San Francisco 49ers rookie linebacker Fred Warner has agreed to document his first NFL training camp and preseason. Over the course of the month, Warner has shared a first-person account of his experiences. Below is his sixth blog entry regarding Warner's excitement to start in the team's Week 1 road game against the Vikings.
The best word I can use for the last month is "growth." I've gotten better and better from the day I came in and started playing the position that I've been playing. I'm more comfortable in the scheme. I don't want to say that I'm too happy with where I'm at because obviously I want to keep getting better. I have a long ways to go from where I want to be, but it's been a fun start.
I can feel that I have more confidence in what I'm doing. It allows me to play faster without hesitating as much while I'm out there. It's important to trust my eyes and my instincts so I can make more plays. The game slows down when you know what you're doing.
This weekend is going to be insane. I'm pumped for the start of my first NFL season and thrilled to be starting alongside so many talented players. It's crazy because ever since I got here, I changed the title to my alarm in the morning to "I've gotta be the starter." That's what I'd see every morning when I woke up. At the time I didn't think it was as realistic as it is now because we've got so many talented linebackers on this team. The guys in front of me were seasoned veterans like Malcolm Smith, Reuben Foster and Brock Coyle. Having that mindset that I wanted to be a starter and I was capable of being a starter was huge. It's crazy that it's a reality now.
My mindset for Sunday is to be so prepared that when I step on the field against the Vikings, there's going to be no hesitation in what I'm doing. When I see Kirk Cousins come out with Dalvin Cook next to him and their receivers lining up, it's going to be as if I've seen it all before because of how much preparation I've put in during film. I do everything in practice deliberately and with a purpose to get me ready for moments like this. That's what I'm most excited about.
As a team, we're all confident. We know we're going up against a good team, but we believe we're a good team as well. We've known since OTAs that this team is capable of big things. We're excited to get out there and put it on tape.
It's been great sharing my experiences throughout this whole training camp leading up to Game 1. I can't wait for the season, and I want to thank all the fans for everything that they do for this team and for myself. I can't wait to get after it and make plays for you guys this season.