After Week 1 error, Bears’ Kevin White ‘not worried or panicking’
It’s easy to tell Kevin White not to put so much pressure on himself.
It’s harder for him to hear it.
“That’s just the way I am,” the Bears receiver said Thursday at Halas Hall. “Really can’t change that. But I’d rather be like that than to not be like that. I’m fine.”
White, though, said he isn’t panicking, four days after he ran the wrong route in his NFL debut, a 23-14 loss to the Texans. A crashing safety led him to stop his route, rather than continue it toward the right sideline, leading to a Jay Cutler interception.
“It’s a mistake that happened,” he said. “We’re good. You just can’t let it happen again.”
White said the error “weighed on me a little bit” after the game.
“I hate messing up,” he said. “I like to try to be perfect and do a lot of exciting things. I could do better.”
Expectations were sky-high for White, who sat out his first season following shin surgery. A ho-hum debut — he caught three balls for 34 yards — did little to live up to the hype built up after his lost season.
His teammates seemed to sense the pressure that came with committing a costly mistake in his first NFL start.
“Tell him to let the game come to him,” tight end Zach Miller said. “Don’t overthink things. He’s been playing football a long time. It’s the same game.
“He needs to understand he needs to let it come to him and do the things that he’s done leading up to this point.”
White — whose imprecise route drew Cutler’s ire in the third preseason game, too — hopes that the extra practice work he’s done with the quarterback will pay off with time.
“Game reps will help,” White said. “I’m excited. Not worried or panicking or anything like that.”
White said he wants to play faster and with more of a physical presence in his second game, and described his recognition of the opponent’s defensive scheme as a work in progress. He didn’t seem to mind the speed of the NFL; he said his college games at West Virginia had a quicker tempo, but that, of course, pro players are faster.
He knows one way to play faster: relax.
Which is easier said than done.
“Try to breathe,” he said. “Try to give everything I’ve got each and ever play.”