Rookie safety Brock Vereen finds himself in starting spot
BY STEPHANIE STREMPLEWSKI Staff Reporter June 11, 2014 9:32PM
On his ninth day of organized team activities, Bears safety Brock Vereen is transitioning well, feels confident and wants to improve.
He’s also starting.
On Wednesday, Vereen took all of the first-team snaps alongside Ryan Mundy, another offseason addition.
Chris Conte and Craig Steltz are recovering from injuries, and Vereen said it wasn’t the first time he has taken first-team reps.
“We have a rotation going,” he said. “And there’s about four or five of us. And when I have the opportunity to do reps with them, I just try to take full advantage of it.”
The fourth-round pick is doing all he can to prove to his coaches that he belongs.
“I would hope that effort is the thing that jumps out,” he said. “I’m gonna work hard, and if I make a mistake, it’s gonna be at full speed.”
Vereen, who played safety and cornerback in college at Minnesota, said being able to focus on one position has helped ease the transition to the pros.
“It’s definitely easier, as far as going through the playbook, just focusing on one spot instead of two or three,” he said. “So, hopefully, that will show on the field.
“We had a complex system in college and being able to play two spots has helped me understand the game from a more detailed perspective.”
Ready to go
Cornerback Kelvin Hayden doesn’t mind being the veteran insurance policy behind rookie Kyle Fuller. He’s just happy for another chance with the Bears after tearing his left hamstring last training camp.
“No aches and pains,” said Hayden, who has worked with the first- and second-team defense during OTAs. “I’m pain-free.”
Hayden was able to rehab at Halas Hall throughout last season.
“From Day 1, I attacked this like no other,” Hayden said. “[The Bears have] seen my progress as far as before the season ended. I was running full speed and things like that, so maybe they thought I still had something left.
“I’m thankful for what they did, but in the same breath, it goes to my work ethic as well.”
Contributing: Adam Jahns