Rare feat: Bears could start a second rookie tandem for ‘13

Rare feat: Bears could start a second rookie tandem for ‘13
October 29, 2013, 11:15 am
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The Bears opened this season with two rookies starting on the offensive line. Kyle Long and Jordan Mills have quelled concerns about two babes starting in that group, let alone side by side.

If Khaseem Greene sufficiently impresses coaches this week that he deserves to be the next man up at linebacker, taking Lance Briggs’ spot with the No. 1 defense, the Bears will then have begun a game with two rookie linebackers as well, meaning that all four of Phil Emery’s top four 2013 draft picks could be starting against the Green Bay Packers.

It may be a franchise first. Preliminary research failed to turn up a previous instance of two rookie linebackers starting together for the Bears. Warrick Holdman started as a rookie in 1999 but draft classmate Rosevelt Colvin did not start until 2000 (when he beat out Brian Urlacher at strong-side in preseason). Briggs started as a rookie in 2003 and Hunter Hillenmeyer played but didn’t start until 2004.

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Jonathan Bostic showed no signs of intimidation when he made his first start at middle linebacker on the road, in Washington.

“You learn something every time out,” said Bostic, who was thrust into the role of relaying defensive signals to the huddle and may have that job against the Packers. “I’m comfortable with what I have to do and what I don’t.”

Greene, who like Bostic played exclusively on special teams once the 2013 regular season started, got one snap in Washington and it was enough to confirm the dream, even if he did draw a personal-foul penalty for his efforts.

“I’ve only played one snap of defense this year and just having an opportunity to maybe get out there and be a starter and play way more snaps is enough in itself to be fired up,” Greene said. “But I’ve just got to stay calm, trust the defense and trust the scheme and then also build some confidence in my teammates so they know that I can actually go out there and compete if I’m the guy.”