At this point my brain is a little bit scrambled with everything on in my life. With the offensive playbook I'm trying to learn and adjusting to the speed of the game, and everything that goes with it. But that doesn't stop me from stepping back a little bit at the end of the day to enjoy the process.
I found an apartment to live by the new facility and I'm learning my way around here. I've gotten around a little bit in the area, but mostly on the East Side. I was in the city for the coach's fund raiser Saturday night ... but I was only at Safeco Field, so I really haven't explored Seattle a whole lot yet. I'm looking forward to that.
Honestly, moving here isn't going to be easy once we get finished with minicamp. I've got belongings literally spread all over the country. I'm getting married and my fiancé (Danielle) is from Tampa, Fla., so she has her things there; we both just moved our stuff from (South Bend,) Indiana - leaving Notre Dame; and I have some things at home in Minnesota. I do have some things out here are ready. But as soon as we get finished with camp, we'll be starting the long process of combining all of those things and moving (Danielle) out here. We're getting married on July 12.
Tomorrow is the last day (of minicamp) and it's all about continuing to get better and work on the things that need improvement and getting consistent with everything else. It went pretty well today. I got caught some balls and made some blocks the right way. Every day there are specific things that I focus on based on the previous day's practice. If I made the wrong split on the line, or made an incorrect read on a route the previous day, I want to correct that the following day so I don't repeat mistakes.
Today we did a lot of run blocking against different defensive looks. So the tough part was recognizing how to make the appropriate reads that will make the play go. Some of it I got right away and some of it I have to work on ... just like everything else. It's up to me to do a better job tomorrow. I want camp to end well and I want to feel good about what I accomplished here the past couple of weeks.
But all of this has been great preparation for training camp so I'm familiar with their expectations and I'll need to raise my level of play. It's not that far away, but I also have a lot to do before we get to that point.
John Carlson Looks Back at His First Mini-Camps
So what's with the weather here today ... isn't this really great? There are guys playing down in Tampa right now, and it's 90-95 degrees. This is perfect football weather ... clear, the sun is out and it's still a little bit cool.
Now that I look back at how minicamp has been for us, it's gone really fast. Now that I'll have time to digest what happened a little bit, I can reflect on what we did and what I've learned. I want to clear up a few things that are still confusing at this point, but overall I thought the two weeks went really well and it would be nice to be able to catch up now with everything else.
Ultimately, I want to get to the point where I'm not thinking out there, so I can just react and play football the way I know how. When things happen automatically, that's when you reach the point of utilizing your athletic ability. At this point, I'm not quite there. I have some notes to review, some time to think about things, and hopefully I'll get there pretty quickly in training camp.
I've never heard it compared to orientation at school, but I guess that's an accurate description of what we go through. This has been a nice way to get introduced to the offense, introduced the speed of the game, and kind of introduced to the physicality, even though we're not in pads. The size and speed has impacted me enough that when training camp comes, I'll be ready.
Obviously, it's going to be faster, much more condensed and we're going to be hitting each other with pads on, so the game itself will be at a completely level than what we've been doing here in minicamp. So I need to prepare for that, and this was a good way to get started in that direction.
Today was a good final practice, although one play (when fellow rookie Lawrence Jackson broke up a pass) brought back bad memories from any of our Notre Dame-USC rivalry. Seriously, that was a good play. Those games weren't that long ago.
In college, I had two roles - school and football. Each one was my job. Now, football is my job, solely. It's nice to have that extra focus to put into it. The combination of studying for classwork, and study for football will serve me well at this next level. I had to approach each of them the same way. It taught me to be diligent taking notes, to consistently review my material very well. Whether it was football or history, I approached it the same way at Notre Dame.
Any time you move up a level, high school to college, college to pros, you have to assume it will be more difficult to adjust to everything. That means it's more difficult to learn, a faster pace to do it and the expectations are higher. It's just a great challenge that I've been looking forward to and it's my job to get it done.