Quo Vadis Kevin White

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:

“With Kevin White playing deep into the last game and not participating on special teams, how tenuous is his roster position? Would cutting him send a more valuable message? — @maestermagoo

“I found it incongruous that White was held out of the preseason opener against the Ravens with the core players and starters and then got heavy use into the third quarter last week in Denver. He logged 43 snaps against the Broncos, more than any other wide receiver. I thought White needed to be on the field in the Hall of Fame Game because he has missed so much time and could, of course, benefit from the reps… I think White will make the 53-man roster because the Bears would like some return from general manager Ryan Pace’s first draft pick. But I can’t imagine him getting a ton of playing time if the players ahead of him on the depth chart are healthy.

“What has been the consensus about Kevin White? He hasn’t looked great even when playing against backups. Is he a lock to make it even with Javon Wims showing flashes? — @matt22880192”

“I doubt Wims wins a job over White at this point, but you never know. Let’s focus on the receivers the Bears are going to be counting on.”

There are a couple points to be made here, I think.

I like what I see with Wims but let’s not get carried away here. He’s a big receiver but he’s not all that fast. One observer I talked to characterized him as “lumbering”. That’s an exaggeration but relatively speaking it’s not a huge one.

White is a size-speed guy with a lot more physical talent than Wims, even after multiple injuries. He’s ahead of Wins on the depth chart and he’s likely to stay there.

How much playing time White sees is going to be something interesting to watch this season. I noted that quarterback Mitch Trubisky went out of his way to target him against the Bengals and I think the Bears would love to see him develop a connection with White. Having a reasonably fast and tall bookend to Allen Robinson could put defenses in a bind if White proved healthy and effective. He’ll see a lot of single coverage.

On the other hand, head coach Matt Nagy has to find enough balls to go around for a lot of players. It’s already evident that this will be a tight end heavy offense and that Trey Burton will get his share of targets along with whoever plays the other tight end position. Robinson and Taylor Gabriel will get their share of targets and Anthony Miller has emerged as well. It also evident that they’d like to use Tarik Cohen more assuming he can learn to play effectively in all of the positions that they have put him in.

The offense has a lot of options. No one is very sure where White will fit in right now.

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