Chicago Sun-Times

Q & A: Khaseem Greene joins Bears' LB corps

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With the No. 117 selection, the Bears selected Rutgers outside linebacker Khaseem Greene, the 2012 Big East defensive player of the year. Here's what Greene said during his conference call with Chicago media:

On if he must play special teams to make an impact on the field or can he play LB right away: "I'm not sure. I'm coming into a great situation at basically the NFL equivalent of Linebacker U. So I'm just extremely happy and excited to be in this position, to come into such a great organization and be able to compete. But as far as coming in and starting, I'm just going to take it one day at a time. I can't say too much about how that's going to go. Hopefully I'm just looking to come in, compete and contribute in any way I can."

On creating turnovers in college and the NFL: "I don't give up on any plays whether I'm in front of the guy and trying to put my face on the ball to cause a fumble or I'm chasing the guy and trying to strip him or I'm coming in as second man in, third man in and stripping him. My mentality is I want to get the ball back and I want to get it to my offense or it would be even better if the defense could pick-it-up and score. That's my philosophy when it comes to defense is getting to the ball, creating takeaways and then just going from there. It's always instilled in my head, it's something that I worked on for the last five years at Rutgers and I'm definitely going to still work on it going forward from here."

On his contact with the Bears during the draft process: "I had really good contact with them.. I did some informational things at the Senior Bowl and the combine. They brought me in on a visit during the pre-draft process. Just when I was there I had a great feeling. I got to meet some great guys and really got to look at the defense and look at some of the things they do schematically. Walking away I knew that I could very well play here and play in Chicago and be that type of guy who could learn and get the concept of the defense and be a contributor. Coming away from the visit I felt really good. You just never know with the draft who goes where and what a team thinks about you, where they need you or where they see you, if you'll be around when they would like to take you. We had contact and we talked, but I really just didn't know what was going to happen. My phone rang and it was an Illinois area code, I knew right then and there where I was going and I was just so blessed going forward from there."

On what he knows about the Bears history at linebacker: "I know a fair amount. Obviously I know what I've seen and also about back in the day guys like Butkus and Singletary were the terrors of Chi-Town. It's definitely "Linebacker U" and if you want to be a young linebacker or be a veteran linebacker or go down in history as one of the greats I don't see a better place to be in where you can come into a place where traditionally produced great linebackers and you still have great linebackers on the team and you can come and learn from them. Lance Briggs, he's one of the greats. Brian Urlacher, who was just there, he's definitely a great linebacker - nobody can [argue] that. Just seeing this position, coming in to such a great tradition of linebackers and great tradition of defense I'm just extremely excited to be a part of that."

On if he is an inside linebacker or outside:
"I think, honestly I think I can play wherever I need to. Teams were telling me they like me on the inside in a 3-4 scheme and some teams told me they liked me at Will in a 4-3 scheme. They told me about the things I have to improve upon. Basically just gave me the confidence, game me the feedback that I needed to know that I can actually play in the league and be a linebacker and play any position on the field. That's how I feel. I know I can play inside or outside, whatever the Bears need from me, I am going to work my hardest to do it and work my hardest to be that guy that is actually going to be productive when it is time for me to play."

On if he talked personally with Mel Tucker and his impressions of him: "I did. Honestly, I love him. When I sat down with him, I was on my visit, for a little while and he told me he reminded me of a player he coached once before. He liked what he had seen of me on film and those were things that made me feel real good and feel real confident. I am just excited to get down there and work for him. I am so excited to get there to Chicago and just work, compete and just show everybody why I would deserve to be there. Just do the things that I love, play the game of football, even right now just talking about it is kind of getting me worked up because I've played football since I was five years old. I can't even sum it into words how good it feels to be a part of something so special. Like I said, talking to coach Tucker he just made me feel comfortable and made me feel like I am ready to get down there and go to work."

On if he feels like he is a fourth rounder: "You know what, I don't really get into that stuff. I don't care. I just wanted my name to be called or wanted to be given the opportunity to get into somebody's camp, you know, experts say they ranked me high. You see it every year, somebody goes lower than they are supposed to or somebody goes higher than they are supposed to or what they were expected to go by the experts. People get caught up into that and that was never my focus. I have talked to my agent a lot in these last couple days, talked to my family a lot and it was always the same thing: We're blessed to be in this position because a couple years ago I wasn't in this position. Just last year, I wasn't in this position, I was playing college football and now I am playing at the elite level, the highest level, just living out my dream. It's always been my dream to be drafted to see my name come across the screen. For that to happen, and see the reaction I got from my family and my mom, like I said it's just unbelievable. It's so surreal right now but at the same time it's a testament to the hard work and dedication that I have put in and my family has put in and all my coaches prior to this have put in to get me to this position."

On his time playing safety and how it helped him as a linebacker:
"I think the most important thing it did for me was teach me the value of coverages, covering the slot, covering the tight ends and covering running backs once I moved to linebacker. It was extremely easy for me to pick up covering running backs and anticipate what those guys were doing and what kind of moves they would moves they would be making and things like that. Safety was just great for me as far as the coverage aspect and developing my speed, being able to quick and instinctive and also be fast, it's all credited to playing safety for the years that I played and it is now coming together as a linebacker and being the total package."

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on April 27, 2013 2:13 PM.

Bears draft big-play LB Khaseem Greene in 4th round was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears add another OT to their mix in Jordan Mills is the next entry in this blog.

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