May 19, 2014
LAKE FOREST, Ill.- Seeing Jordan Lynch lined up next to the quarterback, donned in navy blue and orange and wearing No. 36, was let's face it, strange.
After all, Lynch had spent the last eight years of his football career as the quarterback, first at Mt. Carmel High School in Chicago and then at NIU. As the Huskies' starting quarterback over the last two years, Lynch twice broke the NCAA record for rushing yards by a QB and finished his career ranked third all-time at NIU in rushing yards
Working out under the watchful eyes of the Bears coaching staff and the Chicago media in his second day of rookie mini camp, Lynch looked just as comfortable as any NFL veteran.
"It's awesome to come out here and do what I know how to do," Lynch said. "Players play football, fly around and have fun. I'm just trying to help out the Chicago Bears any way possible."
The former Huskie quarterback began his second day of drills at Halas Hall with 65 other players, including former NIU defensive lineman Anthony Wells, as a Bear running back. However, Lynch's action was not limited to taking handoffs and running routes out of the backfield. He spent a good chunk of Saturday's workout in special teams drills.
"I'm trying to jump on as many special teams as possible," he said. " I want to help out the team any way possible no matter what it is. If it's a wedge breaker on kickoffs like I was doing today or returning some kicks, I'll do whatever to help them out."
Known as one of the toughest players on the NIU squad, the Heisman finalist brushed up on his defensive skills, running through a pair tackling dummy drills before moving on to punt and kickoff coverage drills. It was his first "defensive" practice since playing safety for Team USA prior to his freshman year at NIU. Lynch also got some reps at running back during the team portion of practice, working in behind fourth round pick Ka'Deem Carey.
"I played running back early in my career, all the way to eighth grade," Lynch said. "I kind of played running back in high school, running the triple option. Some of the stuff comes naturally to me. I feel like I'm picking it up as the days go on."
Following practice, Lynch was held after with another rookie, to field kickoffs for about five minutes. He handled every opportunity cleanly. It was just one more skill Lynch wanted to develop to do whatever he could to make the team.
Photos courtesy of Bill Smith, Chicago Bears