Chicago Bears running back Jordan Lynch was a two-time Heisman Trophy candidate as a quarterback for Northern Illinois University. With the Monsters of the Midway, Lynch is trying to work his way up the depth chart to secure the club’s No. 3 running back role.
We caught up with Lynch following last night’s Family Night practice.
“I remember some of my high school games when we’d play right here in Soldier Field. It’s amazing to be back here now, same place, different role.
“I also find myself thinking about the games my dad and I used to come to at Soldier Field. We loved to watch the Bears play. I still can’t believe that I’m back but this time I’m the one in the Bears uniform. I can’t tell you how proud and how excited I am that it turned out this way.
“The first thing I noticed here tonight was the crowd. This was just a practice but the place was really rocking. So many fans made the effort to come here and see us. It’s a testament to how much they care about the Bears.
“I loved the noise level. You’d almost think at times tonight that we were in a playoff game. It got so loud I almost had trouble hearing the signals. I can’t imagine what it will be like when the regular season begins.
You know the neat thing about being on the field when everybody’s cheering? The ground vibrates. You can just feel that energy from the fans flowing through you. It’s wonderful.”
OK now to the questions: What’s training camp been like?
“Honestly I have to say that its fun and I love it. Probably if the coaches read this they’ll think that they aren’t working me hard enough. Trust me, they are. But I’ve always felt if you can’t have fun, if you don’t enjoy what you do, then what's the point? Just because I like what I’m doing doesn’t mean I’m not putting in long hours on and off the field, just as every rookie is expected to do.”
What have you learned so far?
“Well, a new position mainly. There’s a huge learning curve when you change positions. I’ve been a quarterback for quite a while now. Now I am in a different part of the offense. I find that my experience helps me understand what’s going on but I know in terms of skill sets at running back I still have a long way to go. I have great coaches, great veteran players, all of them working me through it. I think it will all turn out well.”
What do you do in my spare time?
Quick answer: “What spare time?”
“This is going to be an interesting week. We have tomorrow off, then it’s back to work, this time preparing for the weekend game. It’ll be practice full out until Thursday then we start working on the game plan. There’s so much to learn and not a whole lot of time to soak it all in so you can be sure I’ll be studying hard and getting mentally, as well as physically, prepared.
“What I’ve found so far is that as a rookie you automatically adapt quickly to the physical side of things. The mental aspect takes a lot of work. Until that is mastered, you don’t react as fast as you should. I’m trying to soak it all in, watch the guys who’ve been here a while, and get better. You aren’t going to find a better group of guys to learn from anywhere else in this league.
“My goal is to prove myself, to show that I belong on this team. I can’t wait to get back here again and play that first NFL game.”
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.