The first thing you notice about Bears rookie receiver Tyler Scott is his blazing speed. But that's far from the fourth-round pick's only asset.
"He's fast, man," said special teams coordinator Richard Hightower. "That guy is fast. I love his speed. I [also] love the fact that he is so dialed in. Every time a correction is made, he never makes the same mistake. I love that about him because it tells me that it's important to him and he wants to be the best."
Scott's attention to detail is fueled by his passion for the game. It enables him to focus intently on executing his assignments, lining up correctly, motioning to the right landmarks and getting the required depth on his routes.
"Loving the game of football, it just kind of starts there," Scott said. "If you really care about what you do, you really hone-in on things like that."
Scott's meticulous approach has helped the 5-11, 185-pounder make plays throughout the first week of training camp. In a two-minute drill this past Saturday, he leaped high to haul in a pass over the middle, picking up a key first down on third-and-long.
Scott is making a smooth transition in a Bears offense that features significantly more shifts and motions than the system he played in at the University of Cincinnati.
"At Cincinnati, we were kind of more of a base offense, not too much shifting or motioning," Scott said. "We were more hand signals as well from the sideline. Here, it's all communications from the quarterback. You're hearing it in the huddle, so you're trying to process it instead of just looking toward the sideline, and then definitely a lot more motioning from one spot to another. It's definitely a lot more, but that just means you've got to dial in.
"The plus side of that I think is just kind of with the variety of different shifts and motions and even routes and adjustments, it kind of keeps the DBs on their toes. It gives you more to look at, it gives you more space to mirror things up, make one route look like another. It gives you a variety of tools to use. There's definitely been a lot there, but I just think it gives you a step ahead, too, once you get it down."
Scott is interested in anything that gives him an edge over a defensive back. The 21-year-old has discovered that the biggest difference between college and the NFL for him is not the speed of the game but "the knowledge of the players that you're going against."
"I remember my first rep against [veteran cornerback] Jaylon Johnson when he came back in OTAs," Scott said. "My very first rep, he was on top of it. He ran it for me. At that point I was like, 'Man, he just gave me a taste of really [how] a high-level cornerback dissects the game and how they're just one step ahead.'
"That's pretty much the biggest difference, so I'm just trying to figure out now how do I use my speed, how do I threaten guys with that? At the end of the day, it's a physical game … but it's a mind game as well."
Asked how he now runs routes against Johnson, Scott said: "With him, I'm just trying to make everything look the same. I'm not trying to give any tell signs. As a receiver you have to be a good actor, and I'm just trying to be consistent in what I do. I caught a deeper hitch today against him on 7-on[-7], and the biggest thing I was trying to focus on was just really giving him my presence, like I'm going deep and just snapping it off and shutting it down, and I ended up making the catch."
Scott's assimilation into the NFL includes learning from veteran receivers, beginning with fourth-year pro Darnell Mooney.
"He's a guy that I love because of his mindset," Scott said. "He is his own man. He's just like, 'Listen, do you, man. Just be you. Don't be a robot. If you see something drawn up on paper, at the end of the day, you've got to get the job done. It's football. They brought you here for a reason, and you've got to do things that separate you from the rest.'"
Like every NFL player, Scott hopes to do just that. But when asked what he wants to accomplish as a rookie, he didn't mention any statistics he's shooting for.
"The first goal is to earn the trust of everyone around me," Scott said. "That's how I felt about it coming into college. That's the first thing. Coming in, I've just tried to humble myself. I was drafted, great. But at the end of the day, you just have to earn trust. My mindset is if I come in humbled, I can only be exalted. And if I come in exalting myself, then I can only be humbled."