Chicago Bears head coach John Fox isn’t a man of many words, but he dabbled in a few different topics after Tuesday’s OTAs:
While quarterback Mike Glennon was assertive in talking about his place in the huddle and on the roster, Fox talked around a variety of topics – the most important being the health status of wide receiver Kevin White. We discussed that angle a bit in this piece here from Tuesday afternoon.
As for the other things on Fox’s mind.
- While White ended the 2016 season on injured reserve, wide receiver Cameron Meredith took full advantage of the increased snaps and targets he was receiving on a weekly basis because he was the Bears’ most reliable catcher. It’s one thing for Glennon to say he sees good things on the horizon for the former undrafted free agent from Illinois State, it’s interesting to hear Fox’s perspective on the matter. Fox says he’s seen some continual growth from Meredith. Fox explained continual growth is typical of young players and it manifests itself in a linear way: “The game slows down for them practice-to-practice, day-to-day, season-to-season. They understand the NFL life better.” Meredith is no stranger to making positive adaptations to his game, going from quarterback to receiver at college, and working everywhere as a receiver on the gridiron at the NFL level.
- No matter White’s health, Meredith projects to be the Bears’ best pass catching option in 2017 until proven otherwise. Perhaps Glennon’s assertive nature (as was on display on Tuesday) translates into maximizing the production Meredith and other receivers bring to the table. For what it’s worth, Fox seemed to be pleased with how Glennon is handling things – something Fox says dates back to when Glennon and the team agreed to terms. In fact, Glennon taking ownership of the huddle is playing out as envisioned by the Bears’ brass. “From Day 1 when we signed him, that was the approach. That’s the approach we took as an organization. … He’s kind of grabbed the bull by the horns, and I don’t expect that to change,” Fox said.
- Glennon comes off as the kind of leader Fox dreams of coaching because he makes his teammates better. “I think he kind of raises all boats. He has high expectations and expects that out of his teammates,” Fox explained. “He works very, very hard and he expects the same out of his teammates. And I think that’s contagious.”
- With Fox’s expertise coming on the defensive side of the ball, his perspective about the progress of second-year linebacker Leonard Floyd is always welcome. There wasn’t much to say two days into OTAs, but Fox said he was simply looking forward to having Floyd on the field at this stage. Floyd missed four games in 2016, suffering a concussion and fighting through calf and other nagging injuries. And much of the focus on Floyd as a rookie during OTAs and training camp revolved around him bulking up to a better playing weight for the NFL season. It’s all part of the transportation process for the Bears’ 2015 first-round pick. “It’s a transition physically from college football to the NFL, even just as far as the length of it. I think he has a better idea this time around than he did last year.”