Bears

For Kevin White, move to Bears, Chicago just another transition

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For Kevin White, move to Bears, Chicago just another transition

The transition from one level of a sport to the next is nearly always an exponential leap. For Kevin White, chosen Thursday night by the Bears with the No. 7 pick of the 2015 draft’s first round, one part of the leap to the NFL won’t compare to one jump he’s already experienced.

With no offers to play major college football after high school, White went to Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa., for two years. As to the kind of crowds he played in front of there:

“Fifty people,” White said on Friday, shaking his head. “Maybe.”

If nothing else, the situation added to a character base that was learning to take motivation from within, not rely on surroundings. White had to swallow his disappointment coming out of high school and would again when a scant few teams showed interest in him after two years at Lackawanna.

[MORE BEARS: Packers, Vikings go 'check-mate' to Bears' Kevin White]

Playing in front of 50 people in a small upstate Pennsylvania industrial town means playing for the love of the game, not necessarily the adulation of fans. White admits the setting sometimes strained his motivation.

“A little bit, because you don’t have anyone at your game, it’s not on TV, you don’t have the best equipment,” White said. “I wasn’t getting offers at the time, (and) things that motivate guys when you’re at junior college are getting offers: ‘OK, I just got Wisconsin. Now I got West Virginia.’ It motivates you to continue to get more offers. For me, I wasn’t getting any, so I was kinda like, ‘What’s going on?’”

While teams rarely draft one player expressly for purposes of replacing another, the Bears effectively selected White as the successor to Brandon Marshall, traded to the New York Jets after a tumultuous 2014 season that ended with him on injured reserve as well as with questions about his commitment to being a Bear in Chicago.

Marshall in just three years and 45 games left Chicago ranked No. 8 all time in pass receptions (279) and tied for fifth all time in touchdown catches (31) despite just those 45 games. No other Bears receiver has approached that sustained rate of production.

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If Marshall left with any ill will toward Chicago, it was not toward the city. White has been in touch with Marshall and got a very positive scouting report.

“He said if I did end up here it’s a great city and I’d love it,” White said. “He said they were still going to live here. I forgot what he said about living here or something, that his wife loves it. So he said if I did end up here, I would love it.”

Love it more than Scranton?

“Oh. My. Gosh.” White said, laughing. “(Chicago will be) a lot different. I’ve got to get adjusted and back used to the big city.”

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

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NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.

They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.

The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.

The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.

The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.

0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?

4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go? 

5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami

7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?

10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game

11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?

13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making

17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?

18:00– Bears need to run the ball more

21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets

Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.

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