Watch CBS News

Vic Fangio Holds Strong Belief In Bears' Leonard Floyd

By Chris Emma--

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) -- When Leonard Floyd's name remained on the board in the NFL Draft and the Bears made their move to the No. 9 pick, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was thrilled.

The Bears added a key piece to their defensive identity in Floyd, the edge rusher out of Georgia. At rookie mini-camp this weekend, Fangio gets his hands on the new addition.

"He's very athletic, he's long, he can run," Fangio said of Floyd. "He's got good instincts. I think he's got good football intelligence, which we'll see if it translates here. There's a lot of things to like, from his athletic ability -- movement, got some pass rush talent, he can play in coverage."

Floyd looks comfortable in his role, but a key for him will be adding adequate size for the position. The Bears list Floyd at 244 pounds, though that appears to be a generous listing.

Floyd will be an undersized edge rusher, and it won't matter, Fangio said.

"The weight thing's not a big thing with me," Fangio said. "He's going to weigh somewhere between 230 and 235. That's just what he's going to weigh. We knew that before we drafted him.

"I'm sure there's going to be a play or two every game where you're going to say, 'Jeez, he's not heavy enough' or 'he's too light.' Hopefully, there will be a few plays every game, too, that we say, 'Well, jeez, we didn't have anybody who could have done that in the past.'"

Fangio touted Floyd's athleticism and length, believing that will make the difference in his game more than size.

Last season, Fangio inherited 4-3 personnel for his 3-4 defense. Now, he has more players who suit his style.

Floyd will have to compete with Willie Young and Lamarr Houston to win a starting job. If Floyd wins the battle, it will be because of his athleticism.

"We wanted the speed," Fangio said. "Our team speed up front last year was below average. To add somebody with some speed as part of his tool box was something we were intrigued about."

Chris Emma covers the Chicago sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.