By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) Bears receiver Kevin White may indeed need a confidence boost, but it’s hard to explain why new receivers coach Zach Azzanni would then want to go public about it, particularly in a way that seems less than truthful.
Azzanni claimed he sought out White for a planned viewing of some of his old college tape to remind him of his potential for greatness after two injury-plagued pro seasons, but White said two teammates had decided to watch some old video and that Azzanni wasn’t even focused on the film but instead “scripting” plays with others. White also declined multiple opportunities to endorse anything about his relationship with his positional coach, whom he clearly perceives as having embarrassed him.
None of this is good.
It’s a rash move by Azzanni to risk being called on a lie, which White did by naming the other receivers involved in the video session as potential corroborators. The well-traveled coach is only here because Curtis Johnson bailed to return to his old spot in New Orleans, leaving a less-than-desirable opening on what’s likely a lame-duck staff. That’s how somebody with zero previous NFL experience now finds himself responsible for the development of White, the seventh overall draft pick of 2015.
White is the single most important person in that receivers’ room, more so than any other player or coach. His reclamation is crucial, particularly if this staff thinks it can actually coax enough wins out of this overmatched roster to stick around.
Having a rookie coach pick a public fight with him a week into camp — and in a way that strains both credulity from the outside and trust within — is a curious decision at best.