Crash course

Before <!--Default For Michael Haynes is to ignore-->Michael Haynes was formally introduced Monday, he had already gone through orientation with <!--Default NodeId For Alex Brown is 722197,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:722197]>Alex Brown</A>, who called the team's first-round pick and congratulated him upon being selected by the Bears.

"He just called me," Haynes said. "I was really surprised. He was extremely friendly and I'll probably meet him later on (Monday) and we'll go have dinner and hang out and get to know one another."

A year ago Brown was selected in the fourth round and was a wide eyed rookie trying to make an impression on the team, but a year later he's taking on a leadership role.

"I guess Alex Brown will kind of be my mentor and show me the ropes as far as the D-line and getting me acclimated."

The two will lineup on the field on Friday as the Bears open a weekend mini-camp, which is the first opportunity for free agents and draftees to put the pads on with their new teammates.

In Haynes, the Bears get a player who led the Big Ten in sacks last season with 15. At 6-3 1/2, 281 pounds, he has the size to be effective against the run and become an every-down player, but he probably isn't ready for such a significant role yet.

"I was more of a pass (rush) specialist, and as my playing time increased, I had to learn to play the run," Haynes said. "This past year I did a pretty good job against the run, and I'm really looking forward to learning some more techniques. I want to be a better overall football player, not just someone who gets to the quarterback."

Haynes transition to the NFL could be eased because of the fact that he is used to having to adapt. He grew up in Panama as the son military parents.

"My parents being in the military really helped me make the transition from high school up to Penn State.

"Joe Paterno runs a very tight ship as far as meeting times, not only your on-the-field things but your off-the-field commitments too, making sure you're good in the classroom and all those things. So I've been very disciplined these past five years."

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