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updated: 8/5/2014 7:56 PM

Pocic willing to learn the ropes from teammates

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  • Playing for Illinois, offensive lineman Graham Pocic (76) and Darius Millines (15) celebrate with Donovonn Young, who rushed for a touchdown against South Dakota State in Champaign.

      Playing for Illinois, offensive lineman Graham Pocic (76) and Darius Millines (15) celebrate with Donovonn Young, who rushed for a touchdown against South Dakota State in Champaign.
    Associated Press file, Sept. 2011

 
By Andres Martinez
amartinez@dailyherald.com

BOURBONNAIS -- While most of the Bears scurried off the practice field Tuesday at Olivet Nazarene University, a trio of offensive linemen decided that a little overtime would be beneficial.

Taylor Boggs and Matt Slauson helped recently acquired Graham Pocic with his footwork and other intricacies of the offense.

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"Just trying to learn whatever I can from the older guys who have been in the system and have been in the league for a while," said Pocic, a Lemont native. "I'm playing catch-up, so it's important that in all my free time I'm studying and putting in extra work."

Pocic signed with the Bears on July 1, so the second-year lineman from Illinois has not had the benefit of OTA's and mini-camp like the other linemen he is battling for a roster spot.

Last year Pocic signed with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent but did not make the 53-man roster. He was brought back midway through the 2013 season before being cut this May.

"The Rams were a great organization, they just drafted someone and didn't have room for me anymore," Pocic said. "But I had a great time last year, coming back throughout the season when I did."

Pocic starred at Illinois, where he played in 46 games and started 34.

"Going to college close to home was awesome, so my family was at every game," Pocic said. "Being able to drive home on a weekend was always nice."

Now Pocic's family can continue to do what they did for the four years he was in Champaign -- and he can continue to play the game he loves.

"I just loved playing football growing up," Pocic said, "I was watching football any chance I get, college, NFL and everything. Being able to represent Lemont and play with the Bears is a dream come true."

Pocic is eager to seek help from veteran teammates like he did Tuesday.

"It's a livelihood, just listening to everything I can get from them," Pocic said.

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