Vilma happy to be back on field

Editor's note: Linebacker Jonathan Vilma, selected in the first round of this year's NFL draft by the New York Jets, will chronicle his rookie experiences in a weekly diary for ESPN.com starting during training camp and running through the regular season.

This week was a lot better for me. I finally got to practice again after missing some time with a strained left calf.

We went up to Albany, N.Y., to scrimmage against the Giants and that was exciting to play against live competition. I had a pretty good practice and I thought it went well especially considering the time I missed.

After that, we had three practices in a row in full pads. Coach Herman Edwards called them hump days as we were getting ready for the Saints. Then we pulled it back a little as the game got closer. We lost to the Saints 23-13, but we did a lot of things right in terms of playing with good effort and getting after it.

I thought I hustled to the ball and played well. Now, the coaches will grade us and break things down. Overall, it was cool for me playing in the Superdome for the first time -- or at least the first time against an NFL team. We beat Florida in the Sugar Bowl there in my freshman year.

It was good to go up against a top running back like Deuce McAllister. As for the stats (six tackles, four solo), they are what they are. If you play well, the stats will show it. I think I led the team in tackles. That was good for my first NFL experience. It was just really about getting to the ball. Anything that happens after that just happens.

Now, it's time to go back and get ready for Indianapolis next week.