Chicago Sun-Times

Florida State QB Drew Weatherford gunning for free-agent deal at minicamp

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The Bears are bringing in a quarterback with legitimate college experience for their rookie minicamp this weekend.

Florida State's Drew Weatherford will pariticipate on a tryout basis and could earn a free-agent contract to go to training camp as the fourth quarterback.

Weatherford was a three-year starter for the Seminoles, passing for 39 touchdowns from 2005 through 2007 before he was replaced by Christian Ponder last year. Weatherford, 6-3, 218 pounds, passed for 7,567 yards in his career.

Joining him at the position will be Missouri's Chase Patton, who backed up Chase Daniel in his career with the Tigers. Patton is also coming in on a tryout basis.

The Bears like to simulate a regular minicamp with their rookies and undrafted free agents, so they will have 40 or more players on the field running all the regular drills.

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17 Comments

Interesting. Though in some ways, Chase Patton has more potential, even though he has less college experience, ala Matt Cassel. Weatherford got his chance to play and was then benched at FSU. Patton was also rated as a top 10 national high school prospect when Missouri landed him. I think Patton would be the better project for the Bears to work on over the next few years. But a tryout is a tryout, so let the best man win!

That looks correct, he started two seasons and then got benched, losing a QB competition, and then never played again:

FROM WIKIPEDIA --

"Weatherford sat out of spring practice after a slight tear in the lateral meniscus in his right knee required surgery. He was expected to be the starter headed into fall camp, but he faced fierce competition from redshirt sophomores D'Vontrey Richardson and Christian Ponder."

"On August 3, 2008 after two and half scrimmages, Jimbo Fisher, Florida State's quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, announced that Christian Ponder would start the Seminoles' game against Western Carolina on September 6. Weatherford was moved down to third string on the depth chart and played in only one series late in the fourth quarter during FSU's 69-0 blowout of Western Carolina."

So you have Weatherford, who started and then lost his job, and then you have Patton, who never got a chance to start behind Heisman finalist Daniel. Here's the comparison on ESPN:

Weatherford: 6' 1.5" 212lbs, position rank: 38
Patton: 6' 4" 222lbs, position rank: 29

It does tell me something that Patton, who never started a game in college is ranked HIGHER than Weatherford. Should be a fun tryout, but I think the bigger Patton is better suited to the NFL, even as a 3rd stringer for a few years

Hey, how about this, they both look promising, so maybe both Weatherford and Patton can stick around the entire summer and we can have a real QB competition. Granted Cutler is our starter, fine. But then Hanie is no real treat, and Basanez - please!!! So I say let's look at both of these guys, and bring them both to summer camp and see what they have, we def need a good back-up QB

Go Bears!

Hey Brad,

The Raiders have made FS Michael Huff available via trade. What do you think about the Bears trying to use a fifth round pick as that seems to be the going rate for starting safeties that aren't highly favored by their current team. I realize his contract status may be an issue given that he was such a high draft pick, but I believe he would be ideal.

Thanks

timmy tebow shoulda one da he15man. hes down dere in da swamp grillin dem barbacoons on da dfence. he gotta 890 on his SETs. hes a genus!! gators four nashunal champeunz 09!!

I went to Hickman High, a rival high school in Columbia, MO where Chase Patton grew up. He was the QB at our rival, Rockbridge High, and he was an absolute stud. He threw 30 TDs and was named Missouri Player of the Year back in 2003. Unfortunately he did not get a chance to play at Mizzou, with Daniel hogging all the playing time. It is great to see him here in Chicago and getting a chance in the NFL, he has the size and talent to make it big. Good luck Patton.

Huff is a SS also who was asked to play FS, and he got benched last season on the lowly Raiders. Not a ringing endorsement, plus we've already got plenty of SS on the roster.

Weatherford has all the talent to become the backup to Cutler. He was rated number 6 in the nation in high school, led the ACC in passing yards as a red shirt freshman, and started for three consecutive years. He is patient in the pocket which will set Forte off in the flats even more, but also has a quick release. His knee injury set him back his senior year, but his leadership role on the sideline was greater than that of the guys on the field. Not to mention, he KILLED it on Pro Day and in my eyes will put Haine and Basanez to shame. Go Bears and Go Drew!

