In this year’s draft, the Chicago Bears used their sixth-round selection on Nevada cornerback Isaiah Frey. The 5-11, 188-pound Frey was a three-year starter for the Wolf Pack who led the nation in pass breakups (21) his senior season.
The Bears have a lot of experienced veteran cornerbacks playing at a high level this season, yet Frey was good enough in the preseason to earn a spot on the club’s practice squad.
Bear Report talks one-on-one with the rookie about his first year in the NFL.
“Things are going great for me so far. I’ve been putting a lot of time into perfecting my technique. Every day presents a chance to learn and I’m soaking it all in as I go along.
“Watching the cornerbacks from other teams when they play the Bears has been an education for me but I find where I learn the most is on our home practice field. The opportunity to observe the vets is what I enjoy the most. We have Tillman and Jennings as starters. They are incredibly skilled. I want to raise the level of my game so I can be as productive as they are.
“It’s been an interesting season so far. The positive feeling in the locker room has been exciting to experience. The best part is that it builds from game to game. The more you win, the stronger you feel. Looking back to this time last year, what has happened this year is far beyond anything I could have hoped for. To spend your rookie season as part of a winning team is a special thing.
“My goal from day to day is to show the coaches what I can do. I want them to feel I am productive out there. I’m getting faster. I think I’m stronger and smarter than when I began last summer.
“The first thing I did was to study the playbook until I felt I knew it inside and out. If you are comfortable with the text, it’s easier to concentrate on the physical aspect of playing football.
“I’ve paid careful attention to my physical condition. I am trying not to get overtired. At this point, the college season is about to wind up. The guys I know from my old team at Nevada are almost done. For us, it’s what, the middle of the season? I am assuming that we’ll be playing into February so I guess that calculation is about right. I know I need to rest every chance I get, though as a young guy, that’s hard sometimes.
“It’s very different to have football as your job. In a way it’s easier than it was to play ball in college. In the NFL, you never need to worry about studying or about final exams. Of course there is more pressure when football is your profession. You get cut, you’re out of work. Nobody wants that to happen.
“My dad was a huge Walter Payton fan. Having me on this team is a dream come true for him. I’m from the same area as Lance Briggs, so my family is enjoying that fact as well. They’ve always followed the Bears. I’d love to be as successful as either one of those players.
“We’ve been working on the game plan for the Titans all week. They have a strong offense, a good defense. It should be an interesting game.
“Away games are always more of a challenge as you have the crowd noise against you. We’ve been playing with manufactured noise all week to get accustomed to that. Then there’s the time change, though this week everybody’s time changes. That usually isn’t as big a deal as the noise.
“I definitely enjoy playing different roles on the scout team. One week I am imitating one team’s cornerback. Another week, I pretend to be somebody else. It gives me a chance to develop my own techniques. I might take a little technique from one player, a little from another, but overall I’m trying to develop as my own type of cornerback.”
Beth Gorr has been covering the Bears for the last 12 years and is the author of Bear Memories: The Chicago-Green Bay Rivalry. She is currently working on a second book about early Bears history.