Kevin White was always going to be a project. Year one of that project was always going to be about adapting his brilliantly raw skills to the rigors (both mental and physical) of the professional game.
The Bears don’t need White to win physical battles down the field. They have Alshon Jeffery for that. They don’t need White to make pivotal catches on mid-range third downs. That’s why they signed Eddie Royal, Ryan Pace’s most underrated offseason move. The Bears need White to finish the 2015 campaign having figured it out. They – the team and the player – know he has the skills. By the end of this season both need an understanding of what will be required to harness those skills
But in the meantime he has to do some stuff. He can’t redshirt. And that stuff is easily divisible into three categories: go, slant and screen. Those are now presented to you in dramatic form.
Jay: Hey Kevin.
Kevin: Sup, Jay.
Jay: You see that guy standing in front of you?
Jay: Run by him.
Jay: Then I’m going to throw the ball really far. You go catch it.
Kevin: Sounds good.
Jay: Kev, you know when you’re driving…
Kevin: Like in a car?
Jay: Yea, a car. What else would I mean?
Kevin : I thought you meant like basketball…
Jay: You know when you’re driving and the car in front of you is going too slow so you dive into the left lane and pass?
Jay: So sorta do that. If you are on the left side, dive right. Right side, dive left. And the ball will be waiting for you.
Kevin: What do I do when I catch it?
Jay: You turn around and face me.
Kevin: That’s it?
Jay: Yep. You turn. Face me. I throw the ball to you. You turn again. You run.
Kevin: That sounds easy.
Jay: It ain’t hard.
That’s it. That should be Kevin White’s rookie route tree. And because of the simplicity of what he’ll be asked to do, missing time at the beginning of training camp doesn’t mean all that much.
Could he use the reps? Sure. But haven’t we proven that all increased training camp reps do is increase the chances of serious injury? And didn’t the rookie season of Odell Beckham Jr. prove that all this training camp installation business is more poppycock than pivotal?
White isn’t rehabbing in Florida between golf rounds. He is in Bourbonnais, in every meeting, accruing every bit of information he needs. The Bears shouldn’t let him touch the field until he is 100% healed from whatever is ailing his shin. If that’s once the meaningless games being, fine. If that’s at the end of the month, okay. If that’s in September, no worries.
White isn’t a week one necessity. He’s not being asked to carry the water for the receiving corps. A year from now he may be. So a year from now fans should be concerned if he’s a bit gimpy at the start of camp. Right now it just doesn’t matter.