Tim Jennings getting acclimated at nickel back
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter June 19, 2014 10:18PM
Updated: July 21, 2014 4:09PM
After defensive coordinator Mel Tucker spoke of blitzing, his new nickel back, Tim Jennings, joked Thursday that he’d spend the next five weeks before training camp honing his sack dance.
The transition to nickel back, though, has been more complicated than Jennings — who’ll play cornerback in the base package — anticipated.
“I thought it would be a little quicker transition,” Jennings said after the last of the Bears’ three mandatory minicamp practices at the Walter Payton Center.
“It took me a little while, but now it’s starting to smoothen out for me.”
He said everything about nickel back — from where to look and what keys to read — is a lot different than cornerback.
“You’re in the mix of things,” he said, “so now you have to see the whole field.”
He called the position a new experience, having played nickel in college and sparingly with the Colts.
Rookie Kyle Fuller figures to play cornerback when Jennings shifts inside on passing downs.
“It’s the same concept, but it’s been so long,” Jennings said. “So I have to get back in the groove of things.”
Jennings has the traits and “wants to be an excellent nickel,” Tucker said.
Tucker flirted openly with blitzing the nickel back — “We look for mismatches,” he said — and Jennings said he would oblige.
He has been working with development coach Joe Kim, a martial-arts expert, on pass-rush moves.
“Some of the things he teaches you,” Jennings said, “you can’t wait to use them.”