Kevin White shines at Bears practice, but raises questions after


When first-year wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni met with the media Monday, he spoke about needing to keep Kevin White's mind off what's being said about him, and showing him his 2014 college tape to remind him how good he can be. He also spoke about how he's most effective, and believes in, bringing a "college style" of hard coaching to the Bears in his first year in the NFL.

Wednesday morning, before going out and having his best practice of camp (and maybe that's why), White sent out a conspicuous tweet that left the impression he was indeed paying attention to some things that were being said about him: "Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see."

The famous Ben Franklin quote came out of nowhere, without a reference point, and White was asked about it after practice.

"It was just a quote," he said. "I think some people may take a story and run with it. It wasn't true so that's just how I feel about some things, some people. Like if I wanted to tell you a secret and by the time it got across through everybody and got to me it wouldn't be the same. So that's really it."

Moments earlier, White was asked about Azzanni showing him his college tape, but indicated the coach's assertion that he initiated it to serve as a confidence tool wasn't accurate.

"As far as the college film, that was amongst players: me, Kendall Wright and Victor Cruz," White said. "It was actually Kendall's idea to watch each other's college film since we had a little time off. Watched mine, then watched Kendall's, then watched Victor Cruz, when he was with the Giants. As far as that goes, that's all I know."

Reporters circled back to the topic as White was asked about how Azzanni (his third position coach in White's three years here) helps him.

"Coaching me like everybody else."

Is he giving you a boost?

"As far as...?"

Helping you get better.

"Yeah I think everyone as a staff is helping me and everyone else get better."

Are you upset he told the college tape story?

"What story?"

That he showed it to you?

"Who showed it to me?"

Coach Azzanni.

"Like I said, it was me, Kendall Wright, Victor Cruz. Watched mine, watched Kendall's, then watched Victor Cruz with the Giants."

When the topic was broached in a subsequent interview on 670 The Score's "Bernstein and Goff," White said Azzanni was in the room at the time, and that he doesn't need to watch film from his West Virginia days to restore his confidence.

Unless the tweet was about something completely unrelated, we're left with the impression there's some miscommunication or non-truth-telling on some level here. Or both.

But after two frustrating seasons in which leg injuries limited him to just four games, White just wants to get on the field. What his relationship is with Azzanni is now in question.

Azzanni was a great interview on Monday, but would he dare go so far as to take credit for something that wasn't his idea, or misrepresent whether it was used for motivation and confidence? If that's the case, should White have just let it slide publicly rather than make this a topic now and raise a discussion over whether he can get along with his coach? It's another narrative now when all White really wants is to play, and prove doubters wrong.

But if someone with whom he should work closely and trust tells the media an inaccuracy with his coaching methods, is he right to take a public stand over ironing it out behind closed doors?

As much as White wants to say he blocks out what's being said about him (especially negatives), it's obviously not the case with his tweet, and if this is what it's referring to. It's bringing more off-the-field attention as it was somehow brought to his attention. (Perhaps seeing, our someone he knows seeing, the Tuesday "Pro Football Talk" headline "Bears trying to remind Kevin White he was once good at football" led him down this road, who knows?)

There's also the possibility White was referencing something totally different and the college tape story isn't really a big deal to him, and all's fine with Azzanni despite declining an opportunity to express that he's helping him. But that clarification never came, saying it was just "general stuff."

Azzanni is an energetic, enthusiastic assistant getting this opportunity after 18 years of collegiate coaching experience, including stops at Florida and Tennessee. Now that it's out in public, you can bet this topic is now a discussion point between, at least, him and White.

It's a long season and any misunderstanding certainly needs to be worked out. Every team has players who may not be crazy about their coach. But winning teams don't let this become public.

Good for talk shows and readership, bad for chemistry. And just the thing White claims he likes to avoid.

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