The Chicago Bears drafted Mitch Trubisky and Adam Shaheen in hopes that the two would be a key part of their offense for years to come.
It's still early but a bond has begun to develop between the two.
Chicago hosted its rookie minicamp at Halas Hall over the weekend as they got their first look at rookie draft picks and undrafted players that are looking to find a spot in the NFL.
While they were able to see what some players can do early on, Trubisky and Shaheen got to work on something else as the tight end revealed that the two were rooming together for camp.
"I’m actually rooming with him at the hotel," Shaheen said. "And he’s definitely going to be a great player and a great leader."
The two players have taken different paths to the NFL but are now apart of a 2017 Bears draft class that hopes to turn this franchise around after missing the playoffs the last six seasons.
Shaheen was a second-round pick out of Division-II Ashland University with a basketball background. He didn't play college football until 2014 and instead played basketball.
But after being in attendance for a Wisconsin-Ohio State game, Shaheen made the decision to go back to football. Now, here he is as a second-round pick of the Bears.
As for Trubisky, the Bears traded up to draft the University of North Carolina product that started just 13 games in three years at Chapel Hill. With different paths to the NFL, the one thing that is clear is the two will need have chemistry both on and off the field.
"You know, from personal experience I had a great relationship with my quarterback from Ashland," Shaheen said. "And so I think it’s huge, having that off-field relationship. I think it builds a trust on the field. There were times in college, obviously, when he probably trusted me to throw it up when he shouldn’t have, and I came down with it. It was awesome."
Both still have a lot to learn at the NFL level and likely won't start when the Bears host the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1 come September. However, both are figured to play a big role in the Bears future.
For Trubisky, taking snaps from under center will be a work in progress. He fumbled the snap a few times during minicamp and getting reps will be the biggest key.
"It’s not gonna be perfect every time," Trubisky said. "We’re out here playing with guys we’ve never played with before. So if something like that happens, you just come back — repetition even more. Center’s the most critical part. So I’ve been getting a lot of snaps with those guys, just to make sure we build that chemistry."
The two have started to find that chemistry on the practice field as Trubisky found Shaheen a few times in 7-on-7 drills in the three days the two practiced together at Halas Hall.
Listed at 6-foot-6, Shaheen is currently the tallest tight end or receiver listed on the Bears depth chart and has already made it a little easier for Trubisky on the practice field.
"It’s awesome," Trubisky said. "Adam’s gonna be a great player. It’s really cool to throw to him. You can tell he loves being out here as well. I’ve never thrown to a guy that big. He has huge range to catch the ball, so it makes it a lot easier for me."
Being roommates, the two have been able to get to know each other as much as possible. But a lot of their time back in the hotel includes studying a new playbook.
"Just hours on hours. I pretty much don’t stop studying until I feel comfortable," Trubisky said. "And then I go to bed, wake up and do it again. I just keep going over it. I like flash cards. That works for me for formations and stuff like that. Pairing things together because, I mean, there’s a reason why within the playbook and why we do things, and it matches up. It’s been going smooth. I love the offense so far. I’m just trying to master it one day at a time."
As for what Shaheen has seen early on in Trubisky to make him the leader of the franchise in the future, the tight end went right back to the playbook.
"Um, it’s hard to say," Shaheen said. "But I think it’s just the demeanor with which he carries himself. As well as back home he’s in the books really trying to learn and develop himself as a starter."
If it works out in the end, Bears fans may look back at these two players selected in this draft as something that changed the franchise for the best.