Kevin White 'not closing any doors' to Bears return in 2015


Kevin White 'not closing any doors' to Bears return in 2015

A frustrating year marked by a stress fracture and the accompanying rehab have not squelched the hope of rookie wide receiver Kevin White that the No. 7 pick of the 2015 draft will see the field in a Bears uniform this season.

“If I can get on the field this year and we can make a run for it, I would like to help my teammates and this organization out, as planned,” White said on Tuesday. “If not this year, then try my best and do what I can for next year.

“But [I am] not closing any doors, not saying that I’m not coming back or anything this year. There’s a chance, so do my best to try to make a comeback.”

[MORE: Bears problems at wide receiver producing 'better' Jay Cutler]

White admitted he has “a ways to go” and that he was not doing a lot beyond jogging, last week and this. But as far as moving on to thinking about next year, no. “It’s like giving up,” White scoffed. “I would never give up. There’s a chance. I would like it. Everybody else would like it. But if not, then I’ll look forward to next year.”

Rookies White, Eddie Goldman, Khari Lee, Cameron Meredith and Gannon Sinclair volunteered time on Tuesday to help with “Hometown Huddle” work at Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center, and the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center, both in Gurnee.

“It really opens your eyes to things going on around you throughout the world,” said Lee. “So it’s good to be able to do something to help out, because it’s really important.”

White was placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform lost at the end of training camp. The designation allowed the Bears some latitude in assessing his progress back from the stress fracture, which occurred during the team’s offseason program.

The Bears have several weeks to activate White from reserve/PUP and until the end of Week 11 to decide on whether to activate him as part of the 53-man roster or close him out for 2015 and look forward to 2016.

[RELATED: Bears worried about 'safety of the building' in handling Jeremiah Ratliff]

GM Ryan Pace, coach John Fox and the organization have put zero pressure on White to rush back from the surgery, something not lost on the rookie.

“Even though it’s a business,” White said, shaking his head, “just to see that side of those guys, not rushing me back for selfish reasons, made me go harder, give it my all each and every day, even though I would do that for myself.

“But just to have those guys behind me, it means a lot.”

The fracture is the first significant injury and first surgery White has endured, and it was difficult for him beyond just the injury itself. White wasn’t able to walk and take care of making meals for himself immediately following surgery, so his mother Tammy stayed with him for several weeks.

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“She did a lot of the dirty work, fed me, made sure I was comfortable, made sure I was taking the pills,” White said. “Mom had a lot to do with it.”

White will need to show marked improvement over the next several weeks in order to convince the organization that a return this season makes any sense.

“Sometimes it’s tough and some days are better than others, but there’s progress,” White said. “Slow and steady wins the race so that’s what I’m going to do.”

Former GM says Matt Nagy will lose his job if Bears don't trade for QB

Former GM says Matt Nagy will lose his job if Bears don't trade for QB

There have been some strong takes on Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky over the last 24 hours, but none have been stronger than former NFL general manager Mike Lombardi's.

Lombardi, who now contributes to The Athletic, has always been a harsh critic of Trubisky. He's never believed in the former North Carolina product's ability to become a franchise quarterback and has taken often taken shots at the Bears' signal-caller.

And while Lombardi's never-ending lamenting of Trubisky sometimes comes across as agenda-driven, it's hard to dismiss his negativity at this point. Trubisky hasn't given Bears fans much ammunition to defend him. Now, with the offense hitting rock bottom against the Saints in Week 7, Lombardi is at it again.

This time, he has coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace in his crosshairs.

"If the Bears don’t make a trade for a quarterback, Nagy will lose his job within a year, and the team will never reach its full potential," Lombardi wrote on Monday. "That is not a mere guess, but a statement that has been backed up by NFL history and the experience of being in the NFL for so long.

