Bears

Rookie Butler appreciative of role

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Rookie Butler appreciative of role

Despite only seeing scant minutes -- a late third-quarter appearance for defensive purposes -- Sunday, dont expect first-year swingman Jimmy Butler to complain about playing time. Despite his limited role this season, Butler knows that unlike most rookies, he has a great opportunity to be on a championship contender, although that doesnt mean he hasnt been paying attention to the play of his draft-class peers.

Iman Shumpert, a starting guard for the Knicks and Chicago-area native is playing really well. Brandon Knight, the Pistons starting point guard is playing really well. Kyrie Irving, the top overall pick in the 2011 draft, he told CSNChicago.com. All those guys are playing well and theyre doing a lot of different things for their teams, but I like my role on this team. Were winning. We want to win the championship, so Ill take the position Im in any day.

Shumpert doesnt get the acclaim Clevelands Irving, the frontrunner for top-rookie honors, receives, but Butlers been impressed with his play, especially because hes playing a vital role for a playoff contender.

Observed Butler: He comes in and does what hes supposed to do. Hit open shots, create for others, rebound and defend. Imans my guy and I think he plays extremely hard and hes a really, really good player.

Overhearing the conversation, Korver interjected: Jimmys learning pro habits thatll keep him in the league for a long time.

Indeed, the Marquette product has already found a niche as a defensive stopper, having done an admirable job, albeit in short minutes against the likes of Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony and while his outstanding work ethic hasn't yet been rewarded in significant playing time, both the coaching staff and front office -- not to mention his teammates -- remain high on him for the future.

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Former first-round pick Kevin White hasn't caught a break -- or a touchdown -- through the first three years of his career. He has more season-ending injuries than 100-yard games and after an offseason focused on upgrades at wide receiver, White's future in Chicago beyond 2018 is very much in doubt.

Ryan Pace declined the fifth-year option in White's rookie contract, making this a prove-it year for the pass-catcher who once resembled a blend of Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant during his time at West Virginia.

He's getting a fresh start by new coach Matt Nagy.

"He is healthy and he's really doing well," Nagy told Danny Kanell and Steve Torre Friday on SiriusXM's Dog Days Sports. "We're trying to keep him at one position right now so he can focus in on that."

White can't take all the blame for his 21 catches, 193 yards and zero scores through 48 possible games. He's only suited up for five. Whether it's bad luck or bad bone density, White hasn't had a legitimate chance to prove, on the field, that he belongs.

Nagy's looking forward, not backward, when it comes to 2015's seventh pick overall.

"That's gone, that's in the past," Nagy said of White's first three years. "This kid has a new future with us."

White won't be handed a job, however.

"He's gotta work for it, he's gotta put in the time and effort to do it," Nagy said. "But he will do that, he's been doing it. He's a great weapon, he's worked really hard. He has great size, good speed. We just want him to play football and not worry about anything else."

Nagy on Trubisky: 'He wants to be the best'

Nagy on Trubisky: 'He wants to be the best'

The Bears concluded their second round of OTAs on Thursday with the third and final set of voluntary sessions scheduled for May 29-June 1. Coach Matt Nagy is bringing a new and complicated system to Chicago, so the time spent on the practice field with the offense and quarterback Mitch Trubisky has been invaluable.

"We’ve thrown a lot at Mitch in the last 2 ½ months,” Nagy told Dog Days Sports’ Danny Kanell and Steve Torre on Friday. “He’s digested it really well.”

Nagy’s implementing the same system he operated with the Chiefs, an offense that brought the best out of Redskins quarterback Alex Smith. The former first-overall pick went from potential draft bust to MVP candidate under Andy Reid and Nagy’s watch.

Nagy admitted he and his staff may have been a little too aggressive with the amount of information thrust upon Trubisky so far.  It took five years to master the offense in Kansas City, he said, but the first-year head coach sees a lot of similarities between his current and past quarterbacks.

"These guys are just wired differently,” Nagy said when comparing Trubisky to Smith. “With Mitch, the one thing that you notice each and every day is this kid is so hungry. He wants to be the best. And he’s going to do whatever he needs to do. He’s so focused.”

Smith had the best year of his career in 2017 and much of the credit belongs to Nagy, who served as Smith’s position coach in each season of his tenure in Kansas City. He threw for eight touchdowns and only two interceptions during the five regular season games that Nagy took over play-calling duties last year.

Nagy said Trubisky has a similar attention to detail that Smith brought to the Chiefs’ quarterback room.

"Each and every detail that we give him means something. It’s not just something he writes down in a book. He wants to know the why,” Nagy said of Trubisky. “He’s a good person that is in this for the right reason. His teammates absolutely love him. It was the same thing with Alex [Smith] in Kansas City.”

A locker room that believes in its quarterback is a critically important variable for success, one that Nagy already sees exists in Chicago.

"When you have that as a coach and when you have that as being a quarterback, not everybody has that, and when you have that you’re in a good spot.”