Rookie spotlight: Kindle Vildor learning the ropes


by - Staff Writer -
Kindle has a chance to make an impact in his rookie season (Reinhold Matay - USA Today Sports)
Kindle has a chance to make an impact in his rookie season (Reinhold Matay - USA Today Sports)

Life in the NFL is never easy, especially when it comes to being a rookie. For Chicago rookie corner Kindle Vildor, he is learning that firsthand as he is trying to get over the steep learning curve. The former standout at Georgia Southern, Vildor, was taken in the fifth round by Chicago in this year's draft with the anticipation of him bringing depth to the secondary.

Always know as a solid player, Vildor has never been eye-popping in terms of standing out on the field. His athleticism has been called into question, and his ability to play at the NFL coming from a smaller, less competitive conference. Add these factors along with a crowed defensive back room and strange offseason, and Vildor was behind the eight balls before things even started.

Knowing all the challenges ahead, Vildor has begun focusing on the things he can control instead of worrying about the outside noise. Those things he has been working on have been his technique as a player and learning the playbook inside and out. He's ready to be called upon when needed. You don't need to be the best player on the field, but you will see time because you will know the responsibilities on the field if you know the playbook.

Vildor recorded nine interceptions across his college career, including one against Trevor Lawrence and eventual 2018 National Champion Clemson. Those highlights are fun and all, but he knows his role with the Bears will be far different.

At Georgia Southern, Vildor played primarily on the outside and was used as a shutdown corner. So far at camp, Vildor has moved inside and learned how to play the Nickel position. Not only does that increase his value as a player, but it allows him to become far more versatile, which is something Chuck Pagano looks for in all his defensive players.

Learning a new position is never easy, but learning a new role as a rookie after playing strictly in college is a whole new ball game. Helping Vildor learn the ropes has been Bears starting nickel corner in Buster Skrine. When you think about this, it makes a ton of sense as the two of them are one and the same. Like Vildor, Skrine grew up in Georgia, went to a small school himself, and was drafted in the same round as his new teammate. They seem to have developed a special bond in camp using all these things in common to draw them closer.

Luckily for Vildor, he isn't the only rookie defensive back in camp as second-round selection Jaylon Johnson continues to impress. The better Johnson does, the more Vildor feels he needs to do. It is almost like a friendly competition where each player brings out the best in one another. The beginning of his career has not gone as anyone would have expected it. Thankfully, he isn't alone, and whatever happens, Vildor will be a strong man going through what he is going through now.

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