Get to know Terell Smith: Q&A with the brand new Chicago Bears cornerback’s school coach

With a necessity for depth at cornerback to affix Jaylon Johnson and Kyler Gordon, the Chicago Bears drafted Tyrique Stevenson inside the second spherical and circled once more for Minnesota’s Terell Smith in Spherical 5 at No. 165.

Typical contemplating is Stevenson will get the first shot to be a starter inside the nickel bundle, nevertheless the Bears think about Smith has upside and might compete to be inside the mix.

“What’s particular about him is he’s type of made that regular ascent,” co-director of participant personnel Trey Koziol acknowledged. “So after we take a look at drafting avid gamers, it’s like, are you able to proceed to get additional out of them? Are they nonetheless on that developmental upswing? And that’s the place Terell really stood out.

“He’s had some good, he’s had some unhealthy, nevertheless it’s consistently gotten higher. The senior yr he confirmed a ton of enchancment and he simply stored getting higher and higher after which he went to the East-West Shrine sport and that simply stored getting higher and higher and higher. And he clearly examined out very well on the mix and had a very nice professional day.”

Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck described Smith as a participant who constantly was pushing to reinforce. Fleck spoke with the Tribune regarding the cornerback’s enchancment and prospects for an knowledgeable career. Right here’s that interview, edited for readability.

Be aware: This is part of a sequence of conversations with faculty place coaches of Bears draft picks.

Discuss me by way of Terell’s career arc on this system as he carried out instantly as a freshman, had some accidents after which didn’t play until afterward.

After our first yr, we ended up being one in all many youngest teams in America. We carried out a ton of freshmen. Because of accidents he purchased a possibility to play as a freshman after which purchased harm just a bit bit, completely different guys have been just a bit bit older. Introduced in Benjamin St-Juste to play, who’s now with the Washington Commanders. T-Time was a monitor little one in highschool and easily completely devoted himself (to soccer).

After his freshman yr, and when he didn’t play his sophomore yr on account of hurt, he spent three years each single day — I’m not kidding on this — sooner than and after comply with with our power coach engaged on his hip mobility and flexibility. I indicate every single day. After comply with, 15 or 20 minutes merely on his stretching, flexibility, hip mobility because of that was one in all many points that held him once more from collaborating in his sophomore yr with the accidents. He turned it on, carried out, then had a groin hurt and overcame that and had a heck of a senior yr. You’re talking a couple of man that truly devoted himself into making one factor that was maybe a weak level proper right into a power. You activate that film now and in addition you don’t see a stiff participant the least bit.

If a participant will get labeled “stiff,” it might be really exhausting for them to indicate that from a deficit proper right into a power, correct?

There are two labels he had — “monitor child” and “stiff.” These are the two unfavourable labels he had coming out of highschool. However he was always strong. So we felt like these have been two points that we could positively develop. He had tempo and at that place you would should have the power to run. We felt like we could take that tempo and develop it if he was ready to put inside the work. Terell was a youthful man that put inside the work. He’s a soccer participant, strong, and he’s extraordinarily versatile, free hipped. These are the two points coming out of highschool of why plenty of individuals almost certainly didn’t (recruit) him, and persons are causes he wound up being drafted inside the NFL inside the fifth spherical.

In a perfect setting, what place will Smith be best at inside the NFL?

I imagine outside. He’s purchased good measurement. He can type out relatively nicely. He’s strong, he’s rangy. He can play into the boundary. He’s going to be really good matching up with a variety of higher receivers and he’ll most likely be bodily with them. He does an excellent job understanding home. He’s purchased actually really feel for it. That always helps a nook.

How rather a lot work did he get on explicit teams when he was in a reserve perform?

He positively carried out on explicit teams, notably early. Normally, our guys solely play one or two phases in the event that they’re a starter, and T-Time did that every one by way of his whole career. He’s such a workforce participant and he’s so versatile, and I’m not talking about his mobility, he’ll most likely be match. Large, prolonged, he can run, he’s bodily. He could play all 4 explicit teams are going to go well with him.


Originally posted 2023-05-19 11:37:18.