Q & A with Daryl Drake: Part 1

During the Bears rookie mini-camp, wide receivers coach Daryl Drake took a few minutes to talk with Bear Report's Jason Klabacha about the new influx of talent he has at his disposal.

BR: How much did you know about Mark Bradley from your days at Texas?
DD: "I knew him pretty well. I knew him coming out of high school. He came to camp when I was at Texas, so I had a chance to work with him some. I knew his family, so I know him fairly well and then being in Texas and watching him play I watched him make some plays on the other side of the field and watched him get knocked out a few times too."

BR: Why wasn't Bradley recruited more heavily coming out of high school?
DD: "He was really looked at early by a lot of the guys, but he just made a decision to stay with his mom where she was and she was there at Arkansas Pine Bluff. So he decided to go to school there and then later went on and transferred to OU. But we recruited him, I tried to get him at Texas."

BR: With limited experience, will he have trouble making an immediate impact as a rookie receiver?
DD: "Not at all, I mean the guy's an athlete. You've got to understand that he played a year at Pine Bluff then he goes to Oklahoma and he plays in the secondary and plays and plays well.

"At Oklahoma they were extremely rich at the wide receiver position, they had six and they tried to keep them all happy. That ball was spread around, as you look and you see Mark Clayton didn't have the numbers he had as a junior because they spread the ball around and at the same time that big horse (Adrian Peterson) that they had at tailback they gave it to him a lot more than they gave it to anybody in previous years.

So no, I don't look at his numbers. I look at what his athletic ability and what he bring to the table as far as a person and what he can do. It's obvious he has the ability and has the talent. As you watch the film and watch him play and I was lucky enough to see those things firsthand, things that he can do with the football in the open field. And we're going to bring him along and not try to throw him to the wolves and not rush him into things. Just bring him along and teach him and try to mold him into what we want as a Bear receiver.

BR: What kind of a receiver is he now?
DD: "He's the guy that has the potential to be a complete receiver that can do a lot of different things. Not only can he stretch the field, but he can catch the ball and make people miss. And he can outrun people after he catch's the ball. If you watched us last year that was one thing that we had problems with, we'd catch the ball and we'd make a couple moves but we weren't outrunning anybody. He's capable of doing that and hopefully he'll continue to grow which we expect and he'll bring that added dimension to the offense."

Tomorrow the second half of the interview will cover Justin Gage becoming a starter and what Drake sees the roles of the other receivers being in Ron Turner's offense.


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