The Bears will put their rookies and select returning players through the paces as they host their first minicamp this weekend in Lake Forest. It’s a chance to see how well Phil Emery did in his first draft. It’s a chance to see how well Shea McClellin gets off the line with his hand in the dirt. It’s a chance to see how much Alshon Jeffery weighs and if any of their other picks are worth a damn.
Matt Bowen has been killing it lately both in the Chicago Tribune and National Football post, really giving some great advice to rookies. There’s some mandatory reading for the rookies. First, from the Tribune earlier this week:
You’re not on scholarship anymore.
That’s the advice I would give to Shea McClellin, Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Hardin and the rest of the Bears draft class. No more draft hype, high-fives or news conferences.
Try not to get lost on your way to Halas Hall, don’t bother the veterans and get ready for your first test in minicamp.
The goal is to get noticed this weekend. Do something. Anything. Give the coaches a reason to talk about you in the staff meeting after dinner.
Play under control, stay off the ground and don’t be caught bent over at the knees, sucking air after four plays.
I could literally pull the entire article into this post; it’s OUTSTANDING insight from a Bowen. Do yourself a favor and GO READ THE WHOLE THING.
The other piece from Bowen is in the National Football Post and this article should get printed and posted in the Wide Receivers room, and not just for Alshon Jeffery but for Devin Hester, Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox to read too.
For rookie WRs, it can be a struggle to transition to the NFL game. Gone are the basic zone looks, free releases off the line of scrimmage and CBs that play with a soft cushion to avoid giving up the deep ball. And when I look at receivers coming into the league, there are two techniques that need to be developed: route running and the ability to defeat press coverage.
Bowen goes on to outline the two important techniques that wide receivers must master as they transition from college to the Pros – route running and defeating press coverage. Again, it’s a really outstanding piece and everyone who intends to catch a pass for the Chicago Bears should memorize this article.
We won’t know too much more about these rookies when next Monday rolls around, but it will give these rookies a chance to get to know themselves and start to understand the speed of the game. It will start to prepare them to compete with the veterans and really see how they measure up.