It's good to have the first game upon us. That first kickoff, when you start a game, once you're into it and things start flowing, you feel more comfortable and you perform better. It's finally game week and we're preparing now, doing our regular scouting reports, installing the regular wrinkles we do each week for different teams.
We're back in the routine, back in the saddle and it's where I want to be. We've put a lot of work in. We're communicating well, but the final measuring stick is your play on the field and that's what you credit yourself to, so we'll see on Sunday.
If you look at it from a team perspective, I think Green Bay really had a jump after winning the first game last year. It kind of propelled their season, so I think the first game is important at any level. It sets a good tone when you win, so I think it's an important game.
The fact that I'm preparing to start the game and make checks, I'm excited about it. I think the whole defense is excited, the whole team is excited. I think we feel good about where we are. We work really hard. It's going to be good to play the games for real now.
I think I'm a lot more comfortable with the defense as a whole, as far as playing inside, than I was in 2007. Last year I was learning two positions, but this year I've been mostly playing the MIKE. So I think my comfort level is the biggest thing that's improved.
I think we like where we're at. Obviously, we haven't played any games for real yet, but we have goals that we keep private within the linebacking group. I think each position does that. We also have personal goals that we keep for ourselves. We definitely have high expectations as a corps, as a whole defense and as a team, so we're going to try to get that done.
There was a different feel out there at practice. Obviously there were a lot less guys, so it takes some adjusting. You get a little winded and the warm-ups are quicker, so from that perspective you are a little more tired. The intensity has been pretty high all preseason, so I think that will stay pretty consistent heading into the season opener on Sunday.