Jordan Lynch was the quarterback and centerpiece of the Northern Illinois offense for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Now the No. 3 finisher in Heisman Trophy voting is in the unfamiliar position of competing for a roster spot at an unfamiliar position — running back, plus kick coverage on special teams.
And he can find himself in something of a support role even for fellow rookies, as when snow showed up for a morning during rookie minicamp.
“We woke up, and I’m rooming with Ka’Deem Carey, and he comes from Arizona where it's 80s there,” Lynch said. “I don’t think he ever saw snow before and he had two sweatshirts on coming out and it wasn’t that bad [that] morning.”
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Carey, the Bears’ first of two 2014 fourth-round picks, is expected to emerge as Matt Forte’s understudy. Lynch would be a franchise surprise if he leapfrogged Carey on the depth chart, although he did rush for 104 more collegiate career yards than Carey and ran for more yards than he threw for in his first two NIU seasons backing up Chandler Harnish.
But while they now play the same position, Lynch’s focus needs to be equally on special teams.
The switch to running back full time, a condition of the Bears bringing him in as an undrafted free agent, “wasn’t tough at all,” Lynch said. I’m a football player.
“I love football, and I’ll do whatever it takes to stay in the NFL, 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….
“I spent a lot if time in the film room in past years, and I feel like that work ethic is going to carry over to running back and always watching film and try to pick up on little things.”