Second-round pick Jonathan Bostic not worried about filling Brian Urlacher’s shoes
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org April 26, 2013 10:18PM
Florida v Tennessee
Updated: May 30, 2013 2:37PM
Pressure? What pressure?
Jonathan Bostic doesn’t see any when it comes to potentially being the replacement for longtime linebacker Brian Urlacher. Bostic, a middle linebacker from Florida whom the Bears took with the No. 50 selection, sees a chance to learn from a future Hall of Famer, even if it’s just by watching film.
“It’s not pressure at all to me,” Bostic said Friday. “It’s more of a guy that I can pretty much watch and learn a lot of things from on film. [The Bears defense is] going to keep a lot of the scheme and the terminology the same. So I’m just really excited to get out there.”
Bostic was the Bears’ only selection during Day 2 of the draft. Bears general manager Phil Emery said he received some trade offers for their second-round selection, but “we didn’t see the value in their offers.” There was a run on linebackers in the second round but moving up also was never a realistic option.
Emery said Bostic topped their athletic ratings for middle linebackers “for where we were in the draft.” Bostic’s familiarity with play-calling also separated him from others.
Emery touted Bostic’s versatility, saying he has the potential to back up all three linebacker positions if needed and that he’s expected to be “a core special-teams player.”
Still, Emery anticipates Bostic will learn the responsibilities of middle linebacker first.
“[No. 1] is intelligence; he’s a guy that can line up others,” Emery said. “We brought him in for a visit. We felt very good about his football aptitude and his ability to line everybody else up on the field. Two, he’s fast. He’s one of the fastest linebackers in the class. And three was his positional flexibility, and I’ll go four, special teams. He fit the bill.”
The Bears moved quickly to replace Urlacher and Nick Roach by signing veterans D.J. Williams and James Anderson. But linebacker always was one of their top needs for this draft. They needed to add youth to their mix.
Bostic, whose father played cornerback for the Detroit Lions in the 1980s, started 32 of 51 games at middle linebacker at Florida, totaling 237 tackles, eight sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in his collegiate career.
“I know [the Bears] have a great tradition at linebacker, especially with the two that actually just left his past year and especially the one that played [in the middle],” Bostic said. “I know it’s going to take a lot of work, a lot studying to do to be able to catch up to the speed of the game.”