Big hit

<!--Default NodeId For Cameron Worrell is 819525,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:819525]>Cameron Worrell</A> is a wolf in sheep's clothing. If you happened to stroll through the local mall at the same time that the rookie safety is shopping, you'd notice a well dressed, self-effacing young man. If you tried to guess his occupation, chances you'd be wrong.

Worrell just doesn't fit the stereotype of a professional football player. He's not a hulking behemoth who looks as if he'd like to devour a quarterback for his next meal. At 5-11,Worrell certainly isn't small, but compared to some of the NFL's larger specimens; he probably doesn't instill instant terror in the offense.

Wide receivers who have never met Worrell in a game situation might be tempted to take him for granted and look forward to an easy catch for a score. Most wide receivers reconsider his erroneous impression after picking themselves up off the field, checking to make sure that all of their body parts are still connected correctly.

Worrell is a pro, one of the elite. What he does best is hit, hard. Remember the Bronco in last week's game whose helmet was knocked off in the third quarter? It rolled about 5 yard before coming to a stop. That was a Worrell hit. What about the other Bronco, who several plays later, had to be helped off the field after being laid out by the Bears safety? Guess appearances can be deceiving.

Football is second nature to Cameron Worrell. He has been playing quite successfully for years. He starred at Chowchilla (Calif.) High School as both RB and S, then after graduation, moved on to Fresno State.

Worrell began and completed his college football career as a safety for the Bulldogs although he played his sophomore year at Fresno City College. The year that Worrell was part of their team, the City College Rams had a perfect season. During his senior year, his first year as a starting safety for Fresno State, Worrell was named a first teamer of the all Western Athletic Conference.

Worrell started all 14 games during his final college season and led the Bulldogs with a career high 106 tackles and 5 INTs. Although not selected during the 2003 draft, he came to the Bears this spring as an undrafted free agent. He got a chance when Todd Johnson broke his jaw in the preseason opener and now a shot to play on the professional level.

"I love to play football," Worrell said, "That's where I seem to excel. I understand that coming in the way I did can mean that you are a long shot to make the team, but I feel that I deserve to be here. I have the desire and the skills to excel. Now I need to make an impact during practices and pre season games. The coaches have to notice me. That's the way to end up on the team."

To say that Worrell has made an impact so far would be an understatement. Some football aficionados have begun to put him in the same category as WR Tom Waddle; a classic overachiever who from 1989-1994 continually sacrificed his body to make big plays.

"I'm not afraid," Worrell said. "I am very aggressive. I love to hit and hit hard. Being out there on the field is an excellent way to channel those aggressions and to make plays that the other team's offense will remember."

Worrell doesn't feel that he has outstanding speed for a safety "just average" is how he categorizes it), but he does feel that he has an innate ability to read plays and to react quickly.

"I've always been able to do that," Worrell says. ""I think some of it comes from being a running back in high school. You need to react immediately at that position."

Right now, he's learning the Bears secondary schemes and finding out how and where he can make a contribution.

"The veteran players are really taking the time to teach me what is expected of a safety at the professional level," he said. "SS Bobby Gray and CB Jerry Azumah have been particularly helpful so far. The coaches work with the rookies all the time. I'm hoping they'll be using me a lot on special teams. That's one place where I think I fit in well and can make a contribution."

Worrell says that so far he is comfortable with the speed of the game and is finding the transition from college to professional football easier than he had expected.

"Of course it's different here, but that is what I anticipated all along," he said. "It's a thrill to be with the Bears. My goal is to go out, hit somebody and get the ball. I am confident that I can do this job."


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