Matt Nagy continues to serve as the conductor of the Kevin White Underground Hype Train®, with the Chicago Bears’ first-year head coach dropping of another hint of praise for the much-maligned wide receiver:
Matt Nagy has seen improved route running from Kevin White. “He’s committed. He’s dedicated.” Nagy praised his extra work after practice.
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) May 30, 2018
He’s committed. He’s dedicated. Sure, fine, great. But is he going to be healthy? That’s the real question.
It should come as no surprise that White is putting in extra work after practice. Not just because he has missed so much game-time and practice reps over the years, but also because his position group is so ridiculously crowded that he could use the extra time to get noticed. Indeed, White is one of 13 receivers on the roster and the team won’t likely carry more than five or six guys when it’s time to get down to 53. Also, White’s additional post-practice reps could help him learn the playbook at an accelerated rate and create a bond with quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Every bit helps, even at this time of the year.
And let’s not overlook White’s extra work. Remember, Trubisky was often seen taking additional reps after practice during training camp last summer. He practiced taking snaps from under center and throwing passes to receivers trying to work their way onto the roster. Trubisky’s hard work didn’t go unnoticed and it’s easy to make a case that his efforts back then helped establish him would take a lot to convince me that it didn’t help him over the long haul.
And let’s not let Nagy complimenting White for his route-running improvement when that has never been a strength fly under the radar either. Let’s just add it to the list of nice things Nagy has said about the oft-injured former first-round pick. It’s as if Nagy seems willing to look beyond White’s unfortunate injury history and see a one-time blue-chip receiver prospect just itching to make an impact. And because of the depth the Bears have built at the position, White is under no pressure, which is also a bit of an under-the-radar benefit of this past offseason of transactions.
It’s certainly a bold strategy to hype a player who’s been unavailable for more than 90 percent of the team’s offensive snaps since he was drafted in 2015, but positive reinforcement never hurt anyone.