4 stories to watch at Bears’ rookie camp
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org May 8, 2013 9:14PM
Army v Rutgers
Updated: May 9, 2013 6:59PM
Bears linebacker Khaseem Greene recited his travel arrangements from memory. That’s how excited he is for the Bears’ rookie minicamp.
“I get there a little bit into the afternoon,” said Greene, a fourth-round pick from Rutgers. “It’s definitely exciting. I’m ready to just get with the guys and start working.”
Greene, the rest of the Bears’ 2013 draft class and the team’s rookie free agents will report to Halas Hall on Thursday, with on-field work beginning Friday.
“I can’t wait to get up there, just get started and get back to football,” said linebacker Jon Bostic, a second-round pick from Florida. “We’ve been in this whole process of getting ready for the combine and flying around [to visit] other teams. Now it’s time to really get back to football and get back on the field.”
Here are four story lines for the three-day camp:
The two LBs
The Bears brought in Bostic and Greene for visits before the draft, but now the team gets a hands-on look. Linebacker is a position in flux for the Bears, who didn’t draft a linebacker in 2012. Bostic and Greene have been praised for their versatility and pass coverage.
A lot of attention will be paid to Bostic, who will focus on middle linebacker first in the wake of Brian Urlacher’s departure. Bostic said he has talked to former Florida teammates who just finished their rookie minicamps.
“They said it’s pretty much the same as what we did at Florida, but I’m excited to get up there and really just get to work,” Bostic said.
The Long story
First-round pick Kyle Long’s offseason training with the Bears will be limited by an NFL rule that prohibits rookies from participating in organized team activities until after their final exams. Oregon’s finals are after the Bears’ OTAs conclude June 6.
But Long will be at minicamp. With very limited experience at guard, Long might get a three-day crash course with offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer.
Getting a chance to work with longtime NFL offensive line coach Tony Wise has helped Long. Wise served as a personal instructor.
“He’s great. He’s old school. No B.S.,” Long said recently. “He was quick to point out the fact that I was very raw. But I made strides from a football standpoint with him.”
Defensive end Cornelius Washington and wide receiver Marquess Wilson were projected to go higher than the sixth and seventh rounds, respectively.
Wilson, in particular, will be under the watchful eyes of general manager Phil Emery and Co. He walked out on Washington State last season.
The Bears signed 10 undrafted rookies. Center P.J. Lonergan, a three-year starter at LSU, and defensive tackle Zach Minter, a Montana State product who stood out at the super regional combine in Dallas, are two to watch at positions of need.
“I’m very hungry,” said Minter, who has family in Arlington Heights. “I like being in the position of where I’m at the bottom and I have to prove myself and just turn some heads.”
But there also is expected to be a number of players in camp on a tryout basis. Last year, more than 30 players tried out at minicamp, including quarterback Matt Blanchard, who is still with the Bears.