As he takes over as Bears linebackers coach, Reggie Herring is eager to begin working with promising young 2013 draft picks Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene.
"The key to developing young guys No. 1 is patience," Herring told ChicagoBears.com in a video interview. "But you have to give them a plan. They have to have a plan and you have to be persistent and you have to have a goal.
"We've watched them on film. There's enough skill set or tool box for these linebackers that eventually we think we can get them to a level where they can be productive players. They have the ability."
Bostic and Greene both became starters as rookies after injuries sidelined veterans Lance Briggs and D.J. Williams. The two young players showed promise, but neither performed at a consistent level.
Bostic, a second-round choice from Florida, registered 75.5 tackles, 4.5 tackles-for-loss, one sack, one interception and one forced fumble. Greene, a fourth-round choice from Rutgers, had 38.5 tackles, 0.5 tackles-for-loss, one interception and one forced fumble.
The Bears are hopeful that Herring will get the most out of them. The 54-year-old joins the Bears after spending the last six seasons as a linebackers coach with the Cowboys (2008-10) and Texans (2011-13). He also had a prior stint as linebackers coach with the Texans in 2002-03.
In 2011, Herring helped Brian Cushing earn second-team All-Pro honors after leading the team with 114 tackles. That season, Connor Barwin moved from defensive end to outside linebacker and tied for third in the AFC with a team-high 11.5 sacks.
During Herring's three seasons as Cowboys linebackers coach, DeMarcus Ware led the NFL with 46.5 sacks. Ware led the NFL with 20 sacks in 2008, the second most by a linebacker in a single season behind only Lawrence Taylor's 20.5 for the Giants in 1986.
Herring also has 25 years of experience as a college assistant at Oklahoma State (1981-85), Auburn (1986-91), TCU (1992-93), Clemson (1994-2001), North Carolina State (2004) and Arkansas (2005-07).