LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) – It’s a big weekend for Bears rookies – with the first minicamp for all 11 draft picks, plenty of undrafted free agents and even some guys on tryouts.
With a roster that has been seriously overhauled by new managing director Ryan Poles, there should be plenty of opportunities for many of them to make an immediate impact.
That’s especially true when it comes to the Bears’ first two picks, both in the second round — cornerback Kyler Gordon and safety Jaquan Brisker.
Some were unhappy with the defense with those first two picks, but the fact is the Bears are seriously thin on corner and safety. The two are already working together to try and speed up their acclimatization to pro play and a new scheme.
“I know we were very big on communication, in that, like me, I see when he’s on his side of the pitch and vice versa, so just having that chemistry – like what do you see, what are your constants , what are your outputs – formations, patterns, receivers that give you different moves – like what do you see?” said Gordon.
“We ended up playing for the Bears, you know, we got drafted in the second round, and you know, just getting him in is also a lot easier – because I can communicate with him about games, and then you can talk to him off the pitch as well,” Brisker said.
Rookie running back Trestan Ebner is also on the practice field for the first time for minicamp.
Ebner had an interesting draft night experience. He apparently had cellphone issues – and the Bears and even his agent were having trouble getting in touch with him.
“My agent is calling, like, your phone’s not working. I’m like, ‘No, I got your call this time.’ He’s like, ‘But I called you three times.’ I’m like, ‘I’m going out,'” Ebner said. And so I’m sitting outside, and my sister ran up to me, and that’s how I knew her phone was working and mine wasn’t working…. She told my agent, she said, ‘They might as well choose me. My phone is working.'”
The Bears opened a rookie minicamp inside the Payton Center.
New coach Matt Eberflus said Eberflus said the offensive linemen stand out in terms of functioning.
And all the towers were well received in the NFL when Bears great Charles “Peanut” Tillman spoke to them Thursday night. It was a cool experience, even for the guys on offense.
“That really got me excited, even though, you know, he was a defensive guy. Just showing, like, even the story here – you know, what are the standards?” said Bears rookie receiver Velus Jones Jr.
“We watched him at U Dub all the time. We always practiced his Peanut punch. And then he walked behind us, like dang! That’s him! That was cool,” Gordon added. “So just hearing what he said – like it was cool to get the information he was talking about.”
“What’s been done here before – the greats of the past – is just outstanding, and bringing these guys back and carrying that message – this fundamental ground that these guys have put in place for this franchise is second to none,” added Coach Eberflus. “And these guys – our new players, young players – have to recognize that, and the message that Tillman had was outstanding the other day – about being a pro, being a Chicago Bear, and what that means. for him, and what that means for the fans, and what that means for the city.”