Isaiah Frey easing his way in

Bears rookie cornerback Isaiah Frey is still adjusting to the speed and intensity of the pro game during training camp. Bear Report goes one-on-one with the team's sixth-round selection.

More than 12,000 fans showed up for last night's Chicago Bears training camp practice. For a rookie like Isaiah Frey, it was an eye-opening experience.

Like all rookies, Frey is working on adjusting to the speed and tempo of professional practices. So far, he's been getting reps with the third team, yet the more comfortable he gets on the field, the better his chances of moving up the depth chart.

Bear Report correspondent Beth Gorr caught up with Frey after last night's practice and talked with him about his first week of training camp.

"It's been a definite thrill to get the chance to come to training camp and begin this entire NFL process in earnest this past week. I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to all of this. I know it will be difficult, but so far, the excitement is the main feeling that I have.


CB Isaiah Frey
Jerry Lai/US Presswire

"The first thing I noticed when we took the field here in Bourbonnais was the increased speed and intensity of everything we do. Just as minicamp was miles ahead of college football in terms of technique and quickness, the training camp is just that much more. There is a lot going on at once and you need to be alert at all times or you'll miss something. This is probably the most important lesson from the first few days of training camp.

"I know that as the days wear on, there will be a toll on my body, so I'm doing what I can to pace myself. There are quite a few meetings, conditioning sessions along with the on-field work. It's a lot to cram into each day. As a rookie I'm trying to understand the pace of things so I can catch my rest whenever I have that opportunity.

"It's exciting to be getting this close to the beginning of the football season. Our first preseason game is coming up really soon. That should be a great opportunity to become acquainted with Soldier Field and to get a sense of what it is really like to play in the NFL. I am guessing that, just as training camp is more intense than minicamp, a preseason game will move a lot quicker than what we do in practice here in Bourbonnais.

"So far in camp I haven't had to do too much for the veterans in terms of carrying their equipment and that kind of thing, but I know that will be coming at some point. I am more than willing to pay my dues as far as the veterans are concerned. I do understand that it is all part of the rookie experience, so that's fine with me.

"One thing I have definitely enjoyed is the opportunity to meet the fans. We had our first practice in pads tonight and we heard later that over 10,000 fans were watching. I understand that compared to the crowds at Soldier Field, that isn't much, but for training camp, it's a spectacular turnout.

"People have come to Bourbonnais from all over Chicago and its suburbs and even from Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana. It's great that we have fans loyal enough to make the effort to see us. The people I have met have been telling me that expectations are high for the team this year. I want to assure them we will do everything that we can to give the fans the best outcome possible every time we play.

"My personal learning process has been progressing well and for that I want to thank the veterans and the coaches for all their help. Everybody has given the new guys the time we need to understand things. Peanut Tillman is a great example of how to play my position. He has great technique and he always plays smart. Just standing on the sidelines watching him out there going full speed is an education for me.

"There's a lot on the line for everybody you see on the field right now. Everybody is very competitive, as they should be. But that doesn't mean we aren't friends and don't help each other when asked to do so.

"Personally I am working on improving my technique and increasing my knowledge of the game. I ask questions. I study the playbook. I watch other players. You can never know too much about football when you are playing at this level. It's hard work but I've never had so much fun."


Beth Gorr has been covering the Bears for the last 12 years and is the author of Bear Memories: The Chicago-Green Bay Rivalry. She is currently working on a second book about early Bears history.

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