Rookies begin to prove their worth

When a team is depending on a rookie class to help them win it means that club is coming off a bad year and has a lot of holes to fill, which is the case with the Bears. Chicago's twelve draft choices and even a few undrafted players have a good shot at making the team.

Although, the current crop isn't expected to be instant starters they can add depth to a team that lacked it last year.

"If they step up and challenge and take a job then that's great," said head coach Dick Jauron. "We are counting on them to push, to try to take a job and to contribute on special teams. They can really help us on special teams and that's the niche that they will have to fill.

"We'd like them to play right away, but as long as the veterans are healthy, we're pretty good. We need them to play well as backups and to play when we call on them, especially on special teams."

The Bears went into the draft with a plan to increase team speed, but that doesn't always equate to finding football players.

"You always get enamored with players this time of year," Jauron said. "Some of them don't pan out. You try not to get too high particularly on players that you don't know. Once the pads go on and the games start to be played, things can be completely different."

At this point the rookie class has had one mini-camp to get acclimated with the schemes, but it's still a learning process that will continue throughout the year.

"They're all working hard," Jauron said. "They're all learning and they're all a little bit confused particularly at this time when we go with two short practices every day. It's our way of saying this is what camp is going to be like, multiplied by about 5 times.

On other hand the coaching staff is also trying to feel out the players.

"The purpose of this mini camp is to learn as much as we can about them," Jauron said. "It's hard to single out any one outstanding player right now. As I always say after the draft, you feel that you've had a terrific draft. In some cases, it will be a year or even years before we will know how some of these young players are going to work out for us. But in a number of cases, it will be clear quickly."

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