Bears second round rookie Adam Shaheen is big, has had big expectations placed on him with that draft status, and has learned the hard way how to be a big boy, facing up to mistakes.
The 6-foot-6, 277-pound tight end from Division II Ashland admits in the two weeks since becoming the 45th overall pick, he's had to pretty much keep his head from spinning off his neck. It came full circle when walking into Halas Hall Thursday to report to rookie minicamp.
"I'm nervous, obviously. It's to be expected," Shaheen said Saturday, not referring to the four- or five-person press conferences in college he became used to, rather the magnitude of the building, the franchise, the league. "I'm just real excited to be here and make the best of my opportunity."
The former basketball player has hung up those shoes after getting the itch to return to football taking in a Wisconsin-Ohio State football game in Columbus a few years back. But he's still a loyal NBA watcher, as he and roommate Mitch Trubisky did at their hotel to wind down from the first day of minicamp.
Sorry, guys. He's a Cavs fan.
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With the little time he's spent with Trubisky, he sees some of the same signs his bosses apparently saw: "The demeanor in which he carries himself. As well as back home he's in the books really trying to learn and develop himself as a starter."
And, oh, that nearby hotel they're staying in? There's a Chipotle right across the street about one light down. That restaurant was Shaheen's "go-to" place in packing on 90 pounds post-hoops, to get where he is today, with some discipline and workouts.
And he has a "go-to" meal there:
"I get a burrito with extra, extra white rice. And then double the chicken, which you've got to tell them because with one scoop of chicken they try to mix it in and you won't get as much. Then just a little corn."
Yes, he's gone there the first two nights in town. And it's a burrito. Not a burrito bowl. But as for the "extra, extra white rice..."
People who'd learned about Shaheen's Twitter history became aware of one, say, less-than-complimentary post several years ago about President Barack Obama. So when the Chipotle recipe was relayed as he spoke Saturday, snark responses followed.
"I know exactly what you're talking about," Shaheen said when broached on the subject. "I was a dumb teenager. If I had the maturity I do now, I would have discovered there could be some potential problems. I would have understood.
"One of my buddies went, 'Hey, man, this is blowing up. (I'm) gonna have to delete that.' Then I went through all of them. I was, like, 'Wow'...just completely...I was a high schooler."
Just another part of the professional playbook the 22-year-old is beginning to absorb.