The first day of rookie minicamp is a “welcome to the NFL” moment for every young player. The talent level, even in a rookie session, is better, the play is faster and the expectations are higher.
But some things are very much the same as they’ve always been. For the top of the Bears’ 2013 draft class, Friday’s first practice was back to the very basics, which left the Bears’ top draft picks feeling at home.
“My hand's still on the ground,” said No. 1 pick Kyle Long, who worked at right guard alongside right tackle Jordan Mills, the Bears’ fifth-round pick. “I’m still supposed to block somebody.”
Jon Bostic, the projected middle linebacker of the future, spent his first Bears day in that spot. His task will be to assimilate a defense with subtle differences from the one he played at Florida but some things are exactly the same.
“Football’s football, something I’ve been doing pretty much my whole life, since I was five years old,” Bostic said. “Now it’s a fact of what this team does. Every team has a little different philosophy on how they play and we have to learn their philosophy and how they play.”
[MORE: Bostic signs four-year deal; Long remains only pick unsigned]
The three-day minicamp serves as both an orientation and evaluation period for six draft choices, 10 players with some limited, 10 undrafted rookie free agents and 33 players in for tryouts.
Cornelius Washington was the Bears’ sixth-round pick in this year’s draft, considered a nugget at that point of the draft because of his size and speed for a defensive end. But there is speed and then there is NFL speed, and that was what made the biggest impression on some of the newest Bears on Friday.
“Tempo,” Washington said, shaking his head after the first practice in the weekend rookie minicamp. “The tempo is so much faster. Not that college wasn’t fast but your rest time is so much shorter between reps.”