After Jay Cutler ate lunch with Kevin White, he made sure he set up the wide receiver’s next meal, too. The Bears quarterback called in a favor Friday and booked a downtown steakhouse reservation for White and his family on an otherwise packed night.
“He’s a cool guy, laid-back,” White said Friday. “He’s the man in this city, so he said, ‘If you need anything let me know.’”
The West Virginia alum reported to Halas Hall around noon Friday, chose to wear No. 13 and sat down for lunch on-site with his mom, Tammy, receiver Alshon Jeffery, Cutler and receivers coach Mike Groh.
He described his new quarterback as excited but calm — not knowing yet that Cutler isn’t always known for his ebullience.
“But I could tell he was like a ‘Let’s go!’ kind of thing,” White said. “Can’t wait. But I think we’ll do some pretty good things.”
That’s what the Bears bet on when they selected White with the seventh overall pick Thursday night. He said one day later he knows he’ll live up to expectations.
Wearing a purple sport coat, the 6-3, 215-pounder, described himself as “chill” until he steps foot on the field.
“I’m not really into myself off the field — but on the field, you can’t tell me nothing,” White said. “I think you’ve got to play like that, the confidence. “You’ve got to feel like you’re the only one who can do what you can do. I don’t practice it or anything, it just comes natural to me.”
His stellar performance as a senior — he caught 109 catches for 1,447 yards — was followed by training work with, among others, NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odell Beckham, Jr., of the Giants.
White said he wanted to become a better route runner — “It’s a lot easier for you to get open,” he said — after GM Ryan Pace said he’d seen him run every one well.
White called his eight-catch, 132-yard game against Baylor the best of his college career, but acknowledged that his season-opener against Alabama might have drawn the most attention He caught nine passes for 143 yards that day, playing against Amari Cooper, who was drafted fourth overall Thursday by the Raiders.
While fans might continue to compare the two receivers, White won’t. He said he’s more worried about two cornerbacks the Bears will play in the first three weeks of the season.
“We’re here now, and I’m not competing against Amari,” he said. “I just want to be the best that I can be. Competing against guys like (the Seahawks’) Richard Sherman and (the Cardinals’) Patrick Peterson, I’ve got to worry about beating those guys.
“I’m not worried about what he’s doing.”