Life is filled with highs and lows, but sometimes we find ourselves experiencing both emotions simultaneously. Bears rookie cornerback Isaiah Frey can relate.
The sixth round draft pick out of Nevada has a four-year deal with Chicago and hes living out the dream of playing in the NFL. This new life as a professional comes with great pressure, including digesting page after page of the playbook, hours in meeting rooms and even more time out on the practice field.
Its difficult at first, Im not even going to lie, Frey said.
Just a year ago Frey led all of FBS with 21 pass breakups and was the guy in the Wolfpack secondary. Now he is just another guy trying to fit in.
It kind of takes you back to your freshman year of college where you come in as the low man on the totem pole, but you work your way up.
While struggles come with the territory your first season in the NFL, not every young player has the good fortune of playing under quality veterans like Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings and Kelvin Hayden.
Being with them guys has been a blessing for me honestly. When you come into this league you really dont know much as a rookie and those three have been a big help for me.
Head coach Lovie Smith echoes Freys high praise on his teams group of cornerbacks.
Peanut Tillman, Tim Jennings and Kelvin Hayden are great guys to watch because they are physical and they come to work every day, Smith said.
They have good skills, they can all catch the ball and they will all tackle. Exactly what were trying to teach as coaches to the young players. They are great examples.
Smith says that he and his coaching staff can only do so much to help develop a player right away, but certain influential veterans can make all the difference for a first-year player.
As a coach you say Hey, do it this way, but it helps when you have somebody each day that is being a perfect example for you. You need a good example when youre a rookie coming in and you dont know exactly what the NFL game is about.
Smith seems to believe in Frey and made it a point to note his improvement during the five-week break between OTAs and training camp.
Thats all you are looking for because he will compete and hes got talent.
For a California kid who grew up in Roseville, just outside of Sacramento, the football field is exactly where Frey wants to be working right now. And thats it, he knows this sport isnt just about talent, size and speed, but rather what you do with it.
There is a lot of room for improvement. I'm not even close to even becoming a good player yet. I still have a lot to learn during this process.
Thats exactly the approach some of the most successful people have in their lives. The key is that Frey doesnt just have a lofty goal, but he has the guidance with the Bears to become better and is willing to put in the work necessary to achieve greatness.