LAKE FOREST — The Bears moved practice outdoors Saturday, their second of three nearly two-hour sessions this weekend with 66 rookies and first-year players on hand.
Former NIU QB Jordan Lynch has impressed as a tailback but ventured further outside of his comfort zone Saturday, working on kickoff teams – as well as fielding punts after practice.
He can’t recall the last time he was asked to try and tackle someone – and that won’t happen this weekend – but Lynch stressed the importance of learning the fundamentals.
“I’m taking individual drills really serious, just trying to learn the technique and the proper way to hit,” he said.
Lynch acknowledged one of the few things in his control is his effort.
“I’m trying to hustle – never walking,” he said. Always trying to be the first one doing everything, and I feel like that is one way I can stand out.”
In his quest to earn a spot in the running back stable, Lynch will have to prove he can block as well as play special teams. A lot of that comes with willingness – something Marc Trestman has little doubt Lynch possesses.
Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer talked about the suddenness needed as a blocker and overall run instincts required for the position. “When you see a guy that’s a natural runner and has some violence or some suddenness — when I say violence, I mean suddenness,” Kromer said, “he’s quick from stop to start. That guy can usually learn to pass protect very well.
“Lynch out here so far has played tailback the entire time and is showing that he has instincts running. You could see he had instincts on tape running the football. … But he has natural vision and good feet. He’ll just have to adapt and adjust to getting the ball in a different area.”
A few other observations from Saturday at Bears rookie minicamp:
• After spending his first season with the Bears as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, Kromer is now strictly the offensive coordinator. He said it’s nice to have a broader focus, but new offensive line coach Pat Meyer is really the one who received a promotion.
“Sometimes an offensive line coach can get pigeon-holed into just doing that job. I’ve made it a point throughout the years to make sure I didn’t. Although the title changed, I was already working in some of that capacity. It’s more of a promotion for Pat than anything.”
• Kromer is excited about returning the same five starters along the offensive line and building continuity, something the unit has sorely lacked in recent seasons. That means Jordan Mills, at least initially, won't face competition at right tackle. Additionally, Roberto Garza will be backed up by free-agent acquisition Brian de da Puente.
“We feel good about our positions where we are right now with our starting line,” he said. “But at no time is anyone granted the position or they walk in and say, ‘This is my position until the end of time.’ If they start playing poorly, they’ll be replaced by someone that’s playing better than them.”
• RB Ka’Deem Carey continued his impressive minicamp, taking a short toss and quickly getting upfield, where he was followed by a hustling Trestman to congratulate him. “ When he sees a hole, he’s able to get north,” said Kromer. “That’s what Ka’Deem Carey can do. He’s a North and South runner. He’s gaining yards and that’s what we like about Ka’Deem, he makes a cut, and he gains yards. That’s what we’re looking for. I m glad, me personally, and I don’t know about the scouts and how they evaluated Ka’Deem, but I’m glad I watched the tape before I found out he ran a 4.7, because I didn’t see a 4.7 on tape.”
• First-year CB Demontre Hurst again was noticeably active on Saturday, intercepting a pass, his second takeaway of the weekend.
• Will Sutton continues to find his way into the backfield, much to the delight of D-line coach Paul Pasqualoni. Sutton and second-round defensive tackle Ego Ferguson were lauded by Trestman for hustling downfield as well.
• In addition to the media and a select group of fans, Ex-Bears LB Wilber Marshall observed practice on the sidelines.