As the Bears work through their offseason summer program, Tyler Scott’s arrow has continually pointed up. After a rocky rookie minicamp, where he dropped several balls, Scott has looked more and more comfortable and seems to make more plays each and every day. That’s not uncommon for a rookie, especially from a mid-major college program, since it’s a big leap to the pros. The one thing we hear rookies struggle with the most is the “speed” of the NFL game. Things happen quickly, from pre-snap adjustments to post-snap reactions, and it can take young guys a while to catch up.
But the speed of the game hasn’t been as big of a hurdle for Scott as he expected. Instead it’s been absorbing the knowledge required to compete against the athletes on the other side of the field.
“I remember my first rep against Jaylon Johnson when he came back in OTAs, my very first rep, he was on top of it,” Scott said. “He ran it for me. At that point I was like… 'Man, this dude, he's just given me a taste of what a really high-level caliber cornerback, how they dissect the game and how they're just one step ahead.’”
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Scott’s best trait right now is his speed, but that can be nullified by savvy vets. So Scott is trying to learn how to use his speed as a strength, beyond simply running past guys.
“How do I threaten guys with that?” Scott said. “So just using like run plays or things of that nature to kind of threaten guys to feel what I'm about. So that then gets guys off me, so then I can kind of play around with them. Because at the end of the day it's a physical game, also being fast and things of that nature, but it's also a mind game as well."
That’s one area where Scott has learned a lot from DJ Moore.
“I watch DJ and DJ is always one step ahead of everybody. He sees things before it happens.”
Scott’s applied some of those lessons on the field and it’s worked. He’s trying to not only make defenders respect his speed, but disguise what he wants to do so corners can’t get the jump on him. A perfect example was a seven-on-seven route when Scott drew Johnson again and beat him with a deep hitch.
"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."
The Bears wide receiver room is pretty full and Moore, Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool are locked into the top three spots. But there will be plenty of opportunities for the WR4 to get on the field and make an impact. Velus Jones has shown improvement in his sophomore season, and Equanimeous St. Brown and Dante Pettis won’t roll over and let a rookie take their place. But if Scott continues to hone his craft and show coaches he’s not a speedy one-trick pony, he has a chance to climb the depth chart this summer.