After Ron Turner got everyone back on track for the quarterback derby between Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton, the Bears offensive coordinator covered topics that went beyond new wide receiver Brandon Lloyd.
The Q&A on a teleconference this afternoon:
Q: Thoughts on Brandon?
A: “I think Brandon’s a playmaker. Like he said, I’ve known him since he was 17 years old, recruited him out of high school, was with him three years at Illinois. He was very productive down there, so I’ve got a good feel for what he can do. [Receivers coach] Darryl Drake and I went back and looked at all his film as we do any available free agent, looked at his game film from the last couple years and feel he can still play and that hopefully he can come in and be a good fit with the receivers that we have here right now, he can fit in well with them and we’re looking forward to that competition.”
Q: How do you envision a fair QB competition shaping up?
A: ”Both guys are going to have an opportunity to show what they can do, working with the No. 1s, working with the No. 2s, getting equal reps and just seeing who comes out and runs the offense the best and the most consistently.”
Q: Have you kept in contact with Brandon over the years?
A: “I’ve kept in touch. Brandon and I have stayed in touch. Not on a regular basis, not like every month or whatever. But we’ve stayed in touch. I’ve followed his career. We definitely have stayed in touch and talked about him and his family and the young children that he has and everything else going on. We’ve got a good relationship, and as I do with a lot of the players that played for me at Illinois, you stay in touch with them and you’re concerned about what they’re doing with their lives. I did with Brandon just as I did with many others no matter what field they were in.”
Q: Does he compare to anyone?
A: “I don’t know who he does. I think he has his own style. He’s got good speed. He’s got great leaping ability. Coming out of high school, I think he was a 7-1 high jumper or something like that. He’s got the ability to go up and get the ball. He’s got playmaking ability. He’s good run after the catch, so there are a lot of things that he can do that I think will fit with what we want to do, just like Marty Booker has. I’m excited about bringing Marty in here, just like Mark Bradley and Devin [Hester] and hopefully Rashied [Davis] will be back, all that stuff, just like all the other receivers. We’re excited about putting Brandon in the mix and letting him come out and compete with some guys that we feel can play as well.”
Q: Have you identified what each receiver’s role will be?
A: “Not yet. When they get in here, we’ll just start teaching them the offense, get them comfortable with everything. We’ve got a good feel for what they can do. But we want to see them in the offseason in the OTAs, the minicamps, working with our quarterbacks and fitting in with the other guys that we have as I’ve said. We feel really good about Mark Bradley, what he can do, and look forward to having Mark take another step, have an opportunity to compete and play and get on the field. I think Mark’s going to step up and play well, as is Devin. We’re real excited about Devin having an offseason to learn the position and step up and playing.”
Q: Where does Brandon’s arrival leave you in looking for a No. 1 receiver?
A: “Right now we’re not even focusing on that. We’ve got guys that we believe can play. Right now we’re just going to go out and once we get them here, like I said, go to work, and I think all that will take care of itself, where we are. I think they all have a lot of confidence. They all believe in themselves. And I think they’re all just looking for an opportunity and I think they all believe that we’re going to give them that opportunity.”
Q: Would you lean toward a guy with more experience?
A: “We’ll lean towards the guys that are making plays, the guys who are consistently doing what we ask them to do and making plays in the system.”
Q: What about the offense as a whole:?
A: “I feel probably better about it than a lot of people out there do. We lost two starters on our offensive line, two starting receivers, so everyone’s looking and saying, ‘What’s going on there?’ But we lost two receivers and we picked up two receivers, and we’ll address the offensive line situation. We’ve got some young guys that are going to step in and compete there. So I feel good about where we are and where we’re going with it and look for us to have a very productive offense.”
Q: Do you feel you need to speak with Brandon regarding off-field issues?
A: “I’m not sure what happened in those other places. Obviously I wasn’t there. I just know what kind of kid Brandon is, what kind of young man he is. I’ve seen him grow, and we have sat down and talked about expectations, about what’s going to be expected of him when he comes in here, what he can expect from us. So we definitely have had those discussions. We’ll continue to have them. But not any more so than anybody else. I think Brandon said it when he talked about what he’s going to do. He’s got to come in and work hard, he’s got to earn the respect and trust of his teammates, of the coaches, of everybody else, and I think he’ll come in here and work hard and keep his head down and just go to work and we’re going to try to prove that every day.”