‘Built Ford Tough’: Bears WR Kevin White gets salty with media, but that’s OK
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Bears receiver Kevin White didn’t want to talk. That was obvious two questions into his meeting with the media after practice Wednesday.
Reporter: How are you feeling?
Reporter: What’s it been like to get back out there again?
And away he went outside Halas Hall. Counting clarifications, White answered nearly 30 questions in less than four minutes.
White wasn’t rude or overtly dismissive, but he was salty. He answered all the questions with an attitude that was hard to miss. It might not have been a good look, but it’s one that understandably fits a first-round pick who fielded questions about being labeled a bust at this time last year.
White likely is different around certain teammates and coaches. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky was waiting to meet the media when White walked out of Halas Hall, and he tried to joke with him from a distance.
But it would be more alarming if White didn’t have an edge to him at this point in his career. He has caught 21 passes for 193 yards in five games over three seasons because of two broken legs and a fractured shoulder blade.
Reporter: The team’s decision to not to pick up the fifth-year option, how much does that serve as motivation for you?
‘‘I’m motivated every single day, with or without the option.’’
Reporter: Do you feel the team still believes in you?
‘‘Ah, don’t know. Really don’t bother me at all. I believe in myself.’’
Reporter: What have you learned about yourself through this adversity that you’ve gone through?
‘‘Built Ford Tough.’’
Reporter: How do you feel you fit in this offense?
‘‘I hope so.’’
Reporter: What was your conversation with [general manager Ryan Pace] like when he told you that the fifth-year option wasn’t going to come to be?
‘‘Clean-cut and smooth.’’
The Bears are prepared to move on. That, of course, should have been obvious to White before he met with Pace. How could it not be? They drafted him with seventh overall pick in 2015 but signed receivers Allen Robinson (three years, $42 million) and Taylor Gabriel (four years, $26 million) in free agency in March, then selected Anthony Miller in the second round of the draft in April.
This is White’s last stand with the Bears, but the organization is committed to providing him with opportunities to win over coach Matt Nagy and his offensive staff.
That includes working with Trubisky during organized team activities with Robinson still recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Last month, Nagy talked about building White’s confidence by stacking good days of practice. On Wednesday, receivers coach Mike Furrey said he wanted White to ‘‘have fun, smile [and] show that love for everything.’’
‘‘That’s who he is,’’ said Furrey, White’s fourth position coach in as many seasons. ‘‘I think that allows him to kind of relax.
‘‘There’s no expectations. Come here, work hard, do what you’re supposed to do and learn. I don’t have any expectations for him. We don’t know that yet.’’
At this point, though, anything the Bears get from White on the field should be viewed as a bonus.
Reporter: What defines a successful season in your mind?
‘‘Doesn’t matter, as long as I’m out here.’’
Reporter: Physically, do you feel like you have your explosiveness back after the two leg injuries?
‘‘I don’t know. Watch the film, I guess.’’
White does look better — as in faster and more explosive — than he did during OTAs last year. As he said, returning from a broken shoulder blade is significantly different than coming back from a second major surgery on your lower left leg.
But White is in his fourth season. It’s time for him to play with the same edge and attitude he showed the media after practice.
Reporter: What do believe is possible from you this season?
‘‘Anything I want.’’