It was a disappointing loss last weekend. We went up to Green Bay very optimistic about our chances to come out with a win, but that didn't happen. It's never good when those expectations are not met. The high energy level of the team during the trip up to Green Bay was quite different from the feelings we all had on the way back to Chicago on Sunday night.
The fact that it was a nationally-televised game didn't result in any added pressure, or at least none that I could see. It was the big rivalry, however, and you always want to play well in a situation like that. I think we kept it close and played hard. Things just didn't fall our way at the end.
The fans at Lambeau were definitely as loud as I'd expected them to be. It was crazy. There were quite a few Bears fans there, as well. We could hear them throughout the game. In an away game, the hometown fans will do whatever they can to disrupt the opponent's play, and there were times that it was pretty hard to hear. But I'm sure that Bears fans will do the same thing to the Packers when they come to Soldier Field later this season.
The loss of Brian Urlacher is something we will all have to come to terms with. It's football, and players expect some of their teammates to go down with injuries. However, when it's the guy who is calling the signals on defense, that can be more difficult.
The team is a family, and we'll all step up and do our part to support each other through this. The talent at that position is deep, and there shouldn't be a fall-off in production. I think that all of us are ready to do whatever it takes to compensate for Urlacher's absence.
I never got on the field in Green Bay. The coaches let me know on Sunday that I would be on the inactive list. Although a situation like that is disappointing, as a rookie it certainly is not unexpected. You take things as they come. What I did was stand on the sideline and observe the action. I tried to use the opportunity to learn as much as I could just by watching the other guys.
What I noticed right away was the greatly-increased tempo and intensity of play. Just as there was a difference between the speed on the field between training camp practices and preseason games, there is a huge difference between preseason games and the games that count. Everybody brings things up a level or two.
That might be the biggest adjustment I have to make once I get the opportunity to be out there playing. I need to be certain that my speed and intensity level are good enough to make me an effective player.
We're going over the game films now to prepare for the Steelers. This should be a challenging game against last season's Super Bowl champs. They have a strong, fast offense that can get away if given the opportunity. Our job will be to coordinate the defense so Pittsburgh never gets things going on us.
I'm looking forward to the first home game. As a team, we've put Green Bay behind us and we are concentrating on what's coming up. It will be a challenge for the players and an interesting one for the fans to watch.
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Gilbert Rookie Diary: 10th Entry
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