It's Early, But Kevin White Seems to be Responding Well to His "Clean Slate"

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It’s Early, But Kevin White Seems to be Responding Well to His “Clean Slate”

Chicago Bears

The Bears front office spent the 2017-2018 offseason revamping their wide receiver corps, after a few lackluster years of production from the group as a whole – with some particular frustration stemming from former first-round pick Kevin White’s inability to stay on the field.

But rather than treat White, one of the few holdovers from last year’s WR room, as an outcast, the team’s new coaches have wiped the slate clean and have driven home positive reinforcement throughout the offseason training program. And it doesn’t sound like that philosophy is going to change during training camp: “We’re not gonna harp on anything that happens – a dropped ball, a route run the wrong way, a wrong split, a missed assignment,” Head Coach Matt Nagy told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We don’t harp on any of that with any of the players – and in particular with him. We just want him to be him and play – play fast. And he’s done that so far. Again, it’s going to be up to him to do it in the preseason games and see where it takes him.”

Nagy has been at the forefront of embracing the challenge of getting the most out of White, driving his bandwagon since his arrival … and why wouldn’t he be? The first-year head coach certainly isn’t beholden to him, and yet, it’s evident Nagy sees White as a blank canvas, just waiting to be molded. From a coach’s perspective, you can understand why Nagy would share a sense of excitement about having the chance to groom White into finally becoming the dominant player he was hyped up to be coming out of West Virginia in 2015. And even when Nagy has talked up White’s potential and upside, the coach still made sure to say the player had to go out and earn it.

Frankly, how can you not feel that way when he is still capable of pulling off highlight-reel catches in practice:

This is just one of the handful of impressive plays White has been a part of during training camp. And while hauling in passes in practice is only one thing, it’s better than the alternative (not seeing White perform at all).

There is no pressure on White this summer, and, at this point, I don’t think I would want it any other way. Because White is buried on the depth chart in the minds of many, he might be able to fly under the radar – even while he’s working with the first-team offense – and deal with a little less pressure than usual. And because the Bears reworked their receivers room, there’s no harm done to the group if White doesn’t live up to lofty expectations.

After three years of disappointment, the Bears are finally in a win-win situation with White. If he excels, the offense will be better for it. If he doesn’t, the unit won’t be hindered by his lack of production. Right now, I’ll ride the wave of optimism and see how far it can take us.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.