Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace is down in Florida at the NFL Owners Meetings and he claims that wide receiver Kevin White is 100% healthy after rehabbing his shin injury. The next time White will officially work out with the Bears will be on April 18th when they begin their organized team activities from Halas Hall.
Even though White has been fully cleared, the Bears will still take a cautious approach with him, and don't be surprised if they limit his work at the first few OTAs. "It's good to have a player that you have to pull back more than you have to push," says Pace.
White was having an impressive offseason last year before the shin injury popped up. "You see that right away in the way he runs and catches. He can be a dominant force out there," Jay Cutler said about White last July.
Pace also claims that defensive lineman Ego Ferguson is 100% healthy after he suffered a knee injury last season.
The Bears are still looking to add some competition at center, either via the draft or in free agency. Pace was complimentary about returning center Hroniss Grasu, who was forced into action last year because of some injuries along the Bears o-line, "You're going to see an improvement (in Grasu) from Year 1 to Year 2."
Over at ChicagoBears.com Pace gave a Q&A that touched on a number of topics.
I'll hit on a few highlights;
On signing free agents that are relatively young.
"You're looking for guys that still have upside, that are still getting better. So obviously when they're 25 or 26, you're still hoping that they're [ascending]. But you've got to be careful. Players become free agents for different reasons"
On signing inside linebacker Danny Trevathan.
"First of all, when you're signing players who come from clubs that we've been with, it reduces your risk. I almost look at Trevathan as signing one of our own players because John and his staff drafted him and they know him very well."
On new defensive end Akiem Hicks.
"I think Akiem still has a lot of upside. His game really took off in the later part of last year with New England as he got comfortable in that scheme. When I think of Akiem I think of a guy with raw, brute strength and power."
On TE Zach Miller.
"When we talk about the kind of teammates that we want here, Zach embodies that to a tee with his work ethic, his preparation and his attitude. He's just a pleasure to have in the building, and it's infectious just being around him."
On how free agency will affect his approach in the draft?
"We've got green magnets on our draft board where we have needs and we've been able to eliminate some of those green magnets through free agency. The best approach to the draft - and I know this sounds redundant - is taking the best player available, and it really puts us in position to do that and increase our chances of success in the draft."
On the Alshon Jeffery contract situation.
"We know we have an extended period of time to continue to negotiate with him, and that's what's happening. The conversations have been cordial and productive, and they'll continue. I know Alshon's working hard and he's training and we're communicating with him on that. Everything's been going well."