Chicago Bears: Kevin Toliver catches Matt Nagy’s eye early

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 28: Josh Reynolds
BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 28: Josh Reynolds /

One of the Chicago Bears prized UDFA targets, CB Kevin Toliver is already making noise at rookie minicamp

Rookie minicamp is quite obviously the best chance for any rookie to get a chance to shine. Whether it be the first round draft pick or the last UDFA signed, the spotlight will shine solely on the rookies in this practices, as coaches watch to see who is picking up the playbook fast, and who is standing out from their peers.

From there, the team will introduce veterans into the next round of practices, and the coaches will get a chance to see the adjustment from these rookies as the talent level rises.

One player that fans have had their eyes on from the minute he signed is Kevin Toliver. Toliver was a highly recruited LSU cornerback and a sleeper for some to make the Bears roster. Of course, without a strong rookie minicamp, he would not have the teams attention by the time the Bears injected the veterans.

Fortunately for Toliver, he knows this is his chance to create a spotlight, and so far in rookie minicamps, he has been able to catch the eye of head coach Matt Nagy.

Matt Nagy said after practice:

"“[Toliver] made some nice plays. Here’s a kid that’s very talented. And you can see he has good size. For him, it’s going to be a matter of understanding what we’re looking for in him and knowing it’s a great opportunity with us on this team. But again, you’ve got to earn it and you’ve got to come in and make plays. When you make plays like he did today, it does nothing but helps him.”"

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You can pretty much sense the tone from Nagy’s quote, and it comes off similarly to what most would assume when dealing with a player of Toliver’s talent level. Nagy can see the talent the way I can, you can and Kevin Toliver can.

However, keywords like “understand what we are looking for in him”, “know its a great opportunity” “you have to earn it”. He knows why Toliver went undrafted and knows that praising a player with his caliber one day into this thing is not going to get the most out of him.

Toliver missed time in school with a knee and shoulder injury. From there, he fell out of the coaches favor and began to lose playing time last season. Motivation and understanding are quite possibly two of the most important aspects for Toliver to lock down before the Bears can give him a chance.

So while it is a good start for Kevin Toliver, and any time Matt Nagy says his name in that light it is a good thing, this is just the start. Now, we will be looking for the coaches confidence in Toliver to grow. Can he bounce off of a strong day and form a strong week? Can he make the leap when veterans are introduced, and of course, can he stay composed off of the field? It is way too early to tell, but so far, so good.