Jordan Lynch wants to make Bears as RB or special-teamer
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter May 16, 2014 8:54PM
Updated: June 18, 2014 6:17AM
Jordan Lynch threw the football around before the first day of rookie minicamp, but only while he and the other running backs were getting loose. It didn’t happen again.
When the Bears neared the conclusion of practice Friday at the Walter Payton Center, Lynch jogged past a waiting throng of reporters to a field outside.
He had to work on special-teams drills in the cold.
Lynch was the most popular player in the Bears’ 66-player minicamp, and with good reason — the Mount Carmel alum and Northern Illinois Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback is playing for his hometown team.
But Lynch’s reality is far more blue-collar.
To his credit, he knows it.
“It would be a dream come true,” he said. “Being from Chicago and making the 53-man roster or, if it comes down to it, even the practice squad.”
Coach Marc Trestman praised Lynch after practice.
“He certainly didn’t look out of place by any means today, running around out there,” Trestman said. “It’s just the first day, but he didn’t seem awkward in any way, running and catching the football in space. . . .
“We’ve got a long way to go, but it was a good start.”
Lynch, who threw for 6,030 yards and 49 touchdowns in his two seasons as the Huskies’ starter, said the Packers were interested in him as a passer but “kind of started to shy away a little bit late.”
He worked out as a quarterback at the Bears’ local pro day last month, but the team was more impressed with his running acumen than his passing accuracy.
Trestman was hesitant to open the door for Lynch to pass in special formations.
“His best opportunity is not at the quarterback position today,” Trestman said. “Although I thought he had a very sufficient workout when he came in.”
Lynch’s competition at running back is stiff: Fourth-round pick Ka’Deem Carey is the favorite to back up Matt Forte, and Michael Ford appeared in 12 games as a rookie special-teamer. Free-agent signee Shaun Draughn has more pro experience than Carey, Ford and Lynch combined.
The difference between Lynch and other quarterbacks asked to switch positions might be his attitude.
“I’m a football player — I love football,” he said. “And I’ll do whatever it takes to stay in the NFL.”
Lynch had participated in some running-back drills while at NIU — where he ran for 3,735 yards and 42 scores as the starting quarterback — but Friday was different.
“Quarterback is all mental in practice,” Lynch said. “Now I’ve got to turn on the physical side in practice and do special teams and always be on the go.
“You know, staying in shape is going to be key.”
He has the mental side down.
Lynch stayed up late Thursday, studying the playbook and using his film-room experience as a quarterback to absorb formations and plays.
“He wants to know what we’re going to do tomorrow, yesterday — and he wants to know what we’re going to do three days from now, today,” Trestman said. “So he’s hungry to learn.
“He’s extremely motivated. He’s very smart.”
Smart enough to know where his NFL future lies.
“A lot of guys play special teams early,” he said. “That’s how you make the team, that’s how you get on the team.
“And that could be my calling [card] — playing special teams and really moving up on the depth chart.”