BR Rookie Diary: Marquess Wilson

Bear Report goes one-on-one with Chicago rookie wideout Marquess Wilson, who is currently in a competition for one of the final receiver spots on the Bears' final 53-man roster.

"It's been a good week here at Halas Hall so far. The receivers are putting in a lot of time both before and after practice. We have two new quarterbacks so there are some different looks for the wide receivers to work with. As a rookie, the more reps I can get the better. Each time I catch the ball, I'm either solidifying what I know already or learning something new.

"After three weeks in Bourbonnais, it's good to get back here and begin to settle in. The rookies are still staying in hotels while we acclimate to the area and begin to find a more permanent place to live.

"I definitely enjoyed being in camp. It was what I'd expected with a lot of work packed into a short period of time. Most of the time we were either on the field, in the weight room or in meetings. I learned so much in that concentrated few weeks. It also was a good opportunity to get to know the vets and the other rookies.

"The facilities at ONU were great. It looked as if the college had gone to a lot of trouble to make everything comfortable. The surprising thing for me about camp was the number of fans who came to see us every day. The support for this team is impressive and we all definitely appreciate that.

"I haven't seen much of Chicago yet other than the two trips to Soldier Field. That was all business with no time for sightseeing. Once the regular season begins, I hope to have some time to explore the town.

"The entire rookie experience for me so far has been about how much and how quickly I can learn. When football is your job, you take the entire process very seriously and never pass up a chance to improve. I like that there are no distractions. It's all work, all the time. That is the way you learn how to play in the NFL.

"My welcome to the NFL moment was in the speed of the past two games. Everything moves a lot faster than it did in training camp. There are big strong guys out there who are out to get you. That was a bit of a change for me. I'm not concerned, as I know I can adjust, but it was a wake up call.

"Physically I'm feeling strong. I'm learning how to pace myself for the best results long-term. We work closely with nutritionists and trainers. It's similar to what I remember from college football during the preseason, but at a more intense level. You take nothing for granted in the NFL.

"The games have been a learning experience. I think that is the point of the preseason. For me it's about getting my blocks and finishing plays. I'm trying not to get nervous and only concentrate on what's happening on the field.

"I did notice that I felt somewhat more relaxed coming into the second game. As a rookie, it's all about production and time on the field. You want to show the coaches that you can handle the pressure and that you can be productive in a game-day situation. These may only be preseason games for the fans but for us they are extremely important.

"Every player wants to do well. We all want to make the team and we all have pressure to some degree. But you have to put that behind you. To succeed, you need to be concentrating on your skills and not thinking about things too much. I think I'll relax if I feel I've shown the coaches that I can function at this level. I want them to trust in me and believe I can do it when that time comes.

"We have two new quarterbacks so there are some new looks for the receivers. It's easier than you'd think to adjust to different guys passing the ball. All our quarterbacks have great chemistry with every player on the squad. We've been putting in extra time after practice because it's all about timing and communication. We want that to be perfect by the time the regular season begins.

"I'm cherishing every moment here. From practice to the meetings to the games, it's all good. I'm reminding myself constantly that this is something very few people get to do. I'm taking nothing for granted."


Beth Gorr has been covering the Bears for the last 12 years and is the author of Bear Memories: The Chicago-Green Bay Rivalry. She is currently working on a second book about early Bears history.

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