BOURBONNAIS — Players typically make the biggest leap between Years 1 and 2, the thinking goes, because they know what to expect and what’s expected of them.
Here are specific aspects Bears sophomores honed in their first full offseason and have brought to training camp:
Leonard Floyd’s hands
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio posed a question Saturday night that made his linebackers think: “Are you winning the first two seconds of every play?”
Floyd, the No. 9 overall pick in 2016, is working on it.
“My hand speed,” Floyd said. “Sometimes I would let the tackles get their hands on me. I’d already be there, and I’d still let their hands get there before me.”
Fellow outside linebacker Willie Young said hand speed is the crux of every pass-rush battle.
“You need to shed blocks,” Young said, “and you have the opportunity to make a play. So hand placement is crucial.”
Cody Whitehair’s feet
Coming off one of the league’s best seasons by a center, the 2016 second-rounder knew he needed to keep up his quickness during the five-week gap between mandatory minicamp and training camp.
He did squats and footwork drills almost daily.
“Obviously, if you don’t work your feet, as big guys, we tend to get a little bit slower,” he said.
Whitehair will benefit this preseason from certainty about his role. Last year, he was moved to center the week of the season opener — “Poor guy,” coach John Fox said — but eventually shined.
“He’s settled in now,” Fox said.
Jordan Howard’s acceleration
After finishing second in the…
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