean, trying to remember the good things that you did in a game, but not let the mistakes you made get you down. That doesn't mean that you don't learn from the mistakes, just that they aren't all that you end up thinking about.

I try to put my mind on other things when I am not at practice or in a game situation. I try to rest both mentally and physically. It's the only way I've found to come back refreshed and ready to play again.

Most of the players are definitely looking forward to the end of the season. I guess it's like putting a bad dream to an end. You've done the best that you could and things didn't work out. It's good to look ahead to the next season and think of all the positive things that you can do then.

What I felt was one of the keys to the bad record this year was the overall lack of communication and our inability to ready the other team's offense. We have tried repeatedly to correct this, but the changes we made didn't have the results that we hoped for. The veteran players have spent a lot of time working with the new players on this. They've done all that they could, but we never really did get to the point that things began to happen the way that we wanted them to.

I know that a lot of the media has suggested that the constant lineup changes were to blame for this. With all the injuries, players were coming and going out of the games pretty fast. I don't necessarily agree with that view, however. I think that concentration, or the lack of it, was the key. That is something we are all going to be working on during the off season. You can't let anything distract you from your job during a game. If you do, the other team is going to get you every time.

Personally, I plan to watch a lot of game film during the off season. It's a good way to say 'what if.' What would I do in this situation? How would I do that differently? Then things become second nature. You react rather than think about what you are going to be doing. You have to take a hard look and be honest with yourself. You need to ask yourself if you were doing the very best that you could on every single down.

The most important thing that I've learned this year is this: It's a lot more difficult than it might look to win a game in the NFL. In college, you can beat a team in the first quarter. It's over; they are never going to come back on you. Here at this level, things are very different. Everybody is a professional. Everybody wants to win.

In college, you could get away with putting a bunch of second stringers in and it wouldn't make much of a difference. Here, it makes a big difference. You know that on any given Sunday a team can come back and get you, even if you think that the win is within your grasp. It sure happened to us. It happened to a lot of teams this year.

Tough losses are probably the biggest adjustment to make as a rookie. It's hard coming to work when you lose. It can really wear you down. How you deal with that can determine just how successful you ultimately will be in this league.

I don't know how I'd be handling things without the support of my family. My mom's always calling me, giving me good advice. And reading Bible scripture just to keep my spirits up. My father gets on the phone a lot too, He's telling me jokes, most of which aren't nearly as funny as he thinks they are, but it helps to lighten the mood. You never realize just how important your family is until you are away from home for that first year in the NFL.


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