News

Print
RSS

Anderson eager to learn from veterans

Posted Jul 31, 2016

Even though his playing time likely will be reduced with the additions of Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman, young inside linebacker Jonathan Anderson is excited to learn from the two veterans.

Bears inside linebacker Jonathan Anderson saw significant playing time last season as an undrafted rookie, recording 40 tackles while appearing in 11 games with three starts.

Anderson likely will have a reduced role on defense this year, given that the Bears bolstered his position by signing veterans Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman in free agency. But the 24-year-old isn't complaining about the new additions.

Bears inside linebacker Jonathan Anderson
Bears inside linebacker Jonathan Anderson recorded 40 tackles while appearing in 11 games with three starts in 2015.

"I'm really happy we got some vets," Anderson said Sunday in Bourbonnais. "It's going to help me grow. That's all it's about for young players; it's all about growing."

Anderson said that Trevathan and Freeman are teaching him to play faster and be more physical, something that paid dividends in Sunday's practice. On back-to-back plays, Anderson intercepted a deflected pass and broke up a pass intended for running back Senorise Perry.

If Trevathan and Freeman remain healthy, Anderson figures to play primarily on special teams. He gained valuable experience in that aspect of the game as a senior at TCU in 2014 when he started only two of 13 games played while backing up Paul Dawson, who's now with the Bengals.

"I wasn't thrilled about it, but I didn't let it keep me down," Anderson said. "I just tried to find a way to get on the field and that's really what it's all about, just doing what you need to do to help the team out and that's exactly what I'm going to do this year."

Early exit: Eddie Goldman left practice early Sunday with heat illness. The second-year defensive tackle exited shortly after scuffling with rookie guard Cody Whitehair.

Goldman is looking to build on a promising rookie season during which he recorded 39 tackles, 4.5 sacks and six tackles-for-loss while appearing in 15 games with 12 starts.

"I saw great progress with Eddie last year in his rookie campaign," said coach John Fox. "I thought he got better as the season went on. He's worked hard. I think sometimes it takes a year to develop a pro body and understand the pro schedule. So he's improved himself physically.

"He got in a little bit of a ruckus; it might have drained his energy a little bit. But I'm sure he'll be fine once he gets his fluids back."

Missing Kyle: Members of the offense aren't the only ones who miss having right guard Kyle Long on the field while he recovers from a calf injury he sustained Thursday.

"That's the most fun in practice," said defensive end Akiem Hicks, describing his battles with Long in the trenches. "When you have a guy that's a great competitor and a hard worker and he's going to give you a run for your money every time, you appreciate that as a competitor.

"So yeah, I do miss him. But I want to make sure he's fine and takes his time and comes back out there when he's ready."

A day at camp: Jay Cutler completed long touchdown passes to Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal on the first two plays of 7-on-7 drills Sunday. ... Outside linebacker Lamarr Houston broke up a pass to Zach Miller near the goal line by drilling the tight end the instant the ball arrived. ... Receiver Joshua Bellamy made a nice catch in the back of the end zone. ... Rookie tight end Ben Braunecker caught a TD pass from David Fales. ... Former Bears defensive tackle Steve McMichael and tight end Emery Moorehead, both of whom played for the 1985 Super Bowl XX champions, attended practice.