Bears notebook: Roschon Johnson can’t wait to hit someone

The rookie running back from Texas thrives on physicality — which he can’t show off in non-padded practices. But his time will come. “Down the road when we get pads on, my playing style will definitely show,” he said.

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Baylor v Texas

Bears rookie running back Roschon Johnson (2) rushed for 2,190 yards, averaged 5.6 yards per carry and scored 23 touchdowns in four seasons at Texas.

Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Running back Roschon Johnson loves to use his body as a weapon, punish defenders and run through contact, so Friday’s Bears rookie minicamp opener with no pads and no contact was not his style.

“I hate it,” the fourth-round pick said.

After two years of playing behind Bijan Robinson, the Falcons’ No. 8 overall pick, at Texas, Johnson is used to biding his time.

“Down the road, when we get pads on, my playing style will definitely show,” said the 6-0, 219-pounder, who nonetheless was able to show off his athleticism on simple handoffs at Halas Hall. “I hate practicing without pads on. I’m a physical guy, so I think I’ll be able to show more than that when the time comes.”

Johnson has a multiphase special-teams role locked up. But he figures to get an opportunity in training camp to prove he can compete with Khalil Herbert, D’Onta Foreman, Trestan Ebner and Travis Homer for backfield carries as a rookie.

Until then, he’ll be content learning the playbook, studying film, asking questions and preparing himself for that opportunity.

“Just learning the offense,” he said. “Grasping everything and just taking it one day at a time. Kind of playing without thinking and trying to work up to that point so I can ultimately play fast when the pads do come on.”

Peanut’s words of wisdom

As he did last year, coach Matt Eberflus had former Bears cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman talk to the rookies at the team meeting before practice.

Asked why he brought Tillman back, Eber-flus said, “Just his message about being a pro, about what it takes. It’s not going to be easy. You’ve got to handle hard better, and you’re going to have to go through adversity, but it’s the guys that persevere that make the difference.

“He talks about preparation and the passion and the perseverance that it takes to be a pro. Just outstanding. And it means a lot when it’s coming from him because he’s a special guy.”

Tillman, drafted 35th overall in 2003, was an 11-year starter for the Bears with 38 interceptions and nine defensive touchdowns but is known more for his “Peanut Punch” that led to 44 forced fumbles in his career.

His messages generally resonate with players — especially cornerbacks.

“One thing he said is ‘run to criticism.’ I take that very personal,” cornerback Tyrique Stevenson said. “I definitely was enlightened by it because it gave me an opportunity to realize that criticism is there to help. Everybody’s not gonna love you. You’re not put in the world for that. But I’m gonna be the best me that I can [be] and take the criticism and grow as a person and as a man.”

Help for Fields

Wide receiver Tyler Scott, a fourth-round pick, is eager to give quarterback Justin Fields the deep threat the Bears need.

“A lot of people talk about my speed [4.37 in the 40-yard-dash at Cincinnati’s pro day] and my deep-threat ability,” Scott said. “I know he likes to throw the ball pretty deep. It’s my job to make his job easier and make him great.

“As one of my coaches said, put his name in the newspaper.”

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