BR.com wants to use the *Hey Rookie! blog as a way to let every rookie on the roster tell a little bit about their story. We'll have different voices speaking to you throughout the season. *
Safety Tom Zbikowski, a third-round draft pick from Notre Dame, checks in with his thoughts as the Ravens prepare for Tennessee.
Hey Ravens fans.
Things are definitely starting to settle down now, as I get used to the scheduling and what it takes to get ready for a game week-to-week. But, it's still kind of weird that a year ago you were playing college football. You look at them, and they're at Week 6 in their season. We still have so far to go. There's a lot more to the NFL.
Other than that, it's been a learning experience coming in every day and going to work. But I don't treat it like a job, even though we don't have classes anymore. It's still a game. You always want to have fun playing, even though you have more responsibilities at this level, watching film and doing what you have to do to get your body ready.
This defense is so much fun to play in. I can't tell you how many packages we have, and it changes every week. The best part is that if you can make plays for Rex [Ryan, defensive coordinator], he'll get you in there at some capacity. And if we're going through practice and something isn't working, he'll throw it out. That's why he's such a player-friendly coach.
I'm also playing a lot of special teams, which is pretty fast at this level. I get kickoff and kickoff return, and that's where the crazies are. People are really flying around, and you've probably seen some big hits from us.
It's been fun for me to get that opportunity to get on the field. I'm looking for any way to contribute, and if that's kickoff, let's go. It's just a 40-yard sprint, and whatever happens, happens. Obviously, there's technique and scheme to it, so it's not like mass chaos. Let's call it controlled mass chaos.
Things in Baltimore have been fun, too. The fans are great. Haruki and I did Dan Wilcox's show the other day at the ESPN Zone, and a lot of fans turned out for that. I've done a few signings, too. You can really tell this city loves its football, and I love that the Ravens are so involved in the community. That's important.
Coming from Notre Dame, where there is such a football tradition, I've kept an eye on the Irish this year. They're looking pretty decent. I didn't get a chance to see the Michigan State game at all, but last week, they did pretty well. Purdue always plays us tough, so it was a good game.
This week, Notre Dame's got Stanford at home. They've got to win that, if only because Coach Harbaugh's brother is the head coach at Stanford. I'll never hear the end of it, especially because I'm the only Notre Dame guy in the locker room.
Speaking of the locker room, I've got the honor – or whatever you want to call it – of having the corner locker right next to the shower. It's like the bottom of the bottom. The only view is the shower, so that's a little rough. I've got T-Gooden [Tavares Gooden] next to me, so that helps out. Hopefully, once I get some experience here, I'll be able to move up in the ranks.
That's it from me. I'll keep trying to have fun with the game. It's always going to be that way for me. Right now, I'm hoping to make an impact on special teams and work in where I can with the defense. Making tackles, making blocks. Whatever I have to do. Don't get me wrong – I'm really competitive, but I'm going to have fun playing any chance I get.
Thanks for reading.