It’s early but … Bears rookie CB Kevin Toliver off to a fast start
Subscribe for unlimited digital access.
Try one month for $1!
Subscribe for unlimited digital access. Try one month for $1!
BOURBONNAIS — The undrafted free agent who flashes in training camp is one of the biggest clichés of the NFL preseason. But Bears cornerback Kevin Toliver probably should not be immediately ignored as fool’s gold.
The 6-2, 192-pound rookie from LSU had another interception in practice Saturday after having two in the Bears’ opening practice Friday. He also stood out with plays on the ball in a brief appearance at rookie minicamp before suffering an injury. So his eye-test efficiency rating is sky-high right now.
“It’s just a start,” said Toliver, a Chicago native (he moved when he was 2) who has a group of 36 family members supporting him at camp, including his 2-year-old son, Kain. “Just working on getting better every day — at least 2 percent better each day — learn from the vets . . . just keep staying consistent. That’s the thing you’ve got to do in the NFL, stay consistent as much as possible. So that’s what I’m focused on right now. Being better tomorrow than I was today.”
The pick Saturday came in a non-padded practice against third-string quarterback Tyler Bray — undoubtedly mitigating factors when it comes to training-camp performance. But Toliver, 22, still is a player to keep an eye on. He’s a former five-star recruit who was the No. 1-rated cornerback in the country at Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2015. Injuries and character issues stunted his career at LSU, and he declared for the draft with a season of eligibility left but went undrafted.
He’s making a good first impression.
“Kevin’s a big kid,” coach Matt Nagy said. “He’s a tall, rangy, lengthy corner who really almost looks like a safety. Anytime he gets some interceptions, you’re going to build confidence. But now let’s get the pads on and let’s see how we do in the run game and test him out in some other areas. And he’ll do fine.”
Long, Lynch out
Guard Kyle Long sat out practice — a scheduled maintenance day after participating in the opening practice. He’ll be rested intermittently during camp.
“We space it out just based off his body and where it’s at,” Nagy said. “I feel like the plan’s a good one.”
Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch did not practice after suffering a hamstring injury Friday. Linebacker Danny Trevathan (hamstring), cornerback Sherrick McManis (hamstring) and tight end Daniel Brown (unspecified) also did not practice.
Roquan holdout: Day 2
Rookie linebacker Roquan Smith missed his second day of practice as a contract holdout. Nagy said he had no update on the status of the negotiations with Smith.
For what it’s worth, running back Jordan Howard is catching passes in drills and still working on that aspect of his game on the side during practice.
“I definitely have improved my hand placement,” Howard said. “I used to have my hands all over the place. But now coach [Charles] London is working with me on hand placement and looking the ball in.”
Want your Bears training-camp update without delay? Each day of summer practice, Sun-Times Bears beat writers Patrick Finley, Adam Jahns and Mark Potash will share exclusive insights on the workout and interviews in a livestream conversation 1 p.m. daily through Aug. 12. Catch their live analysis and ask questions on Twitter @suntimes_sports or follow Sun-Times Sports on Periscope to be notified of each live report.