Bears’ Tim Jennings to play nickelback, with rookie Kyle Fuller outsideContinue reading.
Step-by-step, day-by-day, Bears rookie CB Kyle Fuller looking like he belongs on the field
The only thing we really know about rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller is that he’s not overwhelmed in training camp. The first-round pick from Virginia Tech, in fact, looks like he belongs on the field in the NFL many more times than he doesn’t. And it’s worth noting that when he does get burned, it’s usually by one of the best receivers in the NFL. If he learns as well as everybody says he does, the kid will be in good shape by the end of camp.
Fuller is playing cornerback in nickel situations, which all but makes him a starter in this defense. If the early practices are any indication, the Bears are going to be in a lot of nickel this season. (Whether Tim Jennings can handle the nickel position might be just as big of a question. It’s not as easy as it looks. But the Bears seem to be assuming he can do it.)
But Fuller has taken the first few steps toward handling his responsibility. Although, as most everything is in the NFL, he’s a work-in-progress.
“He’s done a good job,” Bears secondary coach Jon Hoke told me. “He’s still a young player learning the ins and outs of the game. He has great mentors with Charles [Tillman] here, Tim Jenning, Kelvin Hayden. You think about the years those guys have played — Tim and Kelvin have a Super Bowl [ring]. Charles played in the Super Bowl.
“So he’s in a good position to learn a lot — to learn how to be a professional football player. He’s learning every day. He’s having success and he’s having some failures every day. And he’s learning from both of them.”
Fuller is a good athlete, but not a great one. His ability to learn and take advantage of his instincts will determine not only his success in the NFL, but how quickly he becomes a factor. So far, so good.
“He’s definitely a first-round talent. He’s going to be a great player,” said teammate Isaiah Frey, the Bears’ starting nickel back last season. “The thing I noticed with him more than anything is he’s real intelligent. I think that’s going to separate him from a lot of other players. He’s getting better and better every day.”