One-on-One with Fred Russell

Lake Forest - Fred Russell has been busy trying to learn the offense after spending the last three weeks on the practice squad. In between, he took a few minutes with Bear Report's Jason Klabacha.

Bear Report: What happened in Miami?
Russell: "I knew things were scrambled around down there as far as Ricky retiring and David Boston going down. The coaches down there felt they had to win right now. I guess with my situation, I performed good down there. I guess they feel they have to win now and they don't have time for many undrafted free agent rookies."

Bear Report: Do you see an opportunity in Chicago?
Russell: "I had a lot of options. I had a lot of teams (after me) just based on my preseason. I had a lot of different options and Chicago is the team that always checked on me. They did it consistently enough to make me feel comfortable (coming here). Watching cut ups a lot of their offense is somewhat similar to the Iowa offense. I'm really excited about it and the main thing now is just to play my role and learn the offense. And be prepared like I'm going to play on Sunday's."

Bear Report: Did the Bears talk to you at the combine?
Russell: "You talk to every team in the combine. During the 7th round I talked to Lovie Smith. Then when they had the Wale trade Mr. Angelo through in my name jokingly to Rick, but at that time they had an injured running back so they didn't want to risk that. Mr. Angelo called my agent during final cuts and I was the last cut down at Miami and they wanted to see what they were going to do with me. I decided to stay there because I knew the offense. And then they brought in Lamar Gordon and they had to cut somebody. And so they cut me and it came down to here and a few other teams and I was more comfortable here."

Bear Report: Did you return kicks at Iowa?
Russell: "Somewhat, I mean my freshman and sophomore year I did a lot and then somewhat my senior year."

Bear Report: Could that be your niche?
Russell: "Yeah, being a young guy there's always special teams. We'll see what happens with that, I feel comfortable playing special teams. I did that at Miami."

Bear Report: What are your strengths as a running back?
Russell: "Speed, quickness, vision and surprising strength."

Bear Report: How about pass catching
Russell: "At Iowa that's something they didn't do, but I'm real comfortable catching the ball out of the backfield."

Bear Report: Were you surprised you went undrafted?
Russell: "I was disappointed, not surprised. I knew how strange the draft is. It wasn't too much of a surprise just disappointed."

Bear Report: Is that motivation to prove people wrong?
Russell: "You have a lot of free agents that make stuff happen, so it was just more disappointing I got over it that day."

Bear Report: It seems like a lot of productive college running backs slip.
Russell: "That's the nature of the way the draft is. A lot of teams feel they can get a good productive running back in the free agent market."

Bear Report: Did you know Tim Spencer from your days in the Big Ten?
Russell: "No, but him and my high school coach they played college ball together. So that's a good little niche. He's been watching me since high school so he knows what kind of talent I have."

Bear Report Top Stories