It's great to have the opportunity to play with the Bears. I can't tell you how excited I am about what's happening right now. I'd always hoped to play at the pro level, but to be here and have the opportunity to do this is more than I had ever hoped for.
I played college ball at Texas, then transferred to West Texas A&M. What I learned in both programs has served me well so far. I am accustomed to learning different schemes quickly and fitting in with guys I don't know that well.
I think one of the biggest changes when you go to the pros from college is that, for the first time, you have the time to concentrate on football – and only on football. That makes a big difference.
What I spend most of my time doing now when I am not on the field is watching film. There are so many things you can pick up from studying plays over and over again. The other thing that is helping my progress is the position meetings we have. During that time, the vets can give us some tips and we get one-on-one attention from the coaches. It's really important to pay attention at all times. If you miss something, it might be the key ingredient of a play at practice that afternoon. I try to remember every single detail.
The on-field work is pretty much as I had expected it to be. It's quick and fairly intense, but I realize that the closer we get to the start of the regular season, the more intense things will get. There's tremendous competition for position, which is not surprising. So it will be my job to show I can contribute to the Bears, either on special teams or in some other capacity. That's my main goal right now.
One of the best things that I bring to this team is my overall size. I'm 6-8 and around 300 pounds, and I can move around pretty well. I think my technique is sound, but of course I realize there is still improvement that has to be made in that respect.
My footwork is good, and I'm trying to get my speed to be a little better. One of the main things I'm concentrating on right now is learning the schemes and memorizing the playbook. Once you know what is going on, it's easier to react faster. That's how you become most effective if you play at the tackle position.
I've shifted from the left side of the line to the right recently, though there have been days when I've played at both left and at right tackle. There is a little bit of a difference in overall technique, but the fundamentals are the same. I don't see any problem playing either spot once I become accustomed to that. I'm fine with anything. It all depends on where the coaches decide they want me to be.
I've been paying quite a bit of attention to my conditioning and to not getting too tired. I've heard from some of the vets that a common rookie mistake is to do too much too soon. That's when you start running on fumes. I try to pace myself by going to bed reasonably early and resting whenever I have the opportunity to do so.
Diet is also important for all of us. We work with nutritionists and try to stick to whatever the prescribed diet might be. Coming from college recently, I know very well that it's difficult to pass up the drive-thru, but if paying attention to what I eat helps my football career, that's what I'll do.
During the break before training camp, I plan to settle in here, find a place to live and just relax some before the real hard work begins. I'll see my family and catch up with a few friends. Probably will be hanging out with some of the other rookies, as well.
I'm optimistic and grateful to be here. I plan to give this everything I have. I want to succeed and be a positive contributor to this football team.
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BR Rookie Diary: Webb, 1st Entry
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