Earlier, we looked at what we thought we might see from the Bears wide receiver corp in the upcoming season, and a lot of you had some good insights. Now, we get a chance to see what WR coach Darryl Drake thinks about the progress of Devin Hester and Earl Bennett, along with his evaluations of our rookie WRs.
Drake on Hester:
He performed just like I thought he would. He continues to make strides. He’s playing with so much more confidence in everything he’s doing. We’re playing him at every spot. We’re moving him around; he’s doing a lot of different things. The biggest thing you see is the plays that he makes. He and Jay [Cutler] have gotten on the same page with a lot of things. I’m really pleased with his development.
Drake on Bennett:
He performed really well (in OTAs). He was very consistent, which we knew Earl would be. He’s not thinking now. He’s playing fast. He understands what we’re trying to do in the offseason. He understands where he is in formations, and he knows what to do.
He’s heard things over and over again, and right now he’s playing with a lot of confidence. When a guy’s thinking, he’s not confident. And when he’s not confident, he can’t perform up as well as he needs to perform. But right now he understands, he’s confident, and he knows what he’s doing. Even if he does make a mistake, he knows to make a mistake full speed, and that’s the difference; it’s just another year of maturity, another year in the system, and he’s playing uninhibited.
On Rashied Davis' role in 2009:
The role that Rashied had a couple years ago; being a third-down guy, coming in and helping us in certain situations. That’s where he really performed at his best, when he was doing those things. Last year he got thrust into some situations and had to be a starter because of injuries and things like that, but those things happen in the NFL and you’ve got to be able to handle them. Things probably didn’t go as well as I would have liked them to go for him or as well as he would have liked them to go. He needs to do continue to work and be consistent.
Drake also talks about who else could challenge for a starting spot on the roster, and how the rookies are developing. He gave props to Johnny Knox and Juaquin Iglesias, but did not mention Derek Kinder, even though Mayer asked about him (albeit indirectly).
Also mentioned in a favorable light was Brandon Rideau. The guy has been around the Bears system for a while now, and is our biggest target on the roster. We need some size in our lineup, even it is just for situational downs. Training Camp (which starts on July 31st) will be one of the last chances for these guys to make impressions.