Jordan Lynch knows he will have to play special teams to make the Bears’ final roster. He knows he’ll have to run the ball and catch it, things he’s done before as a Northern Illinois quarterback. (He had more college rushing yards than either Matt Forte or Ka’Deem Carey).
But what Lynch hasn’t done is pass-protect for a quarterback, and coach Marc Trestman has on more than one occasion stressed the importance of that piece in the running-back job description.
“A running back is really part of the offensive line, part of the protection package, so it’s critically important to the success of an offense, that a quarterback has got to feel comfortable with the guy standing next to him and behind him,” Trestman said. “If he doesn’t feel good about that guy being able to pass-protect, there’s a ripple effect throughout our offensive football team.”
Lynch has spent most of his football career running away from guys with numbers in the 90’s or 50’s. Now he will be tasked with going after them and ensuring that they do not end up atop Lynch’s quarterback.
“He's got the want-to to do it,” Trestman said. “A lot of blocking, pass protection, first you've got to want to do it. It's not an easy task to block these players coming at you with the speed that they're coming. But he knows how to play football and we're going to work real hard to teach him those techniques. I know Skip [Peete, running backs coach] is working very hard at it, and we've taken guys over the years who didn't want to block and didn't have any idea how, to wanting to block and knowing how. He wants to, so we have 50 percent of it done. Now we just got to teach him.”
Part of the “want-to” applies to being teachable. And Lynch, who operated at tailback for Saturday’s practice, is intent on learning the craft.
“It’s just the little things at running back, trying to pick up a blitz, or trying to learn some different protections,” Lynch said Saturday. “That will come to me in a little bit.”