LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Head coach John Fox got his first look at the Bears rookie class Friday with 64 players vying for a handful of roster spots.
The common thread for Halas Hall’s newest faces – a noticeable increase in tempo.
“Just the speed of the game at this level,” noted Cody Whitehair, the Bears 2nd-round draft out of Kansas State.
“Much faster than I thought the pace was going to be,” remarked rookie running back Jordan Howard.
That’s exactly what the Bears coaching staff is looking for – who can keep up the big boys in the NFL.
“We’re looking for consistency. We’re looking for guys who understand what it means to be a Bear, to understand the expectations that Coach Fox has set for this football team” explained new Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. “You’re going to get a lot of reps and you wouldn’t get these if the vets were here. We also find out how fast you learn.”
“Obviously these guys come from all different places, where there are high picks, low picks, not picked,” said Fox. “They understand they get an opportunity. They had one of those chairs in the room last night. They’re being evaluated. Albeit a short time to catch the coaches’ eyes, they have that opportunity.”
One rookie that has stood out since the combine – offensive lineman Cody Whitehair.
The coaching staff says he’s tough, has high character and is just the kind of player they want.
Whitehair thinks the hard-nosed work ethic that got him to the NFL is a direct result of his time growing up on a farm.
“I threw a lot of hay bales,” explained Whitehair. “Once I went to college I didn’t quite get to do it as much, but when I was in high school I was always out there at six in the morning until you know if we had a truck driver coming in at eleven o’clock at night – I had to be that guy to help.”