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Bears Have Receiver Quantity, Seek Quality

Tyke Tolbert one receiver he knows from another stop can be a roster challenger, as the Bears try to sort through a large group.

Bears backup quarterback Trevor Siemian knew about the team's situation at wide receiver going into minicamp and OTAs.

It seems everyone in the country thinks the Bears are short on receiving help. Siemian sees something else in OTAs, however.

"Guys can separate," Siemian said. "I know it's OTAs but you see guys and they are kind of twitched up and it's fun to see. Young guys that are hungry to learn and can catch the ball. That's what you look for.

"We will see in camp and preseason when we have to work against bump and there's that physical component of the game that you can't wait to get to, but yeah, I'm excited about them."

Darnell Mooney was his normal self in the Tuesday workout media was allowed to see. In addition, Byron Pringle, Equanimeous St. Brown, Dazz Newsome and Isaiah Coulter all enjoyed moments in Tuesday's OTA work.

The late offseason additions of Tajae Sharpe, Dante Pettis and David Moore could keep pressure on the other receivers through camp as competition ratchets up.

It's going to be on those receivers to make plays and make statements for themselves. Siemian doesn't see the offensive system scheming players into the open the way former coach Matt Nagy seemed to think his offense could.

"No I think, I mean it's a player's league," Siemian said. "You have to have the players execute and that's our job. I think there's certain things that give players ... put them in spots, advantageous spots to get open and make plays. That's just football. That's offense and defense."

Rookie Velus Jones, the only receiver they drafted, signed his contract Tuesday and the third-round pick hasn't disappointed so far.

"I think he has hunger," receivers coach and passing game coordinator Tyke Tolbert said. "And you hit the nail right on the head: He has maturity. He already has his master's degree. So he's a smart guy, mature beyond his years, takes his job very seriously."

Jones arrives at Halas Hall not only wearing a suit but armed with his own white board.

"He's taking notes and erasing and he's drawing plays," Tolbert said. "So he takes his job very seriously

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"We've thrown him into the fire pretty quick, put him at two positions."

Tolbert said getting Jones up to speed at multiple positions lets the Bears be more certain they can have him on the field more.

"So we're going to throw it all at him and see what he soaks in and hopefully he'll get out there and make some plays for us."

It's Jones' speed that caught Tolbert's eye first. He ran the second-fastest combine time among wide receivers at 4.31.

"I think first thing you see is speed, his speed," Tolbert said. "When you run 4.31, it'll open up your eyes to a lot of things. But secondly with the ball in his hands, he does a lot of things, makes a lot of explosive plays with the ball in his hands. And the last thing I would say is playing multiple positions."

Tolbert thinks no one should sleep on Pettis, the former 49ers receiver who was with him while he was an assistant with the New York Giants.

"So I know his skillset," Tolbert said. "It's just a matter for everybody else to see what I saw and it's a guy who can play inside and outside, a smart guy who can come in and learn the offense really quickly and bring some veteran presence.

"He has some vet savviness to him when he's running his routes. Every time he had the opportunity to make a play with us with the Giants, he did. He didn't play as much as a lot of guys did."

Pettis was a second-round pick who never lived up to expectations after he showed promise early in his career.

"He wants to come in and compete and make plays," Tolbert said. "And again, when he gets the opportunities to make plays, he goes in and makes plays. Want to see what he can do, put him in the mix, have some competition in our room."

That they have. Whether it is to the level where the Bears can produce a few more contributors besides Mooney and Pringle is the question.

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