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Rookie safety Brock Vereen finds himself in starting spot
The ninth day of Bears organized team activities Wednesday was, for rookies like safety Brock Vereen, a competition. The fourth-round draft pick out of Minnesota is transitioning well, feels confident in his adjustment, and wants to improve more.
“I’m only eight practices in and I got a long way to go,” he said. “So every day I focus on something, try to get better, and hopefully I can build on something.”
Wednesday, Vereen took all of the first-team snaps at safety alongside Ryan Mundy, another offseason addition to the Bears’ defense. Despite Chris Conte and Craig Steltz recovering from injury, Vereen said it wasn’t the first time that he’s taken first-team reps with the ones.
“We have a rotation going,” he said. “And there’s about four or five of us. And when I have the opportunity to do reps with them, I just try to take full advantage of it.”
With Conte and Steltz on the sidelines, Vereen is doing all that he can to prove to his coaches that he belongs on the Bears’ defense.
“I would hope that effort is the thing that jumps off,” he said. “And that I’m gonna work hard, and if I make a mistake, it’s gonna be at full speed.”
Vereen played both safety and cornerback during his college career at Minnesota. He said being able to focus on one position has helped ease the transition of becoming an NFL player.
“It’s definitely easier, as far as going through the playbook, just focusing on one spot instead of two or three,” he said. “So hopefully that will prove on the field.
“I think we had a complex system in college, and I think being able to play two spots has helped me understand the game from a more detailed perspective.”
Vereen is also adjusting to the life of a professional athlete.
“I’m still transitioning from not having to do homework when I go home, or not having to go to class,” he said. “But I like this way a lot better.”
He said being a rookie is chaotic, but he’s excited to see what kind of future he will have with the Bears.
“It’s an adjustment,” he said. “I think that the biggest adjustment is the details. Everything is so specific and you gotta take that seriously.”