"Making a trade might be hard internally because General Manager Ryan Pace has put his career on the line by making the move to bring Trubisky to Chicago. He traded assets to move up one spot in the draft, and it will be hard for him to admit that Trubisky cannot play. But he cannot let his ego get in the way of doing what is right. Teams cannot solve a problem if they don’t admit they have one, and Pace needs to stop lying to himself and others about his evaluation of Trubisky. The time has come." 

Suggesting that the Bears should make a trade for a quarterback before the deadline isn't the worst idea, especially because Chicago's defense is good enough to lead the team to the playoffs if there's a halfway competent quarterback under center. But it's a massive and ridiculous leap to suggest Nagy and Pace's jobs will be lost if they don't make a trade this season. Remember: Nagy was the NFL's Coach of the Year in 2018; he isn't on the hot seat. And while Pace certainly will have egg on his face for missing on Trubisky if the third-year quarterback doesn't develop (quickly), there's no reason to assume he won't get another offseason or two to get it right.

The more likely scenario, if Trubisky does, in fact, bottom out, is that Pace and the Bears will sign one of the veteran free-agent quarterbacks who will hit the open market next offseason. Players like Andy Dalton, Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota, while not world-beaters, would represent an upgrade at the position. Nagy just needs a guy who can be his Alex Smith; a game-manager who can score enough points to assist the defense. Any one of those three fit that description.

Perhaps the Bears missed on Trubisky. Maybe he'll turn it around. But to suggest Nagy and Pace won't get another swing at the position, together, is nothing more than a fiery hot take.

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With running game, Nagy makes plea for patience: "I know we need to run the ball more. I’m not an idiot"

With running game, Nagy makes plea for patience: "I know we need to run the ball more. I’m not an idiot"

Matt Nagy brought a whoooole bunch of positive energy to his Monday morning press conference at Halas Hall. 

"First of all, you will never pull me down," he said. "That's number one. Never. You won't do it. Second of all, you'll never pull our team down. It doesn't matter what we're going through. It'll never happen. Not under my watch. That's just not how we roll."

The coach's trademark brand of endless, enthusiastic optimism took a hit after Sunday's humiliating loss to New Orleans. The Bears were outclassed by a short-handed team, at home, coming off the bye week. They set the record for fewest run attempts in Bears' history. After the game Nagy said they were going to "sit in it" that night, and from the sound of his answers on Monday morning, that hadn't ended yet. 

"I know we need to run the ball more. I’m not an idiot," he said. "I realize that. Seven rushes and the minimum amount of times, I totally understand that."

"You need to do it. I never go into a game saying I want to throw the ball 54 times. I would love to go into a game and say I want to run the ball 54 times. But that hasn’t happened. This is what I have to answer to.”

You've read it all already; things are bleak. They're the 30th ranked team in every rushing category except for the ones they're ranked 29th in. Against the Saints, the Bears handed the ball off to wide recievers the same amount of times (2) they gave it to David Montgomery. No one got more rushes than Tarik Cohen (3), who said after the game that he doesn't really even consider himself a running back – and is often scouted as a reciever by opposing coaches, according to Nagy. 

"... nine catches for 19 yards, you know, that’s not where we want to be," he said. "And it’s unacceptable for all of us. We’re definitely searching right now. There’s no doubt about it. But as I said, so last night you deal with the emotions, you watch the tape last night, you see where you’re at and now for us we can’t hang on to what just happened.  We’ve got to fix it and we’ve got to understand and be aware that offensively we’ve had some bad performances now." 

Nagy knows he and the Bears are out of excuses, and having to say the same thing every Monday morning for the last month is clearly eating at him. And while there may be some more reliance on Trubisky or Mike Davis' legs (from the sounds of it, mainly the former), there's probably still an element of patience involved. (I know, I'm sorry. Please lower your voice.) 

"Right now we’re not having productive plays in the run game any way you look at it," Nagy said. "But I want positive plays. I want plays — and part of the patience is that as well. There’s no doubt about it, there’s gotta be more patience.

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