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Booker Blog: Time To Step Up


Now, I'm understanding how Brian or Correll has to prepare for a game. It does change things for me because I have to pay attention to every single detail. There's a lot of responsibility there. Again, that's why I'm here. I'm here to help in a situation like this. Thank goodness that it's not anything bad and West will be back soon. I don't know if he will be back this week or later, but the bottom line is I have to be ready to step up and play whatever role I'm needed in.

It's easier when you have guys in the huddle that have done it a bunch of times. You feel that they can make up for whatever lack of experience you have. I played a lot towards the end of last year, but I haven't done it for this team. That's the biggest challenge, doing it in a new offense, doing it the way they need to. It's a lot different. There's a lot more responsibility. It's a little different here because I think the guys around here are young, but have a lot of experience.

As far as the injured guys, I think we'll have a majority of those guys back with the exception of one or two at the most. That's what I think from what I know and what I've seen. Even if they weren't, I think everybody has the upmost confidence in everybody else. I think I could have done a better job last week. I think the interception that Kevin Kolb threw was my fault. We went over that. Those things happen. But everybody can step up and give us a good chance at winning.

To sit up here and say that our chances of winning are as good when Donovan or Brian is out is a lie. But, again, the guys are good enough to where we don't walk in feeling like underdogs.

Usually when I talk to guys who have been hurt, the battle really isn't the physical aspect, it's the mental aspect. To be able to go back out there feeling invincible because you usually feel that way until you get hurt. Again, that's the hardest thing to get back. For Brian to go through what he's gone through and still approach the game that way, he's mentally tough. Guys who aren't mentally tough can't play this long going through what he went through.


Running backs coach Ted Williams came to me and told me I need to step up. Obviously that's something that goes without saying. At the same time, when he takes his time out to let you know, 'Hey, listen, we're going to be depending on you a lot more than we used to,' you want to show them they don't have to worry. I have the utmost confidence that I can go out there and play well. Again, to sit up here and say that I can go out there and play just like Westbrook , nobody can say that in my opinion. I'm going to go out there and give it everything I have.

The good thing is the offense is designed to put me in space and that was the thing I was most excited about coming here. In a situation like this it's different because the offense is designed to fit my best attributes so I think that helps.

Westbrook and I kind of do the same things. They wouldn't bring me in for a specialty situation because Westbrook can do that too. He can catch the ball, he can run pass routes. I didn't think I'd come in here and steal reps from that guy. That would be pretty dumb to think something like that. But here's an opportunity to get more reps than I thought I would get this early, that's for sure. I want to go out there and try to get as much experience as you can. When Brian gets back, the team will have more confidence that if he does get nicked I can still come in and give us a chance to win.

When Westbrook got injured last week, I was a little worried. A good sign was that he was walking. I knew it was his ankle because he was limping pretty bad. Anytime a guy walks off the field it's a better sign. It took a little for me to stop thinking about it because you wonder if he's OK. The best news was coming in at halftime and he said he just sprained his ankle. Then we found out later there was no ligament damage, so we got a little more confident knowing that.

That's a lot of pressure to have to come in after a guy like that leaves the game. I just wanted to go into here and do my best and let the chips fall where they may. Everybody wants to play, but not at the expense of someone else going down. I kind of took it a little personal, though. Brian's done a lot to help me learn this offense and get better real fast. I want to go out there and show him that his time wasn't wasted. I just want to go out there and let them know I'm retaining everything and that I'm a guy that can help them win.

What I do best is work in space. That's one of the better things about this offense, is knowing they don't have to change their game plan for me. They can run the same things they ran before. That's the kind of player I am. I like to be spread out, I like to be in space. That's where I'm most effective.

Anytime you get to play against a defense of Chicago's caliber, you really find out what you're capable of. You can't gauge your ability on people who aren't the best. They've been one of the best for a long time, so we'll see.

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