You know it probably wasn't a great experience when NFL rookies talk adamantly about moving on from their first career game.
That was really the only message from David Montgomery and Duke Shelley, both of whom got their first taste of meaningful NFL action during the Bears' 10-3 loss.
"Oh yeah, it's very disappointing," Montgomery said. "It's about what you do next. It's how you handle adversity. I love this team already and I've only been here a couple of months."
With cornerback Stephen Denmark on IR, four of the Bears' five rookies were on the 53-man roster for Thursday night's game. Wide receiver Riley Ridley and running back Kerrith Whyte Jr. both landed on the inactive list, however, meaning only Montgomery and Shelley – the team's 3rd and 6th round picks, respectively – got on the field.
"I'd say it felt different," Shelley said. "You see those guys playing on TV all the time for years and years, and now you're out on the field and you're lined up across from them. It's just different."
Shelley didn't play much on defense, only getting on the field for three plays. He got 10 snaps on special teams, though, and was called for a holding penalty on a punt return late in the 4th quarter. Montgomery had a larger role, as the running back was on the field for 28 plays; he also had 6 rushes for 18 yards.
"I wasn't really expecting anything," Montgomery said. "Whatever happen for me, whenever my name was called, I just made sure I was ready for that."
Neither mentioned having that signature "Welcome to the NFL" moment, though Shelley did say the crowd's energy really made the whole experience sink in. As for getting booed off the field in their first NFL game?
"I kind of tune it out for the most part," Montgomery added. "I play for the guys around me. We've got great fans here in Chicago. Once we get the ball rolling I'm sure they're going to stand with us."