Monday marked the first time 2015 first-round pick Kevin White stepped onto the practice field as more than a viewer, but Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace is already pleased with the rookie.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson, Pace said as far as mental preparation goes, White has exceeded expectations.
“Mentally he’s really sharp. He’s probably exceeded our expectations there. But there is an element where he needs to get the timing with our quarterbacks. But from a mental rep and classroom standpoint, he’s been all good.”
White had been sidelined due to a shin injury, a development that led Bears coach John Fox to say he wouldn’t rush the West Virginia product onto the practice field.
Now that White is healthy enough to play, he must establish a rapport with quarterback Jay Cutler, which includes the timing of breaks in routes, ball arrival and ball placement. Additionally, White must prove he deserves a starting spot on the outside, subsequently sending Eddie Royal into the slot—his ideal location anyway.
Chicago will likely struggle during the 2015 season because of a shaky defense, but the offense is talented enough to keep games competitive.
White—along with running back Matt Forte and receiver Alshon Jeffery—is a significant part of making sure the Bears consistently sustain drives, and a debut on the practice field is a notable, important step.
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