Chicago Bears fullback Evan Rodriguez was a battering ram on Sunday night, serving well as the club's part-time lead blocker against the Houston Texans.
His play was stellar but overall, the offense struggled, resulting in a 13-6 home loss.
Bear Report caught up with Rodriguez after the game.
“It wasn’t a pleasant night for us. To me, it’s much more difficult to lose in a close game, a game that you could have, should have won. We’ll go back and look at the film, correct our mistakes and go on from here.
“In the NFL, it’s unusual to find a team that is 8-1 at this stage in the season but clearly that is what we were aiming for. The Texans now have that record, but I’m confident we can turn things around and get back on the right track.
“The field conditions tonight were difficult but nothing that we haven’t seen before. I think anytime you are dealing with a hard rain, ball security is going to be an issue. That’s something we have trained for, though, and it wasn’t an issue any more for us than it was for the Texans.
Did I see anything out there tonight that surprised you?
“No not really. The Texans have a good record because they are a strong team with a quick, effective offense and a punishing defense.
“The hope was going in that the weather would put the advantage on our side. Houston was able to handle the rain more effectively than we did. But really, rain, snow, what happens, happens. You have to control what you can control out there. The weather will take care of itself. I try to be mellow and calm but ready to go once I am called into the game. I am concentrating fully on what is happening in front of me on the field.
“We had a strong plan in place. It’s all a matter of proper execution on game day. We were in the game the whole time. All we needed was one or two big plays to get the win. It never seemed out of reach until the final seconds.
“I think when we review the film, every one of us will see something that we might have done more effectively. If that’s the case, we’ll turn things around in practice this week. Nobody is discouraged. Nobody is giving up. There are many games left to play and overall we are strong and confident.
Did you notice a difference in intensity from the Texans as opposed to a team like the Titans?
“Not really. Anytime you are out there facing NFL quality players, they are going to be giving 110 percent. It doesn’t matter if they are near the bottom of their division, or on the top. We all want to win.
“When Cutler went down, it wasn’t a good moment. We hope he has a quick recovery but that said, we have complete confidence in Jason [Campbell]. He’s strong out there and we know he’ll do everything in his power to get us the win.
“Going forward we have a difficult schedule. The 49ers have been playing extremely well. The Vikings are strong and had a good win over Detroit on Sunday. Seattle has some good wins. Then we’ll be facing the Packers once again in December. We’ll have some road games that will be challenging and some tough games here at Soldier Field. But, as I said, I don’t feel that our confidence as a team has changed at all. We feel that we can go ahead and win out from here.
“Personally, I am still in learning mode. It’s an amazing opportunity to be in there with the guys. I’m trying to watch what they do and improve my skill level to match theirs. I am trying to develop into an all around player, somebody who can be counted on to get things done.
“I feel strong physically and I’m enjoying every minute of this experience. A year ago, I could only have hoped for a situation like this one.”
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.