It's great to be here. A thrill really. From what I've seen so far, this is something that is going to be a real challenge but also a lot of fun.
It's good to have the draft behind me. I'd expected to go somewhat earlier, but I am very satisfied with the way things have turned out. That could be the fact that I come from a smaller school. We just don't get the attention that players at bigger programs tend to get.
What I think that I can contribute to the team is speed and strength. This is a great defense to be coming into – the D-line, the linebacker corps. Guys like Tommie Harris are really impressive. There's a lot to learn from each of them.
I learn quickly, and I think I am very coachable. At this point, we are learning the basic calls as opposed to the entire defensive scheme. The majority of what we're doing is technique-based – working with our hands, stepping through, that kind of thing.
I'm not familiar with the Chicago area but hope to have the opportunity to see the city soon. I've heard great things about everything here but the weather. Today it seems pretty nice, so I'm not too sure what they mean by that. I am from California, however, and have not experienced a winter as most Midwesterners have. Guess I'll find out soon enough.
This weekend is a time to get acquainted. We're learning about the physical plant here at Halas Hall, meeting the coaches and seeing the playbook for the first time. All the other rookies are here as well, as are some guys who have tryouts this weekend. So everybody is new.
The playbook is big. It's incredibly detailed – much more comprehensive than what we saw in college. It's pretty intimidating to know we'll have to learn so much sooner rather than later, but I think overall football is football. The Bears may have different terminology, but the basics are probably pretty similar.
I definitely enjoyed getting out on the field today. The first time in an NFL uniform is something I think you remember forever. It all sunk in today. College is over, the draft is complete and I made it this far. I looked in the mirror, and I had the uniform on. I thought, Hey, I'm a Chicago Bear. It was a very good feeling.
I am not anticipating a difficult transition to this level. I think if the desire is there, things turn out well.
I've been kidded about some of the recent publicity that has been out there about my jump out of the pool. It's on YouTube, and I heard that AOL featured it in their daily news section today. Honestly, when I did that, I had no idea it would take on a life of its own. One of my buddies told me that Adam Archuleta was able to do that, so I thought, Hey, I'll give it a try. I'm strong and tall, so it might just work. Obviously, we filmed it. And before I knew what was happening, it was everywhere.
I hope to make a name for myself as a result of things I do on the football field, however, not because of this one incident in the pool. It's exciting to be here. I couldn't ask for a better outcome. I can't wait to get my opportunity to show what I can do.
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Gilbert Rookie Diary: 1st Entry
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