Falcons rookie Robert Alford has provided a weekly diary for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this season.

The Hammond, La., native, who played at Southeastern Louisiana, is set to close out the season with his fourth start at left cornerback. This week, he’s getting ready to face quarterback Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers at the Georgia Dome. In the previous meeting with the Panthers, Alford had two tackles, a pass defensed and a spectacular interception.

Here’s his latest installment, as told to D. Orlando Ledbetter.

I think that I handled things good this year. As far as the future, I’m just looking to improve. So far, my rookie season has been going well.

Coming into the season, the biggest challenge for me coming from smaller school was just the speed. I think I was able to adjust to that very well, and I’ve been playing ever since.

Just being around the teammates and play the game that I love and that’s football.

Cam Newton is a very talented kid. He can run, and he can throw. He has all of the tools to be a great quarterback. Also, he makes everyone around him even better. I think, just for us, as a secondary and as a defense, we have go out there and execute and focus on ourselves.

I feel good about myself. I think I’ve put a spark out there for the years to come. That’s something that I’m trying to bring to this team. Interceptions and another cornerback that can shut down one side of the field. I think we’ve got good cornerbacks. I think that Desmond (Trufant) and I can do that for the Falcons in the future.

Coach Lewis has really taught me a lot this year. Coming from Southeastern, there were some things that I didn’t know that he taught me this year, and I think it really helped me out.