Sep 28, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Brock Vereen (21) celebrates after intercepting a pass in the second half against the Iowa Hawkeyes at TCF Bank Stadium. The Hawkeyes won 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Shane Vereen’s brother Brock to compete for starting spot on Chicago Bears

After being drafted in the fourth round with the No. 131 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, Brock Vereen will now have the opportunity to compete for a starting free safety spot with the Chicago Bears.

Michael C. Wright of recently did a mailbag column for the site where he answered Twitter questions from readers about the Bears. As it pertains to Vereen, Wright believes the competition he’ll face from more experienced players will keep him from being a starter right away:

Well, he’ll have to beat out M.D. Jennings and Chris Conte, two players who have extensive experience as starters in the NFL. Could that happen? Yes. But I think it’s more likely that one of the veterans will emerge from training camp as the starting free safety. People keep asking how Vereen is doing in OTAs, and I keep telling them I really don’t know. First off, he’s a rookie. So he doesn’t yet know what he’s doing in terms of having a full grasp of the scheme. Second, it’s a different ballgame once the guys put the pads on.

The situation with Vereen reminds Wright of Josh Gattis, a former pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2007 who eventually wound up with the Bears.

I remember back in 2007 when the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Josh Gattis in the fifth round out of Wake Forest. During the offseason, Gattis certainly looked the part; big, strong, and fast.He looked so good the Jaguars decided to release Donovin Darius, who had been a dependable player for them for several years. So, then training camp rolls around, the pads go on and Gattis disappears. Some of the coaches at the time said he was “soft,” and throughout that preseason, Gattis made just nine tackles with six of them coming in the preseason finale; a game in which he started. Gattis eventually wound up with the Chicago Bears and washed out of the league.I’m not saying Vereen is the same guy as Gattis. I’m just cautioning against crowning a guy too early because the game changes substantially once contact is involved.

Vereen, the brother of New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen, started all 13 games at safety as a senior at the University of Minnesota. He recorded 59 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble with six pass break-ups.

Tags: Chicago Bears Shane Vereen

  • Cutler2Marshall312

    I doubt Vereen will be the day one starter..The Bears still have a little faith in Conte hoping he will Bounce back from a year where the defense as a whole played terrible..Yes even I wanted to go to Soilder Field and strangle Conte for playing cover 3 when he was supposed to be playing man,but for the most part Conte has been solid for most of his career…But if Vereen can get help from Ex-Bear safety Chris Harris who is the bears Def/Qlty/Cntrl/Coach and help him learn the playbook as fast as possible anything is possible for Vereen if you can understand the playbook as a rookie Chris Harris started his rookie year at safety opposite Mike Brown..Harris wasn’t the fastest or most talented rookie that year but he knew the bears playbook cold and Lovie smith took a chance on him and Harris became the safety bears that year which they went to the Super Bowl so it depends on how well he can learn and adapt to Mel Tuckers plans and scheme. #BearByBirth

    • ksmack

      I also think Chris Harris will be very helpful with Brock Vereens development, and agree that Conte wasn’t completely to blame for last years meltdown. I didn’t like the missed tackles though. It was enough to put me on the brink of losing my mind a few times. I know Conte has good ball skills and is young which is why I haven’t given up. I am excited about the potential Vereen has and think he can be solid, but I still hold out hope that Emery can find that Mike Brown type playmaker/hard hitting safety the Bears have been lacking. Fuller was a great pick but I wonder if passing on Pryor will come back to haunt us. Only time will tell. Can’t wait for the season to start!

      • Cutler2Marshall312

        I can’t do anything but agree with you..Me and you both might have aged 10 years looking at Conte miss open field tackles last season, his angles to the ball were just horrible but I still believe Conte can be a good starting Free safety for the bears..I think just the humiliation alone from last year he faced combined with this being a contract year for Conte motivates him to play at a level that he shown glimpse of remember in the GB game he had a INT against Rogers in the Red Zone Early in the Game so Conte can compete at this level well sometimes knowing your job is on the line is one of the best motivators I’ve seen in the world so I’m hoping with that Conte will Bounce back & if he doesn’t Vereen can’t do any worse than Conte did last year..