They say the camera adds 10 pounds. But that's not why tackle Larry Borom looks slimmer in person than he did on tape playing for Missouri last year.
The fifth-round draft pick is participating in this weekend's Bears rookie minicamp at Halas Hall after shedding 30 pounds during the offseason, improving his quickness and agility.
"It was just a lot of hard work," Borom said Saturday during a Zoom call with the media. "I put my head down this past offseason and really just knew what my biggest issue was. I feel really good. I feel light on my feet, and I feel like a totally different player."
Bears offensive line coach Juan Castillo told reporters earlier this week that Borom reduced his weight from 352 pounds last year to 322, joking that the 22-year-old wanted to "get skinny" to appear in "those swimsuit issues." Castillo added that the Bears would like Borom to play at about 332 pounds.
"He's a big man that's athletic, that played good competition," Castillo said. "We're excited. We're going to put him over there [at right tackle] behind Germain [Ifedi] and let him compete with Germain."
Borom has enjoyed working with Castillo on the practice field this weekend, honing his skills and technique. The veteran offensive line coach is a firm believer in building muscle memory via repetition.
"My biggest thing was just to keep my head in the playbook," Borom said, "learn the playbook in and out, and just be able to take in any information that I can from coach Castillo, with small details regarding footwork, technique, pretty much anything, just soak up as much information as I can."
Borom appeared in 33 games with 19 starts the past three seasons at Missouri. He started all eight contests he played in 2020 at right tackle after opening 11 contests in 2019—eight at right tackle, two at left guard and one at left tackle.
"My strength is I feel like I can pass protect with the best of them," Borom said. " One thing I'm going to need to work on is just smaller, little technique things regarding just some things in the run game, maybe footwork here and there, hand placement. But other than that, I feel like I can pass block with the best of them."
“I feel really good. I feel light on my feet, and I feel like a totally different player.” Bears rookie OT Larry Borom
Borom has liked meeting and getting to know fellow rookie tackle Teven Jenkins, a second-round pick from Oklahoma State.
"It's cool because before getting drafted, I never knew anything about him," Borom said. "It's crazy how football can bring someone together with someone else, and he's a cool dude, works hard and I'm excited to work with him.
"I feel like on the field we both have that mean streak that you need to be able to flip on, and off the field we're just some goofy guys that are easy to talk to. But on the field, I feel like we're definitely the same type of mentality that we want to be able to run off the ball and be able to protect our quarterback."
33 players, including the Bears' 2021 draft class, hit the practice fields at Halas Hall Friday afternoon for the first day of rookie minicamp.