Leonard Floyd’s transition to the NFL began in earnest Thursday when he arrived at Halas Hall for rookie minicamp. Not only did Floyd get the playbook and begin his on-field work over the last four days, he also started the strength and nutrition program the Bears designed for him.
He has set multiple alarms on his phone to remind him when to eat. He admittedly has trouble keeping weight on, and he loses it when he sleeps. So he’s now trying to eat every two or three hours.
“Weight bar, protein shake, sandwich, anything,” Floyd said Sunday after the third and final rookie minicamp practice.
Can he eat food he likes?
“Yes, sir,” he said. “As long as I eat a lot of it.”
Floyd has faced questions about his weight in all three sessions with the Bears media corps since the team traded up to draft him ninth overall on April 28. At issue is his ability to win blocks or hold the point of attack as an edge defender against big and strong NFL linemen.
General manager Ryan Pace has said he hopes Floyd plays at more than 240 pounds, while defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Saturday he expects Floyd to play between 230 and 235. After the draft, Floyd said he weighed about 240.
Pace said last month the Bears won’t have Floyd put on so much weight that it detracts from the quick-twitch ability that made him a dynamic athlete in college.
One on play in Sunday’s practice, during which players did not wear pads and there was no tackling, Floyd dropped into coverage and ran with tight end Ben Braunecker more than 30 yards down the seam. He tipped the pass before Braunecker adjusted and made an acrobatic catch.
When Floyd was not in team drills during camp, it was common to see him standing next to and chatting with outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt.
For Floyd’s media session, he wore a black White Sox hat with white pinstripes and a logo on the side that read “Chance the Rapper Social Experiment.”
“I actually like both teams, but the White Sox sent me this hat with Chance the Rapper,” Floyd said. “That’s one of my favorite rappers, so it’s one of my favorite hats now.”
It’s rare to hear of mitochondrial proteins at any NFL practice, but they were featured in the media’s conversation with Braunecker. The Bears’ highest-profile college free agent played at Harvard, and he plans to become a doctor after his football career ends.
“Infectious disease,” he said. “I’d like to be more research based. It’s what I love, my passion.”
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