Rookie Roundup: Bears newcomers impress in NFL debut

Rookie Roundup: Bears newcomers impress in NFL debut
August 9, 2014, 12:45 am
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Scott Krinch

Friday night was the first chance for the Bears coaching staff to see what kind of progress the team's 2014 rookie class has made since the start of training camp. 

Kyle Fuller

The Bears first-round selection finished with three tackles. The highlight of Fuller's night came in the first half when he used his physicality to force a pass break-up on Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews. After getting beat on the play, the Bears rookie corner adjusted while the ball was in the air and got his hand in just in time to force the incompletion.

"You just have to be poised and play football," Fuller said. "I think it was a good first game but there are still a lot of things to learn from."

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Fuller is expected to see playing time opposite Charles Tillman on the outside with Tim Jennings moving inside on nickel coverage during the regular-season.

Ego Ferguson

The Bears' second-round defensive tackle was credited with two tackles against the Eagles. The former LSU Tiger looked over-matched at times, but that's expected from a rookie getting his first taste of the NFL.

The Bears are looking for more consistency out of Ferguson as the preseason continues, something they have yet to see from veteran defensive tackle Stephen Paea.

Will Sutton

The two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year wasn't credited with any tackles in his NFL debut, but recorded a quarterback hit on Mark Sanchez. Like Ferguson, Sutton struggled at times in the opener. The former ASU defensive tackle had trouble disengaging from his blocks and couldn't get much push on the line.

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"I just went out there and did what I was supposed to do, and tried to play with technique and fundamentals," Sutton told

Ka'Deem Carey

Carey earned the most carries of any running back on the Bears roster on Friday night. However, he was only able to register 23 yards on 10 carries with his longest run being seven yards.

Carey can't be fully blamed for the poor stat line. He was running behind third-string members of the offensive line, and the Bears only compiled 92 rushing yards on the evening.

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However, one area the rookie shone was in his pass blocking. Carey constantly kept defenders at bay, which allowed passing lanes for both Jordan Palmer and Jimmy Clausen. This bodes well for Carey considering the Bears coaching staff has made it imperative that their running backs possess the ability to block.

Brock Vereen

The former University of Minnesota safety finished second on Chicago with five tackles. Vereen began training camp running with the first team at free safety, alongside strong safety Ryan Mundy, but last week Vereen was replaced by Danny McCray in the starting lineup.

"Facing the offense that we face each day in practice, we definitely felt prepared [for the Eagles]," Vereen said. "I think every rookie at the end of the day just wants to prove that they deserve to be out there and I'm still in the process of that."

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Vereen appears to be the future for the Bears at free safety, but he will still have to beat out the returning Chris Conte and the aforementioned McCray for a starting job this season.

David Fales

The sixth-round pick out of San Jose State hasn't seen many reps in training camp, but has a real chance to make the team as the third quarterback.

Fales entered Friday's game at the beginning of the fourth quarter. He connected with Josh Bellamy for a 41-yard pass on his first NFL throw. Despite a good start to the drive, Fales was picked off by Eagles corner Jaylen Watkins.

Fales would bounce back to lead the Bears on a 16-play, 73-yard clock-chewing drive that resulted in a Robbie Gould 25-yard field goal. Fales finished the evening 5-of-7 for 68 yards, one interception and a 62.6 passer rating.

Pat O'Donnell

MEGA-PUNT. The Bears' sixth-round pick was nicknamed "Mega-punt" during training camp for his booming, 70-yard punts.

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That wasn't the case for O'Donnell in his Soldier Field debut. His two punts went for an average of 43.5 yards, with a long of 47.

Charles Leno Jr.

It's hard to get a feel for a rookie offensive lineman's performance during a preseason fourth quarter, but the Boise State product held his own and was on the field late in the contest when the Bears picked up a majority of their rushing yards.

Other notable rookies

Heisman Trophy finalist and Chicago native Jordan Lynch finished with a team-high 24 rushing yards on seven carries. Lynch had his hometown crowd roaring after he lowered the boom and sent Eagles safety Keelan Johnson to the ground on a punishing 12-yard run.

Former CFL standout Chris Williams, who is competing for a roster spot at wide receiver on the Bears, wowed the Soldier Field crowd with a 73-yard touchdown reception. However, Williams would leave the game after injuring himself on the play.

Former Oklahoma Sooners cornerback Demontre Hurst had a team-high eight tackles, including a tackle for a loss and a pass defended.