Gilbert Rookie Diary: 18th Entry

In this latest entry into his Rookie Diary, Jarron Gilbert writes about having both sides of the football on the same page and who has been helping him the most during practice.

We're back in town after a tough trip out to San Francisco. It's always difficult when you lose, and it's definitely no easier to take when you're on the road. We're glad to be playing at Soldier Field this weekend. It's a chance to get back into our routine and ready to face the Eagles.

I don't have any explanation for the loss against the 49ers. It's just one of those times when things don't go your way. The defense was strong and played well overall. We were able to stop the run pretty well and definitely disrupted San Francisco's passing game,

I was inactive, so I stood on the sideline just watching and trying to learn as much as I could.

What hasn't happened that much this season is for the defense and the offense to be strong in the same game. We've had situations where the offense was really productive and the defense struggled, then situations where the opposite happened.

The part that is missing so far is for both sides to dominate in the same game. That is the way you get the balance, where the defense gives good field position and the offense can maximize that. It's frustrating when it doesn't work that way. We're all doing the best we can to turn that around.

The short week last week didn't have any effect on us that I could see. We had allowed for that by having light practices before we left town. And I don't think the fact that we were on the road made much of a difference either. Our guys are used to traveling by now.

DT Jarron Gilbert
AP Images: Nam Y. Huh

This week we're back in our normal routine, so we'll see if that gets things back to where they should be.

One question I had was why the team seems to struggle in night games. My answer is that I don't think the time you are playing has much of an effect. Every time this season that we've played at night, we've been well rested and well prepared.

Another question was whether or not there is added pressure when you are playing a nationally-televised game. No, I don't think there's any more of a stress situation than you'd encounter in any game. You always want to win, and a night game is no different.

The Eagles are a strong team, and I know that all of us on defense have great respect for Donovan McNabb. He has that combination of experience and instinct. If you aren't paying attention, he'll get things by you. But our quarterback, Jay Cutler, is experienced and intelligent as well, so I think it will be a good matchup.

It's been difficult mentally to be inactive for so long. I'm trying my best to be patient and to learn as much as I can without getting the opportunity to be in there. Some of the veterans are helping out quite a bit in that regard. Both Tommie Harris and Israel Idonije have been helping me along, which is something I really appreciate.

I think the important thing now is to be sure not to get overwhelmed by a sense of urgency. We all want to make it to the playoffs, and to get to that point, we have to win out. But you want to be sure not to look too far ahead. It's strictly one game at a time. I realize that is something you always hear, but it's true. You can beat yourself if you are not paying attention and if you are thinking about the team you'll face in a week rather than the team you are playing now.

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DT Jarron Gilbert puts together his Rookie Diary with correspondent Beth Gorr every week exclusively for

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