Lynch tackles role on Bears kick coverage team

  • While he tries to make the team as a backup running back, Jordan Lynch (26) also is getting in work on the kick coverage teams. Bears coaches like his focus and hard work.

    While he tries to make the team as a backup running back, Jordan Lynch (26) also is getting in work on the kick coverage teams. Bears coaches like his focus and hard work. George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

Updated 6/18/2014 8:44 PM

Northern Illinois University's Jordan Lynch, an undrafted free agent despite finishing third in the Heisman Trophy voting, has been mentioned as a possible punt returner because of the running skills he flashed as a college quarterback.

But the 6-foot, 220-pounder's role with the Bears is expected to be focused more on kick coverage and as a backup running back. Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis has been impressed with Lynch's work ethic in coverage and the interest in him among Bears fans.


"He's been involved in all the drill work on special teams," DeCamillis said. "He's worked at it. He's watched a lot of film, and he's done everything we've asked of him, so we're looking forward to him (competing).

"I know Chicago is. I live downtown, and every place I go they're always asking me about Jordan Lynch, so I know they want him to make it, that's for sure."

Lynch continues to show all the characteristics of an underdog that everyone roots for because of his effort and attitude.

"He's a down-to-earth kid who's just a heck of a kid personally," DeCamillis said. "It's nice to be around a guy like that. He's a nice guy, plus he's worked his tail off. Coming from the position he was in, (and) now having to go down and make a tackle, having to go hit bags and do the things that we're asking him to do right now, it's been impressive."

Five's a crowd:

When the Bears arrive at Olivet Nazarene University on July 23 for the start of training camp, they will not have five quarterbacks on the 90-man roster, as they do now.

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At least one of the four contenders for backup jobs behind Jay Cutler -- Jordan Palmer, Jimmy Clausen, David Fales and Jerrod Johnson -- won't make it to Bourbonnais. And no more than three will make the 53-man roster.

In the past, the Bears have gone with just two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster while keeping a developmental QB on the practice squad.

Five quarterbacks is definitely a crowd, even for a QB guru such as coach Marc Trestman. He implied that a decision could be made shortly after the end of Thursday's final minicamp practice, which concludes the off-season program.

"These next two days are certainly critical," Trestman said after Tuesday's practice. "We've got to continue to analyze the situation. We don't have to make that decision this week, (but) we'll make it before the start of training camp."

No snap decision:

The Bears remain in a holding pattern with Patrick Mannelly, who has been their long-snapper for the last 16 seasons.

Mannelly has been waiting to see how his rehabilitation from hip surgery progresses before he commits to a 17th season, and the Bears have said they'll give him all the time he needs.


But with the start of training camp five weeks away, time is growing short, and possible successors Chad Rempel and Brandon Hartson have been filling the void during off-season practices.

"It's obviously going to be a challenge," special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis said. "We're going to have to keep massaging that and see how that's going to work out. I've got all the respect in the world for him. Whatever decision he makes is going to be the best for him and his family, and we have to make the same type of decision for the Bears.

"The two guys that have been working here have done a great job in the off-season. We still have to see how it's going to pan out."


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