The Bears don’t expect Jon Bostic to be the next Brian Urlacher. But when the Bears used their second-round draft choice on the Florida middle linebacker, it signaled a look to the future at a signature position for an NFL charter franchise.
In his first on-field time with the Bears, Bostic did not disappoint.
During the weekend’s rookie minicamp, Bostic worked exclusively at middle linebacker in addition to the requisite time on special teams with virtually all the rookies.
“He’s a smart guy, take-control guy,” said defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. “He’s very comfortable making the calls and controlling the huddle. Those are all positives. Height, weight and speed are there. He’s instinctive, he has command of the defense, he’s vocal, can run, can change direction, and he showed he was physical on tape.”
Bostic directed the defense effectively in sessions with coordinator Mel Tucker setting an active tempo that more than matched that of the offense.
“Coach just wanted to get the tempo going, show us how to practice,” Bostic said. “But football is football. It all really goes the same, maybe a different name, different way you play something. We ran more Cover-3, Cover-1 at Florida and here we play more Cover-2 so it’s a little of an adjustment for me.”
The only disappointment with Bostic was numerical. He switched to No. 1 while at Florida but this is the NFL and No. 1’s don’t show up on linebackers. “I knew that was out of the question,” he said, laughing. “If it was, I would’ve taken it.”
The Bears invested a second draft choice, their fourth-rounder, in Khaseem Greene, a converted college safety who bulked up and became the Big East defensive player of the year as a weakside linebacker for Rutgers. Greene appeared to have kept bulking up a little more than typical Bears linebackers but his quickness and versatility impressed.
“Real smart player that emphasizes takeaways,” said defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. “He’s very instinctive. And both [Greene and Bostic] can play multiple positions, and that’s what we look for in our linebackers, who can do more than one thing.”