Undrafted Kyle Adams’ versatility not lost on Lovie Smith
BY SEAN JENSEN email@example.com August 19, 2011 7:52PM
The Bears’ Andre Smith (left) works with Kyle Adams during training camp. | AP file photo
Updated: November 16, 2011 1:25AM
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Without offseason workouts and minicamps, Bears coach Lovie Smith struggled early on to get a read on his 90-man roster, especially the 25-plus undrafted rookies.
But former Purdue tight end Kyle Adams didn’t waste any time making an impression at the start of training camp.
“It was fairly quick,” Smith said. “Then every day, more and more.”
Adams is slated to participate in all four phases of the special teams Monday night against the New York Giants, and he’s also been given some snaps at fullback. That’s a strong indication of the team’s interest in him, since it’s not a given that a pure fullback will make the final 53-man roster.
“We talk about the more you can do,” Smith said. “It’s not just lip [service] with us. In all those areas we look for, he can do, and he’s done well.”
So how does Adams feel about his chance to shine Monday at the New Meadowlands?
“I’m stoked,” he said. “That’s just an incredible opportunity.
“First and foremost, I’ve been blessed,” he added. “It’s a great organization, and they’ve given everyone a shot.
“I just try to keep my head down, work hard, and let God take care of the rest.”
Although he grew up in Austin, Texas, where he played at football powerhouse Westlake High, Adams’ parents were athletes at Purdue, where he initially was behind New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller on the depth chart.
But he stood out his junior and senior seasons, being named a co-captain and steadily improving his production.
While he wasn’t drafted, Adams signed with Chicago-based agency BTI Sports Advisors, which fielded calls from a number of teams.
But agent Brad Leshnock said the Bears were the top choice.
“They have a coaching staff and a scouting staff that clearly demonstrated to me and Kyle that they had a plan for him,” said Leshnock, who also represents Bears undrafted rookie receiver Dane Sanzenbacher. “They knew [Adams] as a player, and how they were going to use him.
“When you’re an undrafted guy, that’s huge.”
Adams (6-4, 255 pounds) considers himself a well-rounded tight end, but he did need to brush up on his special-teams play, since seniors don’t traditionally do that at Purdue.
He’s proud that he received his team’s “Pit Bull Award” for exemplifying “tenacity and intense play.”
Webb leaves practice
On one of the hotter days of training camp, with temperatures in the 90s, Bears starting left tackle J’Marcus Webb had to be carted off due to the heat.
Smith indicated it was a precautionary move, and Webb is expected to start against the Giants. Veteran Frank Omiyale filled in for Webb.
“It felt good being with the older guys, and just letting them know I’m here for them,” Omiyale said. “I may have to step in and not cause any mishaps, so it did feel good.”
On Friday, though, the Bears offensive line appeared to struggle, especially during the 2-on-1 blocking session. Webb was soundly beaten on consecutive plays by defensive end Julius Peppers, while several linemates also had some issues.
Linebacker Brian Urlacher and receiver Devin Hester practiced Friday, while tight end Desmond Clark, linebacker Lance Briggs, defensive tackle Anthony Adams and cornerback Zack Bowman did not.
◆ Defensive end Corey Wootton, who had a scope on his right knee Tuesday, hopes to be able to return in about four weeks.
◆ Receiver Roy Williams has been in Bourbonnais for all of training camp, but he’s still a little shaky on a few things.
“I can’t even pronounce this city,” he said. “But it’s a great city. Is it a city or a town? Village? Oh yea, Village of Bradley, I saw that sign.
“Yea, I’ll miss it,” he said, pretending to sniffle.