Traveling to the game in Baltimore wasn't as difficult as you might have believed it would have been.
We did get off later than planned on Saturday night, but we had enough time once we arrived to relax and rest up a little before kickoff. I think when you have traveled quite a bit during a long season, one more trip doesn't make much difference even if you encounter weather conditions as we did.
The snow there was amazing. The stadium was in good condition, but snow was piled high just outside. I heard that they had 700 people working to clear it out. I didn't hear any complaints about the field conditions, so I think things were as good as they could have been given the circumstances.
It was difficult to get another loss. Even though the season is just about over, you still want to wind things up on a positive note. I wasn't active, but I was watching from the sideline. I don't think the Ravens brought anything that we didn't expect. It was just one of those days when things weren't going our way. We'll look at the film and try to figure out what went wrong, then move on from there.
One question I was asked this week was about the overall mood of the team. Are we completely discouraged, or are we still able to go out and play well?
You have to remember that this is our job, and because of that, we must go out week after week and give 100 perfent. It's a team thing and a personal thing. You don't want to let your teammates down, and it's a matter of personal pride.
We've all been playing football for many years, and we want to do the best we can whenever we are out there. The record this year has been far from what we had hoped it would be, but we are planning to turn that around during these last two games.
I was also asked for my thoughts on a comment Lance Briggs made recently. He was quoted saying that he felt the poor record of the team this year fell on his shoulders, as he is the leader of our defense. I don't think that this is his fault at all. Every game is a team effort, and I suspect that once he goes back and thinks about some of the things that have happened here this season, he'll realize that there wasn't much that he personally could have done to turn things around.
We were sorry to lose Adewale Ogunleye last weekend. His spirits seem good, but he has to be disappointed. We'll be stepping up our game to compensate for his loss. At least we've known about the situation all week, so there has been time to prepare accordingly.
We'll be looking at film of the Vikings today and for the rest of this week. The fact that there is a holiday shouldn't have too much of an impact because we will get the extra day due to the Monday night game.
There's no question that the Vikings have a strong offense. It's up to us to figure out a way to stop that. Another question I had was whether or not the disagreements that we've all been hearing about within the Vikings team will have any effect on the game. Of course, I have no direct knowledge about that. I'm just like everybody else in that regard. But I don't think you can count on anything disrupting that team's concentration on game day. Brett Favre has been playing well, their receivers are strong and their overall record this year has been good. Our goal is to learn from what happened last time we played the Vikings and to improve on that result.
If the weather is bad, we'll be looking for more of a ground game. The Vikings are as strong in that aspect as they are through the air. But I think we are going to show up and play well. This is our final home game of the season, and we want to go out on a positive note.
I'm hoping that weather isn't too much of a factor, but I think that if you play at night at the end of December, you're going to get pretty cold. I'm a California, guy but I am acclimating the best that I can. You might see me standing by the heaters, though, when I am not on the field.
One last thing: I'd like to wish Happy Holidays to all of the fans. We appreciate your support during the past year.
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Gilbert Rookie Diary: 20th Entry
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