Waiting for an opportunity

Rookie wide receiver <!--Default NodeId For Jamin Elliott is 348767,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:348767]>Jamin Elliott</A> was recently signed to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. The 6', 187 lb. 6th-round draft choice out of Delaware is currently behind veterans <!--Default NodeId For Marty Booker is 292184,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:292184]>Marty Booker</A> and <!--Default NodeId For Ahmad Merritt is 292232,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:292232]>Ahmad Merritt</A> in the depth chart.

Elliott completed his college career with 158 receptions for 3,068 yards and 19 touchdowns, ranking ninth all-time in Atlantic 10 Conference history. He was named Blue Hen Touchdown Club Outstanding Senior End and led the team with 30 catches for 514 yards (17.1 average) and three touchdowns.

"I guess that patience does eventually pay off," Elliott said. "I've been doing my job and hoping that my time would come. Finally it did. "

Despite the fact that Elliott felt his time on the practice squad was productive, he was eager for a chance to be on the field in a game situation.

"I've learned a lot since I've been with the Bears. The NFL game is definitely a change from what most of us have been accustomed to in college ball. I think that being on the practice squad helped me to perfect my skills and to get accustomed to the system without a lot of pressure to produce big plays immediately. But, at the same time, my hope always was to be a part of the regular team."

When the call from Bears management finally came, Elliott was taken by surprise.

"You know, that is the kind of thing that you just put out of your mind after a certain period of time. You hope that you will eventually get noticed, but you don't know when, or even if, that will happen. When my agent called and told me that the Bears wanted me to come in and talk about signing a contract, I was really happy."

In a season when the Bears have seen countless injuries and numerous changes in personnel on both sides of the ball, Elliott is certain that he can make a contribution.

"I realize that things have been pretty tough around here recently," he said. "No team wants to have the kind of a record that we are carrying right now. I do think, however, that I'll be able to help. I'm known for my speed and for my ability to make difficult catches and to run with the ball. I'm a quick learner and I definitely have the desire to do well for this team."

Elliott is eager to see how the level of his game measures up against an unfamiliar defense.

"At this point in the season, I pretty much know the moves that our guys are going to make. That's what happens when you've been on the practice squad for a while. I've been watching game films and I want to see what some of these big name players are like when you are against them one on one. As is the case for many of the rookies, I think that not allowing myself to be intimidated is a very important aspect of my game."

Although, he now travels with the team and will continue to do so for the rest of the season, Elliott is not sure when his opportunity to be a playmaker will come.

"Will I have a chance to be on the field for a significant period of time during a game? I sure hope so. It's always hard to be on the bench watching everybody else play. There's nothing more important to any rookie than game time. But that's something I have no control over at this point. I'll just have to wait and see how things play out. If the coaches want me to come in, then I'm more than ready."


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