When I got to practice Wednesday, I was tweeting and Facebooking about how I'm so darn excited just to get to the game plan, see what we're gonna do and see how I'm going to be involved in the offense.
I'm hoping for a fullback pass down the middle.
It never happens. Ever.
But I visualize it happening, and one day it will.
Besides that, we have different run plays and pass plays to get ready for the Chicago Bears, and it's exciting getting back into football after a long offseason of no OTAs, no mini-camps and not really knowing if this regular season was going to happen.
That makes Sunday even more exciting.
Being that it's the first game of the regular season makes it all the better. The first game of the season, you're opening that door that is the National Football League, and it comes fast.
We're warriors out there. We're gladiators.
The feelings that come with the first game of the year aren't something you can practice. You can't recreate that atmosphere.
You can try to recreate it when you're working out, but you can only do so much to get that "game" feeling when you're hitting sleds or going against teammates in 7-on-7 drills. It's not the same as an actual game.
When you get into a game situation like Sunday, you know it's something special. A guy like me, who's getting up in age, appreciates it even more.
But before you get to Sunday, you have to get through Wednesday. That's the first real game-week practice, when we strap the pads on and dive into our next opponent.
I look forward to Wednesdays as a chance to perfect the physical part of my game. If I can't master blocking guys who are on the scout team, trying to give me a look, there's no way I can get the right techniques, the right pad level, the right leverage and the right angles on Pro Bowlers like Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs.
On top of thinking about all that, we have to face the unfriendly confines of Soldier Field in Chicago. I've never been one to dread away games. I prefer home games, but I love feeling like the whole world's against you.
It's just your team versus everybody.
I used to watch the movie "300" all the time when it came out because it was just 300 guys against tens of thousands of people; that's how it is when we play away games.
Our group of guys — players, coaches, staff — all come in on a plane ready to handle our business. We don't care if anybody doesn't like us. We don't care if people boo us. We don't care if they call us this or that.
It's all about going in there, shutting that stuff out and showing them that we are the better team.
Sunday is our first opportunity this year to do that.