Wide receiver Kevin White calls himself his own biggest critic.
And, yes, people have told him to turn that part of his brain off, important people such as Bears general manager Ryan Pace and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains.
“It’s just the way I am,” White said after practice Monday. “I want it real bad. I want everything to be perfect. I want to do my job at a high level. When I don’t or something’s sloppy or anything, it gets to me. . . .
“I could have the best game in the world, but I’m always going to go back to that one time I screwed up.”
Cornerback Kyle Fuller, another Bears first-round pick coming back from injury, has a way to deal with the mental aspect of the game. An avid golfer, Fuller knows that even when he hits a good shot, the next one could be bad. It teaches him to stay humble and in the moment.
“That’s the way you can relate it,” he said.
Fuller and White know what it’s like to be criticized. They’re coming off their busiest day of the preseason Saturday against the Cardinals to mixed reviews. White went from 19 snaps in the opener — when he wasn’t targeted — to 35. Fuller started in Arizona for the injured Prince Amukamara and got 31 snaps, almost double the 16 he had against the Broncos.
Fuller impressed coach John Fox.
“I thought he had a good night defending the run and the pass,” Fox said. “It was good to see.”
Fuller missed all of last season after having arthroscopic knee surgery.
“I think the issue last year, he wasn’t healthy,” Fox said. “And that would set anybody back.”
Fuller can use the positive momentum. The Bears didn’t pick up his fifth-year option during the offseason, leaving him to enter a walk year. They signed Amukamara and Marcus Cooper to start in his place.
The Bears must determine how much Fuller can help them off the bench and on special teams. If it’s not enough, Fuller could be cut when the Bears pare down their roster to 53 players in less than two weeks.
Asked about his role on the team, Fuller demurred.
“That’s not for me to say,” he said. “I’m just coming out here every day and doing my job to the best of my ability.”
White’s future is more secure despite playing only four games in his first two NFL seasons because of injuries. White, who figures to be the team’s No. 2 receiver, didn’t assign any special meaning to his two catches against the Cardinals. They generated only two yards, but they were his first in-game catches since he suffered a broken left fibula and severe high ankle sprain last year.
White, though, was content to test himself against a defense that was the fourth-best in the NFL against the pass last year.
“I love going against high-quality guys like that,” he said. “It makes me more alert to what I can do and what I’ve got to work on.”
Most of the Bears’ receivers have struggled in games, too. One reason: It takes time to mesh new quarterbacks with their targets.
“Communicating with one another, what we like and don’t like and what we see and don’t see, I think that’s the best bet,” White said. “You can draw it on the board all day, but those X’s and O’s move around when you get out here on the field.”
White and Fuller have one more chance to make in-game progress — Sunday against the Titans.
“It’s known that the third preseason game is the most dress-rehearsal [kind of] game that there is,” Fuller said. “That speaks for itself right there.’’
Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.