Jordan Mills is learning fast as a rookie on the Bears’ offensive line.
Mills, who lined up as the first-team right tackle for the second consecutive practice Monday, struggled against veteran defensive end Corey Wootton during team drills. Yet the 6-foot-5, 316-pound rookie fifth-round draft pick from Louisiana Tech maintained a positive outlook after practice.
“They’ve been a top five offense in the league for the longest [time] for a reason,” Mills said. “Me being a rookie, I have a lot to learn. I’m getting my technique down. Going against them is good work, but it’s also helping me learn more.”
Expect to see Mills and guard Kyle Long line up with the first-team offensive line again Tuesday, which will mark the final practice of training camp at Olivet Nazarene University. Coach Marc Trestman said he was impressed with the rookies, both of whom have lined up on the right side of the line.
“I thought they did very well,” said Trestman, who inserted Mills into the starting five after a rocky preseason opener by J’Marcus Webb at right tackle. “They made mistakes just like everybody made mistakes today, and as I said to Kyle and Jordan, ‘I’m not concerned about the mistakes, I’m more concerned about the next play after the mistakes right now.’
“And they recaptured their poise. They went back in there and they did a lot of good tings against a really dynamic front today.”
Meanwhile, Wootton impressed first-year defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. Wootton was sidelined last week because of a calf injury but returned to full participation in practice and looked strong heading into the final practice of camp.
Tucker said he spoke with Wootton during lunch Sunday about his goals.
“His expectations for himself are as high as they can be,” Tucker said. “He expects to be a special player. And there’s no expectations that we can put on him that will be higher than what he wants for himself.
“He really wants to be a special player, and so this is the time to develop, so one day at a time, one rep at a time. And that’s what we’re working to do. And then, we’ll see. Only time will tell, but he’s going to put the work in, it’s real important to him, and we need him to be a good player.”