Hurd hopes to play duel role
Hurd hopes to play dual role**from the main board**
By: Larry Mayer | Last Updated: 8/7/2011 11:46 PM
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Sam Hurd is entertaining and funny, but that's not the only reason the new Bears wide receiver could be considered a double threat this season.
Hurd hopes to contribute both on offense and special teams, a dual role that he filled the past five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. In training camp with the Bears, the 6-3, 200-pounder has looked impressive catching the ball as well as working as a gunner on the punt coverage team.
NeBears receiver Sam Hurd reaches for the goal line after making a catch in practice."I'm very excited about Sam," said receivers coach Darryl Drake. "He's a guy that has a high energy level, a high motor and a guy that's a pretty good football player. I'm very excited about what he brings to not only our room but to our football team because he can do a lot of different things."
Hurd likes the way he's being utilized in coordinator Mike Martz's offense.
"I love it because I get to be inside the slot, outside, shifting, running out of the backfield, doing a lot of things," Hurd said. "I don't like being stationary. If I am stationary, then I get to see what the defense is doing, and I don't mind murdering somebody that way.
"But [it helps] if I get to move, I get to shift and have this guy off balance. I'm tall, but I'm very shifty, more like a quick running back, a jittery guy, so I get in and out of breaks pretty good."
Hurd has lined up all over the field so far in training camp.
"On offense they have me trying to play every [receiver] position," Hurd said. "That's a good thing for me. Hopefully they see I have good attributes so I can do anything and everything. I believe in myself as well as the coaches believe in me, so I'm just going to go out there and have as much fun on the field and whenever the ball's thrown I want to make sure I'm one of the [guys] that gets his hands on it."
After signing with the Cowboys in 2006 as an undrafted rookie, Hurd caught 45 passes for 630 yards and two touchdowns while appearing in 65 games with five starts over five seasons. His first NFL reception, a 33-yarder, came on Tony Romo's first pro pass attempt.
In Saturday's practice, Hurd caught two touchdown passes in a red zone drill. He added one more on Sunday.
"As long as the ball's in the air, I'm trying to get it, red zone or not," Hurd said. "I just want to help out any way I can, put numbers on the board."
Hurd has enjoyed working with Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
"He's very nice. He's a great leader too. He doesn't put [any] pressure on us," Hurd said. "Like if you have a dropped pass, I will kill myself before he tries to kill me. That's the thing that's also helpful too; the quarterback still has faith and relies on you to still make the very next play. I mean, you have a drop and then you go back the next play and get a touchdown. You can't beat that."
Few people have been able to beat Hurd on special teams, which is a major reason the Bears had the Northern Illinois product high on their free-agent wish list.
"All I can do is add to the special teams and I'm going to try my best, especially bring the young ones along," Hurd said. "The only thing I do have is a little ‘vetness' in me and I'll make sure that we all are going to work as hard as I am, and I work very hard.
"In football, the moment you're done, the moment you take it off, they've got another guy coming in who's going to work harder than you, so I work very hard and I pride myself on that and I hope the rest of them do too."
I could see him getting a role on O. He wasn't the best WR in Dallas, but he can still improve this O.