Bears receivers coach Mike Furrey is pleased with the progress that third-year pro Javon Wims is making in training camp.
Furrey is especially proud of how the promising 25-year-old receiver is working diligently to improve weaknesses in his game.
"I'm excited about Javon," Furrey said. "I think Javon has taken some of the deficiencies that he's kind of a little bit stubborn about denying, probably, I would say over the last couple years—things that he needs to work on—and he's really been open to coaching and very receptive of those ideas.
"He looks like a different player than he has been in the first two [seasons]. He looks faster, he looks quicker, he looks stronger in and out of his transitions. I'm really pleased where he's at and I think he's really come in to give himself a chance to continue to develop and hopefully will do so."
Wims was selected by the Bears in the seventh round of the 2018 draft out of Georgia. After catching just four passes for 32 yards as a rookie—all in the season finale against the Vikings—he had 18 receptions for 186 yards and one touchdown last year while appearing in all 16 games with six starts. The Florida native opened four of the Bears' final five contests in place of the injured Taylor Gabriel, catching 11 passes for 105 yards.
In Wims, Furrey sees a more mature player who is making a concerted effort to work on deficiencies in his game.
"He's 6-foot-4, 220 [pounds], and a lot of those guys just feel like they can just start running around people and [be] bigger than people, and it just doesn't work like that," Furrey said. "So for Javon, in order to get to where he needs to get to, he needs to stay down low, and he needs to take off and stay down like that—we call it body deception—through the whole route. What he's done in the past is he stands up and he gives away all his routes. So he's really worked on staying down low in and out of his routes and he looks really, really good right now.
"The other one is he can be a little too cute at the line of scrimmage versus press man-to-man. He's a basketball player and we even talk a lot of times about acting like you're getting ready to go to the basket, making your crossover move at the line of scrimmage, things like that. He probably takes that to a little bit of a too extreme in regards to doing too much at the line of scrimmage, trying to be too cute, instead of just being really violent, really compact and getting through people and using his big body to get down the field.
"He's added that to his game, and that's been something that he's been really stubborn about over the last couple years, because [he believes] 'I'm bigger than everybody, I can just out-man them,' and that doesn't work in the NFL. So he's done a great job of those two deficiencies. He's really worked hard on them and you can tell in practice."