Kevin White’s health has kept him from seeing much playing time since being GM Ryan Pace’s first ever draft pick with the Chicago Bears.
Things have changed drastically since draft day 2015, but there is still a glimmer of hope for White and his future with the team. ChicagoBears.com Senior Writer Larry Mayer writes the Bears aren’t counting on Kevin White to be a key contributor in the season to come, but that doesn’t mean he should be counted out just yet. Mayer points out White is a healthy season away from possibly providing a breakout campaign. See Kyle Fuller’s 2017 season if you’re searching for an example of how it can all happen at a moment’s notice.
With that being said, injuries have limited White to the point where the 2015 first-round pick’s presence on the roster won’t stop them from overhauling the position and possibly pushing him down the depth chart.
Still, Pace sees a silver lining in this dark cloud. Go figure. Hope springs eternal this time of year. I suppose it’s some consolation that White didn’t suffer another leg injury (remember, it was a collarbone injury that forced him to injured reserve in 2017) that could have further sapped the speed element of his game.
“I think the good thing with Kevin and with it being an upper-body injury is he’s been able to run and work on his route quickness and those types of things,” Pace said, via Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic. “He’s kind of got a chip on his shoulder now, so we’re going to add more to that room, but, hey, Kevin, it’s just unfortunate with the injuries but we’re still excited about where he’s at.”
Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times notes that the Bears’ new head coach seems eager to work with White, too. And why not? Despite the shortcomings, White still has a first-round pedigree and a “chip on his shoulder” as the Bears’ GM succinctly put it. In fact, Matt Nagy sees it as some kind of challenge.
“You love to see those kinds of situations. You don’t make any promises that anything’s going to happen,” Nagy explained. “But you see a kid like that, you know his road and where he’s at, and I look at that as a personal challenge to get him to a place where we want to get him.”
Expectations will be low for White entering 2018. With the pressure off, perhaps he’ll work his way up the depth chart like Fuller did when he started the year behind Prince Amukamara, Marcus Cooper, Bryce Callahan, and Cre’von LeBlanc on the cornerbacks pecking order. If he does, it will be a welcome bonus. If he doesn’t, it hopefully won’t matter because the Bears will have used the draft and free agency to fill spots above him on the depth chart.