As a sixth-round pick of the Chicago Bears, San Jose State QB David Fales will be joining his mentor Jordan Palmer at Halas Hall later next week. The 6-1, 228 Salinas, Cal. native is eager to work again with Palmer, whom he first met before the Senior Bowl.
"I can't wait to take advantage of this opportunity," Fales said after being drafted. " I met him a while ago and we've worked together several times since then. I definitely view Jordan as my mentor. To have the chance to learn form him on a daily basis is beyond anything I could have imagined."
Fales spent his first two collegiate seasons as the starting quarterback for Monterey Peninsula College. This was followed by a brief stint at Nevada, where he soon realized the system in place did not fit his talents or comfort level.
"I realized right away that what they wanted wasn't a good fit for me. They wanted me to be more of a runner," Fales said.
As a sophomore, Fales received All-Coast Conference recognition. In December 2011, Fales signed a letter of intent to San Jose State University, a school he felt would help him develop his talents. Another plus for the young quarterback: it was "right down the road" from his hometown.
At San Jose State, Fales helped drive one of the country's elite passing attacks.
"I learned so much and felt I had the chance to develop and maximize my talents there," Fales said.
In 2012, Fales ranked sixth nationally with 4,193 passing yards, or 355.92 yards per game. The following season, Fales ranked fourth in the nation with 349.67 yards per game.
"It was a great time to compete and learn," Fales said. "That is the path I hope to continue now that I will be with the Bears. I know the work of the Bears' current quarterbacks and it's extremely impressive. There is so much they have to teach me."
What about possibly competing for the backup QB position with his old mentor Palmer?
"I don't view that as a competition at all," Fales said. "I'm just here at this point to soak things in, to learn. I spent some time already before the draft working with [QB] coach [Matt] Kavanaugh. I think I demonstrated enough to make him feel I'll be a good addition to this team."
In terms of skill set, Fales feels his strength lies in his footwork, mechanics and consistency. He was told prior to the Senior Bowl his arm strength could improve, and Fales also intends to work on that aspect of his game.
As far as getting the chance to work with Coach Marc Trestman, consider by many a "QB guru", Fales could barely contain his enthusiasm.
"It's an honor to have this opportunity," Fales said. "I know I'll be learning from the best. I'll be around the people who can make me better every single day. It doesn't get any better than that."
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.