What stood out on Day 1 of Bears rookie minicamp originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
LAKE FOREST – Matt Eberflus and the Bears’ staff got their first look at the team’s 11 draft picks Friday when rookie minicamp started at Halas Hall.
Those 11 draft picks were part of a 69-player group that includes 16 undrafted free agents the Bears signed Friday.
Rookie minicamps are typically sloppy and scattered, especially on Day 1. Eberflus and the Bears are focusing their evaluation of the group on their ability to absorb and retain information given to them in a short period of time.
“The rookies are really we’re just throwing things at them in terms of what the simplicity of what the installs are going to be,” Eberflus said after practice Friday. “For us, it’s more about can you function as a pro, mentally first. Can you get it? Can you get the schemes and then get the formations, the motions down, and then can you operate and make the play?
“Then, can you listen to instructions? Can you practice the right way? You have to practice at the right tempo and do things the right way. That’s really what we’re looking for from each rookie at this time. ”
Here’s what stood out on Day 1 of rookie minicamp.
-Second-round draft pick Kyler Gordon came up limping after trying to defend a pass over the middle during an 11-on-11 period. Gordon returned for one rep later on before missing the remainder of the 11-on-11 and seven-on-seven work. Eberflus told reporters that Gordon just had cramps and that the Bears expect him to participate Saturday.
“He had a couple cramps. We’ll just get him hydrated and get him ready for tomorrow, ”Eberflus said.
– Eberflus brought in former Bears cornerback Charles Tillman to speak with the team earlier this week. Tillman’s presence rubbed off on the rookies as the defense forced several fumbles Friday, including defensive end Charles Snowden stripping sixth-round pick Trestan Ebner on the first play of the 11-on-11 period.
– Undrafted free agents DeMario McCall, Kevin Shaa, Master Teague, and Allie Green IV had moments during their first practices.
Shaa, a wide receiver out of Liberty, made a sensational catch down the right sideline. McCall, a cornerback from Ohio State, nabbed an interception and returned it for what would have been a touchdown. Green, a corner from Missouri, displayed solid coverage at the outside corner opposite Gordon in 11-on-11s. Teague, a running back from Ohio State, is a big, powerful back who ran hard Friday and showed the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
-Eberflus praised third-round pick Velus Jones Jr. for his work on Day 1 of rookie minicamp and is excited about offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s plan for the versatile offensive weapon.
“Velus did a great job. He was, as we expected, high energy, caught the ball very well, ”Eberflus said. “He played inside, outside. He was all over the place in terms of that. I think he functioned pretty good. Excited to see that athlete on the field.
“I was talking to Luke the other day about [Jones’] special attributes, ”Eberflus said later. “He’s got a big plan for him. He’s got to look at his skill set, and then we will expand that role. Let’s start out at receiver, and then let’s see what he can do moving him around and getting him the ball because he is an explosive athlete. ”
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