- Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Sixth-year cornerback Sherrick McManis landed on head coach John Fox’s radar for his strong play in the offseason.
McManis picked up right where he left off in Bourbonnais; turning in five strong practices and taking ample reps with the first-team defense.
McManis, who finished second on the team last year with 13 special teams tackles, recently spoke about his expectations for the 2015 season.
How is special teams progressing as a unit? "I feel that guys are buying in. We believe in Coach [Jeff] Rodgers and we’re excited to go out there and play. Right now in camp we’re just sticking to fundamentals and trying to play fast. Special teams as you all know is a lot of effort and I see a lot of the young guys doing that. “
What’s the feeling in the locker room about Rodgers? “Straight-forward guy. Let’s you know what you need to do. He doesn’t sugarcoat anything. Just keep it 100 percent honest with you and he lets you do what you’re good at.”
Have you convinced the Bears you are a viable option at cornerback? “I do that every year. I try to improve to the coaches, to myself personally, to my teammates, every year that I can … that I’m there for them whenever they need me. If they need me to contribute on special teams, I’m there with a great attitude. If they need me on defense, I’m there, too. I came in this league definitely trying to make a name for myself on special teams because just hearing from the veterans, that’s how I was going to get in. I think I’ve done that through these years. This is my sixth season and I’ll continue to do that. That’s how my family has been eating this year. And will continue to eat. I’d also like to play corner. I look for that opportunity as well.”
Who are going to be the core guys on special teams? “It’s a little early right now, but Senorise [Perry] is on this team. De De Lattimore was on the team last year. Special teams. you never know. Year by year guys continue to step up and a lot of guys make this team strictly on special teams. For me to point out core guys right now — experience matters, but I’m sure there’s going to be a few young guys who come out here and step up.”
How much does John Fox’s credibility make it easier to embrace the new staff? “It makes a big difference. Because what he brings is he knows what to do and as players, as a unit, we have full confidence in him. I feel like the team has already bought into his scheme and what he likes to do. Like he’s another straight-forward guy. I think we’re all on the same page when it comes to that.”