Minicamp Chat: LB Marcus Freeman

The Chicago Bears are looking for a player to step up at strong-side linebacker, although fifth-round draft pick Marcus Freeman will open on the depth chart over on the weak side. Freeman spent some time with Bear Report for a bit after Day 3 of rookie minicamp workouts at Halas Hall.

John Crist: It seems like rookie minicamp takes so long to get here but is then over so quickly. In terms of the defensive scheme, was it a little awkward doing what they asked you to do, or did it come somewhat naturally?

Marcus Freeman: I think any time you get into a new system and a new situation, it's going to be a little awkward. But I think, as the days went, you became more and more comfortable and felt more and more in place.

JC: There has already been some comparisons between you and Lance Briggs, both because of when you were drafted and the position you play on the weak side of the formation. What's that been like for you so far?

MF: It's a huge, huge comparison for somebody to say something like that. For me, it's a great honor. You watch film and you watch Lance Briggs, and you see what makes him such a great player. I hope to be half the player he is.

JC: Briggs is a guy who's made a great career for himself largely in the shadow of Brian Urlacher. You had a similar situation at Ohio State playing alongside James Laurinaitis. Are you fine with being below the radar to some degree, or do you never want to be second banana to anybody?

LB Marcus Freeman
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

MF: I think any player wants to be the best they can be, but you can't really worry about them saying your name or how many accolades you're getting. You just have to worry about helping this team and being the best player you can be.

JC: If you want to get on the field as a rookie, then you're going to have to contribute on special teams. Is there a particular phase that you've been exposed to more than others? Do you have a favorite?

MF: I played punt all four years at Ohio State, but I've played them all through my years. I'm excited to get out here, and I know that's something that's going to help me get on the field. And I'm excited to become the best special teams player I can be.

JC: You've got some time before OTAs really kick it up into high gear, and we're still a few months shy of training camp. Are you going to get away from football and relax while you can, or is it all work all the time at this point?

MF: It's definitely work. We're so far behind. You just try to learn the playbook and try to be in the best shape we can be when we come back.

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John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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