LAKE FOREST – Rookie quarterback David Fales worked on routes after the Bears’ organized team activities Tuesday with seventh-year receiver Josh Morgan.
Both players need the extra reps to learn the offense, and it’s Morgan, 28, who also feels like a first-year player – in a good way.
“Honestly, for me, it’s being like a rookie all over again,” he said. “Coming out here, you just have to prove yourself all over again. Just have to prove you can play this game. Just got to go out here with that rookie mentality, like, ‘I got to make the team.’ ”
In 2012, Morgan led the Redskins with 48 catches. Last season, he had only 20 catches and was a healthy scratch in Week 11, losing his starting job to Leonard Hankerson and falling out of favor with a coaching staff in a tumultuous season in the nation’s capital.
Morgan was arrested in April after an altercation in downtown Washington, D.C. Morgan allegedly punched a valet driver, although he denied the allegations the next day. He said the case is “pretty much over with.”
Coming to Chicago is a breath of fresh air for Morgan. He called it a “big advantage” to get away from his hometown and focus on football, and the change in coaching staffs certainly pleases Morgan.
“The relationship I had, the vibe I felt [with the Bears], it felt like the Virginia Tech atmosphere, from me being at college,” he said. “Everybody’s attitude was just family and winning, family and winning. You hear a lot of people preach that, but you never really see it applied like I do here. I never really saw it applied like I do here. When he says family, he really means that.”
“He” is coach Marc Trestman.
“I’ve never had a head coach as personal as him. He’ll come sit at the table with you. He’ll talk with you, ask you about your day, ask you about your family and everything,” Morgan said. “It’s very refreshing to have a guy that actually practices what he preaches.”
As for on the field, Morgan is in a competition with Eric Weems, Terrence Toliver, Josh Bellamy and recent additions Micheal Spurlock and Armanti Edwards to be the last receivers on the roster, joining Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Marquess Wilson. Domenik Hixon’s torn ACL should open the door for Morgan, who comes to the Bears with 199 career catches and 11 touchdowns in 79 games.
Learning the Bears’ offense is more than just getting used to the terminology; Morgan must also learn what Marshall dubs the “science” of being a Bears receiver.
“I love it, and I love that the coaches are on top of it more than any place I’ve ever been. You really have to perfect your craft, as they say,” he said. “If you don’t, you don’t stand a chance. Every little detail counts. If you’re off your steps by two steps, then you might mess up the whole play, and we lose.
“And like I said, they’re all about family and winning here. You’ve got to be precise in everything you do. I love it. It makes you be accountable for everything you do.”
Morgan clearly has enjoyed working with the Bears’ staff, and he echoed the sentiments of the rest of the Bears’ additions about the impressive offense he’s joining.
“I haven’t been anywhere with this kind of talent at every position and this kind of depth at every position,” he said. “It’s fun. Competition is fun.”