LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Neither John Fox nor Dowell Loggains knows what to expect when Kevin White gets back on the field for an NFL game, but the two coaches are pleased with the receiver's work ethic as he returns from a season-ending broken fibula.
“I think he looks very healthy. With the things that we’ve done, I’m hoping he can remain healthy,” Fox said Friday following the team’s rookie minicamp practice. “There’s been a bugaboo in his career thus far, and frustration. … But it is part of the game and unfortunately it’s been a tough start. He’s a tireless worker and I think he’s having a great offseason.”
White has been participating in the team’s offseason training program and will likely meet with the media when OTAs begin later this month. He had 19 catches for 187 yards in his first NFL games before suffering the high ankle sprain that resulted in a broken fibula in Week 4 against Detroit.
“I hate being generic, but Kevin needs to get better every day,” said Loggains. “Obviously he hadn’t played as much football as we would’ve liked him to play. He’s done a good job out here in the offseason program right now and it really is as simple as getting comfortable and getting healthy and learning the offense and learning the new wrinkles we’ve put in and doing a good job with that stuff.”
Loggains said that White still shows the traits the team saw in 2015, when White was the No. 7 pick before a stress fracture cost him his rookie season.
“I haven’t seen anything that would worry me,” Loggains said. “You guys know Kevin, the way he works, his attitude, you see the traits that we drafted him with. We’re excited about getting him healthy and getting him into a 16-game season.”
New Bears wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni has also been taken by White's work ethic and attitude.
"He’s a high character guy. He’s going to be the first guy in the building, the last guy to leave," Azzanni said. "He doesn’t like things written about him like is he a bust or all that. He puts all that away, says ‘I’m going to work really hard and prove everyone wrong. How I can do that is by being here every day and being a really hard worker.'”
New D-lineman: The Bears signed Jaye Howard last week. The former Chief had 5.5 sacks in 2015 but missed time last season because of a hip injury and was cut in April.
“He’s a veteran presence that a year ago was pretty well compensated,” said Fox — Howard had signed a two-year, $12 million prior to 2015. “He did have an injury and actually is still coming back from that to some degree. We think he’s going to make us better.”
Cutler on TV: Loggains said he is “perfectly ready” for new Fox TV analyst Jay Cutler to criticize the Bears’ offense.
“I’ll hear it before you guys do through text message,” Loggains quipped. “I think he’s gonna be wonderful. Jay’s an extremely talented person. He’s a smart person. Jay will be successful in whatever he chooses to do and I think he’s going to do a wonderful job.”