*Daryn Colledge enters his first NFL training camp with as much pressure as any rookie could have.
He's already been penciled into the starting lineup at left guard, and now he's got six weeks to get ready to take on the NFL.
Colledge, one of the Packers' second-round draft picks, grew up in North Pole, Alaska, a town of less than 2,000 people located 14 miles southeast of Fairbanks. He went on to a decorated college football career at Boise State, where he set school records for games played and started with 52.
In April, he became the highest-ever NFL draft choice from the state of Alaska - and the eighth overall - when he was picked 47th overall by the Packers.
Colledge has to work extremely hard to make the impact that's expected of him in 2006, and he'll keep Packers fans updated in this Training Camp Diary.
In this second installment, he discusses how he's doing in practice, dealing with the heat, hanging out with roommate Jason Spitz, and looking forward to Family Night on Saturday at Lambeau Field.*
Daryn Colledge: Every day is better than the day before. I feel like that. Every day I'm getting stronger and getting better and I'm more confident and comfortable in what I'm doing. So hopefully it's a steady progression and by the time Chicago rolls into here I'll be ready to go.
Jags (offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski) reminds me every time I do something wrong and my coaches are correcting what I'm doing wrong. They're backing me up and saying I'm doing a lot of good things too, but they're expecting a lot out of me so they're pushing hard.
With all the drills, I think everybody's least favorite has to be individual, and I think everybody's favorite is always the team sessions. Those are always the most competitive and exciting, and that's football. Individual is there for the fundamentals, but when you get to do team you get to be out there and just play ball.
The heat was alright. I think it's a combination of everything you're doing mentally added with the heat that makes it so bad. There's definitely some hot days, but we've got a great set of a coaches and great set of staff, and the trainers protected us and kept us hydrated.
You just have to keep grinding and knowing there are people watching out for you. You can keep pushing it and they're going to make sure you don't get yourself in danger. I just made sure I stayed cool whenever I had a break, soaked myself down with some water. So I was thoroughly wet by the end of practice, but I didn't lose much weight and had a successful practice.
The rainstorm yesterday was probably the best part of training camp so far. It was kind of a relief. It was like, all right, the heat is gone for a little bit and it was time to enjoy it.
St. Norbert, ... it's a college dorm. I'd rather in my own house in my own bed, hanging out with my wife, but that's just not the way it is right now. We have to bond and hang together as a team, and I understand why we do it, but it would be nice if we could get some better beds.
Me and Jason are good friends. We're having a good time together. We're helping each other pass the time as we go through camp. We're both just trying to ride this wave out.
When we have a chance, we just try to go home and relax. My house is pretty close to here, so we head back and he falls asleep in the living room on the chair, and I go hit my bed and get a little nap in, or we sit around and hang out with my wife.
Nothing to report as far as "rookie hazing." We've got a great locker room and a great bunch of guys on the offensive line. They've treated you like you're here, you're drafted, you're part of the team. There's no reason to haze you. We've got more important things to deal with than worrying about if I know my alma mater's song or if I have any hidden talents.
I'm excited for Family Night on Saturday. It will be my first chance to be inside Lambeau and playing a little ball. It will be our first chance to be full speed against the defense, all-out, our chance to do what we do, and it will be exciting. And it will be my first opportunity to see what I can do in a full-speed situation and game-like atmosphere.
My grandmother is coming over from Montana. She's doing a little bit of traveling, so she's going to stay with my wife and watch the game with my wife.
I don't even know what to expect. I know the atmosphere is going to be amazing, and for me it's going to be like the kickoff to the season. For these guys, they know what it's like. But for me, it's going to be something totally different. So I don't know what to expect, I'm just excited for it.
I just want to have a solid game with no mental mistakes. I want to help this team in any way I can and not hinder it. I'm ultimately trying to be a successful player around here and a consistent player that can be relied on by the offensive line and my coaches, and that process has to start every day in practice, but Saturday is going to be a big day.