Mini Camp Chat: Kevin Payne

The Bears played a lot of guys at the two safety positions last season, but nobody really qualified as a knock-your-teeth-down-your-throat kind of player. Fifth-round pick Kevin Payne certainly knows how to lay the lumber and could bring an element to the secondary that has been lacking. Payne spent some time with after Sunday's mini camp practice, and this is what he had to say.

John Crist: I know you interviewed individually with the Bears at the NFL Combine. Did you have a good feeling they were going to take you?

Kevin Payne: At the time, there's so much going on during the draft, you really don't know who's going to draft you. I was just on pins and needles just waiting to see who would call my name. And when they called me, it just took me by surprise. And I was just full of joy because it's just an honor, so I was just so happy when they called my name.

JC: How much Cover 2 experience did you get at Louisiana-Monroe? And now that you've had three practices, how does the scheme feel so far?

KP: It feels good. There's still a lot for me to learn. We ran it back in college. We ran Cover 2 quite a bit, especially 3rd-and-long or whatever. It's a whole different level, so I just want to learn as much as possible as quick as possible.

JC: I know you were a tailback in college for two seasons. Do you ever just want to go back to the other side of the ball and get some carries every now and then?

KP: Nah, I'm having too much fun doing what I'm doing right now. I haven't thought about that in like two or three years, so right now I'm just trying to get better and learn what I can and just do my job.

JC: So it's safe to say you're a safety once and for all? You don't feel like an offensive player stuck on defense?

KP: I'm a safety. I was born to play safety. I was just playing running back for that time. I guess I was in the wrong position. I was born to play safety.

JC: Your first mini camp is over. What do you now know you need to do to get better before you head to training camp in July?

KP: Just do the fundamentals. Just continue to try to get better every day. Try to improve on something each day.

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and Editor in Chief of To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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