Erik Walden has fresh perspective following domestic ordeal

Erik Walden has a fresh outlook on the game of football and he says it was the weekend he spent in jail that opened his eyes.

The outside linebacker for the Green Bay Packers spent Thanksgiving weekend locked up following a domestic dispute with his live-in girlfriend. Walden, who was charged with disorderly conduct-domestic dispute, received a deferred judgment and was given 50 hours of community service and counseling.

The Packers brought him back and for this season they have signed him to a one-year contract. But there is competition.

“(Sitting in jail), it's the first time I ever sat down and did some thinking,” Walden told Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “What have I accomplished? Where have I been? You never want anything like that to happen, but at the end of the day, it made me stronger mentally to prepare myself for everything that's going on - the perception and all of that. I'm good now.”

It remains to be seen what kind of fit Walden will have on the defense this season. Nothing is guaranteed and he has to make the team. But if he’s feeling pressure, he didn’t share that.

“Now, man, I feel good. Football is easy now,” Walden told Dunne. “After going through what I went through last year, I look at it totally different. Football ain't hard. This is fun. That's my approach to it.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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