I finally got into a game. What an exciting moment. It was definitely intense. As much as I'd noticed the fast tempo of play from the sideline, the actual pace of the game was quicker than I'd expected it to be.
It happened so fast that I didn't have much time to think before going in. And once I was on the field, it was pretty much as if instinct took over. Really, all football is more or less the same in terms of basic moves, so any nervousness I felt went away quickly. It was great, and I definitely hope for more opportunities like that in the future.
The Detroit game was an interesting one. Things were close in the first half, and quite a few adjustments were made at halftime. In situations like that, you analyze where improvements need to be made, and then you go back out there and alter your play accordingly. Watching the game film, you could see the difference those changes made. Play was very effective on our side from the third quarter on to the end of the game.
Matthew Stafford was quick and agile but our defensive scheme emphasizes speed, so that worked out well. The best part of the game to me was that we were working together effectively as a team. Special teams did a great job, our offense was productive and the defense stepped up. That is the kind of statement you need to make.
Our next game is against the Falcons, and we're expecting challenge there. Coming off of a bye week should be a good thing for us, as we'll be well rested. Also, the players with injuries will have a chance to rest up and heal between now and then.
The Falcons game is a late start. I was asked if I noticed a difference in intensity on the field between nationally-televised night games and regular day games. I guess the answer would be "not yet," as I've only experienced the Green Bay game thus far. That was definitely a high-energy game, but I suspect that would have been true if it had been nationally televised or not.
I watched the Vikings-Packers game the other night. What an amazing display. Brett Favre was definitely on his game. Another question I had was whether or not I felt the Vikings could be beaten. My answer? Sure. There's no team that doesn't have a bad day. You never know from week to week exactly what will happen. Remember the Patriots' near-perfect season? Nobody thought they could lose either.
We play Minnesota in a few weeks, and it's something we're all looking forward to. I think it's a matter of careful preparation when you‘re going against a strong team. You study their tendencies and then plan your counter moves.
We have a few light practices this week, and then we take a break until next week when we begin preparing for Atlanta. I'm really looking forward to this time off. It will give my body a chance to rest. The pro season is a lot longer than the college season, so I think that it's important to take advantage of any break that we get.
I do have a short trip planned, though. I'm heading back to California to see family and friends, then I'm going to a San Jose State game. It should be a lot of fun to be back on campus and to catch up with all of my former teammates.
After that, it's back to work at Halas Hall then on to Atlanta.
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Gilbert Rookie Diary: 13th Entry
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