The sweltering heat Wednesday felt right to Bears rookie outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. It was like being back home in hot and humid Georgia, where “sweating bullets” as Floyd put it, is the norm in June.
“Oh yeah,” Floyd said, “it’s definitely some Georgia weather.”
Oozing sweat, though, doesn’t exactly help Floyd’s weight-gain plan, does it?
“True,” he said..
Floyd’s narrative hasn’t changed. His weight remains a storyline, and it will continue to be one when the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft reports to training camp after six weeks away from the Bears and Jennifer Gibson, the team’s sport-science coordinator and dietitian. His current plan calls for him to eat some of his favorite foods nearly every hour.
“Me and Jen are going get together probably [Thursday] and go over my eating schedule over the whole break,” said Floyd, who’s listed at 6-4 and 244 pounds.
Floyd knows the questions about his weight are coming, but he’s too polite and too young to take a defiant stance. His new teammates, however, are a different story. They learned during the offseason program that Floyd’s weight might not be the issue some make it out to be. He’s simply too fast and athletic.
Right guard Kyle Long said he sees a “dynamic guy” who “flashes some really, really good stuff” when the offense reviews practice tapes. Outside linebacker Willie Young ridiculed concerns about Floyd’s thin frame, calling them b.s.
“A lot of people say he needs to gain weight, but I don’t think about that,” linebacker Danny Trevathan said. “It could help — gaining weight — but at the same time, he’s so explosive. I don’t want him to slow down. I want him to be himself.
“He’s definitely fitting well within our scheme and this defense. His attitude, he’s a humble guy, and he works his tail off. He’s going to fit in well with us.”
Floyd reiterated that he thinks he can gain weight without losing his coveted, quick step. He’s also developing power moves to complement his speed.
“He plays pretty strong anyways,” coach John Fox said. “A lot of times it’s not all about size; it’s about playing forcefully.”
An every-down role might not be in Floyd’s immediate future, but it’s apparent that Floyd can stand out and affect an offense in some fashion.
“Somebody [compared] him to DeMarcus Ware, and I said ‘Wait, wait, wait. Calm down. That’s too early,’ ” defensive end Akiem Hicks said. “He definitely has that feel where he can get down really low, rip through, come around the corner, and he definitely has the speed. He’s going to build more strength the more he plays and the more he’s here. I look forward to seeing what that kid can do.”