Bears News: Amegadjie on his health, Booker on relationship With Maxx Crosby
David Banks - USA Today Sports

Bears News: Amegadjie on his health, Booker on relationship With Maxx Crosby

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears' Offensive line has been a problem for quite some time, which is why it was such an emphasis in the offseason. Including their draft pick Kiran Amegadjie, who has signed his rookie contract, the Bears have 15 offensive linemen on their roster.

Amegadjie, who signed a four-year $5,914,322 contract, is a Hinsdale native who grew up a Chicago Bears fan. During his collegiate career, he was a two-time All-Ivy selection and had a lot of playing time at both right guard and left tackle in his three years with Yale; 2020 was supposed to be his rookie season, but it was canceled due to COVID-19. However, he sustained a quad injury that kept him out of the last four games of Yale’s season and prevented him from participating in rookie training camp.

Still, he expects to have a role in Chicago’s offense this upcoming season and is open to playing any position on the line.

“I’ve been meeting with the medical staff and kind of just getting my rehab protocol together and just really excited to get in with (the) o-line coach, Coach Morgan, and get the playbook down, do everything I can mentally to be ready when my time comes physically,” Amegadjie said. “I want to be as versatile as possible. I want to be able to contribute wherever I can. I’m not set on one thing. I’m a football player. I’ll play wherever you need me.”

For most rookies, transitioning from college to the NFL is a huge task both in football and in life. Players have to move to where the team is, get to know a new city, and get to know people in the area.

However, as a Hinsdale native whose parents still live in Chicagoland, Amegadjie does not face this challenge.

“My mom still lives in Hinsdale. My dad lives in the city. So, I kind of split time, but I’m around. So, I’m local. It’s nice,” Amegadjie said. “I get home cooked meals, sleep in my bed, I got my PlayStation. I got my friends, my dog, whatever. So, it’s nice to be home.”

While Amegadjie never had the opportunity to go against Chicago’s new quarterback, Caleb Williams from USC, in college, he has seen a lot about Williams and said that he is already establishing his locker room presence and dedication to football.

“He’s a big presence in the locker room already. He’s a good leader. He’s a person that works hard, I can tell,” Amegadjie said. “He’s always first one in in the morning when I (get in) here, he’s always in here already. I think he’s going to be a great leader for us on this team.”

Defensively, Chicago addressed a big need when they traded back into the draft to acquire edge rusher Austin Booker out of Kansas. While Booker is quite inexperienced compared to other draft prospects, as he only played in 18 games during college, he has been getting some advice on playing in the NFL from three-time Pro Bowler Maxx Crosby of the Las Vegas Raiders.

“We train in the offseason with the same guy … he just connected,” Booker said. “(Crosby) called me after I got drafted, just letting me know that I can reach out whenever I have a question or any type of things like that because he obviously has a great process, how he does things, because he’s able to compete at a high level. So, having that resource has just been great.”

While in college, Booker transferred from Minnesota to Kansas. At Kansas, he had the bulk of his game opportunities and took advantage of them with eight sacks and two forced fumbles.

He feels that making the transition from one playbook to another in college will prepare him for making such a transition going into the NFL.

“I feel like I had great confidence coming into Kansas and that helped me out a lot,” Booker said. “But also, just being able to learn multiple playbooks also helped me out.”

Rookies typically get a decent amount of action in the preseason. So, come Aug. 1 (7 p.m./ABC) when the Bears take on the Houston Texans in the Hall of Fame game, Booker and some of Chicago’s other rookies should be able to get some action, giving fans a glimpse of the impact they will have in the upcoming season.

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