Adaptability the key as Bears open camp
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- The Chicago Bears touted their rookie class for its versatility. They showed it off a bit Friday on their first day of rookie minicamp.
Undrafted and drafted players showed an ability to adapt, even to Chicago's fickle weather. Running back selection Ka'Deem Carey from Arizona took one look at the brief mid-May snowstorm, saw the team headed inside the Walter Payton Center and couldn't have been happier.
''I was like, 'Yes, we're not outside in that cold,''' Carey said, calling it shocking. ''Nobody was telling me it was going to be snowing out there.''
Probably no Bears rookie had to show more versatility than undrafted free agent Jordan Lynch, the rugged former Northern Illinois quarterback who finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting. The Bears lined Lynch up at running back, he caught a few passes and even played personal protector for the punter on special teams.
''I love football and I'll do whatever it takes to stay in the NFL,'' he said. ''And just, I guess, the toughest thing is some footwork drills playing running back and just trying to pick up on little things with special teams and running back.''
Lynch is more used to throwing passes, but coach Marc Trestman said he ''certainly didn't look out of place.''
''I know he's hungry for information,'' Trestman said. ''He's extremely motivated. He's very smart. And he certainly didn't look out of place by any means today running around out there. It's just the first day, but he didn't seem awkward in any way, running and catching the football in space.''
The Bears touted defensive tackles Will Sutton from Arizona State and Ego Ferguson from LSU for being able to move between the nose tackle and end spots on their line, but in their first practice, it was more a matter of grasping change than showing off a variety of skills.
''We throw a lot at them and then we see what sticks and then we go back over it again,'' defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. ''We gave them a lot of information today.''
Ferguson did get to play a little at both positions.
''I'm doing a little bit of everything right now,'' he said. ''They've got me all over the place so I'm just trying to learn as much as possible.''
Former Minnesota safety Brock Vereen also played cornerback in college, but lined up only at free safety Friday. He didn't mind saying it was a whirlwind and he was trying to take it all in.
''One of the first things our coaches said is, 'You're going to make a mistake, but make it fast,''' he said. ''I'm just trying to show my speed and, hopefully, that I can pick up the concepts quick.''
One of the players with a little more to prove is undrafted free agent Christian Jones from Florida State. He was among a handful who reportedly failed the combine drug test. The Bears are trying him as a strong side linebacker.
''Those are things as we get to know him a little bit better we'll talk to him, make sure we're doing everything we can to provide him a place where he can focus on football and do the things necessary to become the best pro he can be,'' Trestman said. ''And we kind of leave it at that.''