Roquan Smith has always been a gifted football player. A linebacker with an impeccable nose for the ball and even better closing speed, one look at the 23-year-old is all anyone needs to see that he belongs at the highest levels of the game. Tailor-made for football’s rigors, demands, structure, he’s a natural. As talented as Smith is, a variety of injury issues unfortunately plagued last year’s follow-up campaign to a sharp rookie season. Even when healthy, he wasn’t quite the same human missile blowing up plays before they had a chance to get started. He wasn’t attacking formations with a controlled abandon. He wasn’t running stride for stride with athletic running backs and tight ends. He wasn’t Roquan Smith.
An off-season of personal, social, and global turmoil can do a lot to shift one’s perspective. It widens your horizons. More importantly, it lets you refocus. After undergoing surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle in the winter, Smith took some time for himself. He recalibrated his priorities, took a deep breath (or two), and set his sights back on his primary ambition: Being the complete superstar he knows he’s capable of transforming into.
Wednesday saw Smith, along with Buster Skrine and Demetrius Harris, shed light on some of their personal struggles, the ongoing national conversation, and how they’ve kept busy this spring.
Bears LB Roquan Smith: "I feel like I'm in a great place right now. I feel like I have a lot to live up to. I just gotta put it all on the line."— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) June 10, 2020
Roquan Smith: "I gotta huge chip on my shoulder."— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) June 10, 2020
"Having a guy like Danny Trevathan back is great. He's shown me the ropes. I appreciate that guy a lot. I'm very excited to have him back." #Bears LB Roquan Smith.— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) June 10, 2020
Buster Skrine would like to see: Better educate the nation on how to see different peoples point of views. This is the first time in my life time this has occurred. He says cautious steps are being made, but steps nonetheless.— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) June 10, 2020
Bears CB Buster Skrine says if he does any demonstration, like kneeling, this season he would like it to be as a team.— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) June 10, 2020
Bears Buster Skrine: Told the rookies to show up in shape and know your play book— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) June 10, 2020
Bears CB Buster Skrine wore a Rolling Stones t-shirt to today's Zoom press conference. Says: "I listen to classic rock all the time. You know, I never touch the auxiliary cord in the locker room because I feel like I would get judged off my playlist."— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) June 10, 2020
Bears TE Demetrius Harris took solace in hearing from white people in regards to George Floyd: "I felt them, I felt love."— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) June 10, 2020
"He's a loveable person. He welcomes you with open arms. He's a true players coach." - #Bears TE Demetrius Harris on head coach Matt Nagy.— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) June 10, 2020
Bears TE Demetrius Harris on Matt Nagy: "It's Nags, man. He's a lovable person. He's a player's coach. There's not a lot of coaches you can be around and be yourself."— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) June 10, 2020
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