PhillyBearsFan said "Huff is a SS who was asked to play FS.....plus we've already got plenty of SS on the roster."

I couldn't disagree with you more. At 6'2", 205 pounds, Huff is actually built more like a corner, which is what he played at Texas. So that would make him a corner/FS hybrid, which Bill Belichick said is now the prototypical FS. Also, the fact that he plays for the lowly Raiders is another reason for us to go after him. For the Raiders, he plays the deep middle and therefore a lot of man-free. In our system, he would only be responsible for one deep half, thereby giving him more opportunity to make plays using his 4.38 speed. Plus, our coaching staff is significantly better than the Raiders.

Here is what Scouts Inc had to say about him: Huff is a good combination of size, strength and athleticism. He has been an impressive run-support player filling the alley. He has good pop and power on contact. He wraps effectively when tackling. He runs well and shows excellent range for the safety position. Huff plays with a great motor and is consistent with his effort and toughness in every contest. He reacts quickly and is a very instinctive player for such a young player. He uses his hands well to stay clean to get to the pile. He understands angles and leverage in pursuit. He is quick to jump routes and gets his hands on a bunch of balls. He has great foot agility, lateral quickness and speed, which enable him to match up well in man-coverage schemes. Huff brings attitude, toughness and athleticism to the Raiders' defense and should continue to develop in the coming seasons.

i dont get all the QBS being asked in.. let them develop hanie and the kid from northwestern.. guess it wont hurt to take a peek though.. think the bears did a good jon in the draft.. angelo is finally acting like a real GM with some guts..

Woodlayer it really depends what Oakland wants for him. He has only 1 interception in 3 years and did get benched, if they want a sixth rounder for him thats fine. The scheme may be a problem in Oakland but how big of a problem can it be? Talent is talent, and the best players can play in almost any system, they tend to do better in certain ones. When they go from college to the Pros they change systems. By the way the Bears play a third of there downs in Man, we don't play the duece all that much well at least we didn't last year.

An interesting rumor floating around is that the Bears will play a hybrid dime this year and try to use three corners to cover up there weakness at safety.

Another thing the Bears still need is a Split end to help take pressure of Hester and Iglesias. They should go after Amani Toomer and he can team with Bennett at the X. I bet Cutler could get an 800 yard season out of him if we use him part time and give his legs a little rest with Bennett. We really dfo need a vet at WR and that guy is clutch in the playoffs. We would only need him for a year or two before we find a real upgrade, like Brandon Marshall who will be a free agent next year and the Broncos are not offering him a new contract.

AGREED. I think there is a very very strong chance that Brandon Marshall will be a starting WR for the Bears next year. Cutler's favorite target is a FA after this season and I guarantee both of them would love to play together. Combine that with the fact the Bears have arguably the worst WR corps in the entire NFL (yes even after the draft) makes sense for signing Brandon. Hester is nothing more than an experiment at WR....He hurts the team when he's not on kick-offs, so lets end the experiment and get guys that grew up and played as WRs in college.

Being a Florida State Seminole Alum and fan I know a little about Drew Weatherford and his benching. Seminole's Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher chose Christian Ponder over Drew because of his mobility. Weatherford is more of a drop back QB, great arm - if he has the time to throw it. Hasn't had a decent OL throughout his college career. Reminds me of Brad Johnson - who was benched for Casey Weldon - Brad is still playing and has made millions!

What you need to understand is that the starting quarterback for FSU this year and last year is the future. Jimbo went with a QB who he could develop for the next three years instead of trying to break the bad habits Drew was coached before Jimbo got there and only use hinm for 1 year.

Drew in a way was cast aside. He never developed past his freshmen year. It was a shame to see that. He could have really been an outstaning QB if given the chance or had better coaching in his first two years.

Chi Town Stunner: To be more precise, Weatherford was the #6 ranked pro-style quarterback in 2004, while Patton was the #4 ranked dual-threat QB. Also, Weatherford was #88 in Rivals.com's Top 100 HS players rankings in '04, and Patton was #69 in the same rankings. Should be a good contest.

Drew is the man

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 27, 2009 4:44 PM.

Missouri kicker Jeff Wolfert to get tryout at rookie minicamp was the previous entry in this blog.

Northwestern QB C.J. Bacher to get tryout this weekend is the next entry in this blog.

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