Where are they now? Nick Roach, Part I

LB Nick Roach was one of the stars of Chargers training camp. He earned a spot on San Diego's practice squad, only to be signed away by the Bears on Nov. 20. Amberly Richardson caught up with Nick to talk about Ron Rivera, Kassim Osgood and life in the Windy City.

Amberly Richardson: What did you learn during your time in San Diego?

Nick Roach: I learned everything that I know about professional football from all of their coaches and veteran players because it was my first experience.

AR: Who were some of the veteran players that helped you along?

NR: Carlos Polk was a big one because he was the special teams captain. He definitely showed me the ropes. He showed me where I was supposed to be. Kassim Osgood was another guy who looked out for me because he was once an undrafted free agent.

AR: I've heard that Kassim takes a lot of young players under his wing. Is that just the type of guy he is?

NR: I think once you get to know Kassim, he wants everyone to feel like they fit in and to get acclimated to their new lifestyle.

AR: Who are some of the players that helped your transition to the Chicago Bears?

NR: I've learned a lot from the special teams coach (Dave Toub). I didn't know any of the players coming in. I worked out with Garrett Wolfe and he showed me things, like where the meeting rooms are. Once I got to play, I was just with the guys on each unit. Whoever I was playing with would help me.

AR: Did Ron Rivera leave his mark in Chicago?

NR: Yes! A lot of the guys, when they found out I was in San Diego, wanted to know how Rivera was. When I told (Rivera) that I was going to Chicago, he told me to give them his best.

AR: Do you believe the Bears signed you because Rivera invested several months in coaching you up?

NR: It's a possibility. I don't know how the process works of teams picking you up from practice squads.

AR: Rivera came to San Diego to make their inside linebackers as dominate as their outside 'backers. Is it working?

NR: Definitely, I think you can tell. Rivera's such a good teacher and he played for so long. He knows both sides. Rivera is realistic with players and it shows.

AR: What similarities do you see between the Chargers and the Bears?

NR: A lot of their philosophies and principals are the same, as far as playing fast and forcing turnovers. Both teams are physical and play fast.

Check back tomorrow for Part II of this interview, where Nick talks about training camp in San Diego, the similarities between the Chargers and Bears and more.

Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for Scout.com. She has contributed to the official Web sites of Shawne Merriman, Lorenzo Neal, Shaun Phillips and others for Sixthman Communications.


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