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Tucker impressed with Bostic, Greene

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 12, 2013 – 8:17 pm

The Bears spent two of their first three picks in this year’s draft on linebackers, selecting Florida’s Jon Bostic in the second round and Rutgers’ Khaseem Greene in the fourth. Since 1991, the only other linebacker they’ve chosen with one of their first three picks was some guy named Urlacher.

It’s still extremely early, but to this point in training camp Bostic and Greene have both impressed first-year defensive coordinator Mel Tucker with their playmaking ability, demeanor and work ethic.

In Friday night’s preseason opener in Carolina, Bostic returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown and Greene tied for the team lead with four tackles and recorded one tackle-for-loss.

With veteran free-agent acquisition D.J. Williams still sidelined due to a calf injury, Bostic continues to line up as the Bears’ starting middle linebacker.

“I like his progress,” Tucker said. “I think he’s gaining confidence in what he’s being asked to do from technique and assignment standpoints, like any new player in a system. But he has very good demeanor. It’s not too big for him. He’s physical, and if he continues to keep his head down, work hard, keep his mouth shut and do what we ask him to do, he’ll gain the respect of his teammates more and more every day.”

Greene played on all four phases of special teams against the Panthers. But his best moment came when he knifed into the backfield and dropped DeAngelo Williams for a two-yard loss on second-and-goal from the 1.

“[Greene] is progressing nicely,” Tucker said. “He’s picking up the scheme. I think he’s more certain about what he’s supposed to do in is alignments because he’s very detail-oriented. He wants to do it right, and so it’s important to him that he executes. He really wants to be on top of it, so he’s put the work in. He’s more at ease and more comfortable at getting aligned; therefore, he can play faster. I think that’s what you saw on the field.”


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Bostic aims to prove himself to vets

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 1, 2013 – 2:55 pm

Learning a new defense and impressing his coaches aren’t Jon Bostic’s only goals in training camp. The rookie linebacker is also trying to show his veteran teammates that he belongs in the NFL.

“I’ve just got to come out and prove myself every day to them,” said the second-round draft pick from Florida. “They’ve been in this league for a long time. So I’ve got to come out here and earn their respect. It’s not going to be given.”

Since D.J. Williams exited Wednesday’s practice with a calf injury, Bostic has been lining up with the first-team defense at middle linebacker. In that role, he has joined a unit that features perennial Pro Bowlers such as Julius Peppers and Lance Briggs he has admired for a long time.

“I really don’t look at it as getting thrown in the fire,” said Bostic, who started all 13 games at middle linebacker for Florida last season. “I’m out there with a lot of guys I’ve pretty much watched on TV the last 10 or 12 years, however long I’ve been watching football.

“To be in there with them, I’ve got to pick it up. I’ve got to go out there and make sure I’m in my playbook off the field so I’m not making any mistakes when I’m out there.”

To help with the assimilation process, Bostic has picked the brains of veteran linebackers Briggs, Williams and James Anderson, a trio that has combined to play 26 NFL seasons.

“You really don’t get too much of a chance to come into a meeting room like that with that many veterans who have played that many years of football,” Bostic said. “Really I’m just trying to learn from them every day. I’m always asking them questions: why we do this, why we do that, why he may have done this in this situation. I’m learning from them.”


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D.J. Williams sustains calf injury

Posted by Larry Mayer on July 31, 2013 – 7:22 pm

Bears coach Marc Trestman said that starting middle linebacker D.J. Williams is “week-to-week” after being carted off the field with a calf injury early in Wednesday’s practice.

“He’s had a very good first week,” Trestman said. “He’s totally locked in, been all business, excited about being here. When these things happen, you just have to move on. I anticipate he’ll be ready to go when the doctors clear him and hopefully that will be sooner than later.”

Williams was replaced on the No. 1 defense by rookie second-round draft pick Jon Bostic. Last season at Florida the 6-1, 245-pounder started all 13 games at middle linebacker, registering 68 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and two interceptions.

“I’m just trying to get better each and every day,” Bostic said. “There is still a lot of stuff I’ve got to learn. I’m not perfect in any area at all. I see that every day on film. So I’ve got to pick one thing out each and every day on what I want to get better on.”

Asked if he would be ready to start the season opener Sept. 8 against the Bengals if needed, Bostic said: “I’m really just talking it day-by-day. I’m not really looking ahead to then. I’m just looking forward to watching film today and trying to get better on the stuff for tomorrow.”

Trestman was eager to watch tape of the young linebacker’s performance in Wednesday’s practice.

“Bostic had a lot of reps, not only at the linebacker position but also on special teams because he has to be a dominant special teams player,” Trestman said. “Until I look at the tape I can’t evaluate his performance today, but I know he was working at it. He was giving great effort and on a couple occasions I saw him do very well when I was focused in on him.”


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Tucker impressed with rookie Bostic

Posted by Larry Mayer on July 29, 2013 – 7:42 pm

It’s impossible to project what type of NFL player Jon Bostic will become after only four training camp practices. But Mel Tucker has been impressed with the rookie linebacker to this point.

“He’s steady, he’s solid, he doesn’t get rattled, he’s super smart and he really wants to be good,” said the Bears defensive coordinator. “He’s got a lot of work to do and he’s getting better and better every day, so I really like him. I’m really glad we have him.

“I think he has a chance to be a superb player, but it’s a work in progress. We told him, ‘compete to play, compete to stay, work to get better each and every day,’ and that’s the position we’re taking. We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves because we just have a long way to go right now.”

The Bears selected Bostic in the second round of the draft with the 50th overall pick. He was a three-year starter and four-year contributor at Florida, where he recorded 237 tackles, 19.5 tackles-for-loss, eight sacks and five interceptions in 51 games.

Last season the 6-1, 245-pounder started all 13 contests at middle linebacker for the Gators, registering 68 tackles, 6.5 tackles-for-loss, three sacks and two interceptions. In training camp, Bostic has been lining up at the same position with the second-team defense.

“He needs to work on everything like we all do,” Tucker said. “But I really like his demeanor. We know he has athletic ability, height, weight and speed, but he does have an excellent demeanor. He does have leadership ability, leadership qualities.

“He’s smart. He doesn’t make the same mistake twice. He asks good questions and he works hard at it. Those guys are fun to coach and those are guys that can get better fast.”


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