This Doesn't Say Much for Atlanta's SB Prospects Does It?...............
March 29, 2012 Chance to win lured Weems to Bears
By: Larry Mayer | Last Updated: 3/29/2012 2:42 PM
The national football pundits who’ve elevated the Bears in their offseason power rankings aren’t the only ones who envision a bright future for the team.
A main reason that wide receiver/kick returner Eric Weems signed with the Bears as a free agent March 14 was because he felt that they’re in position to contend for a championship.
“I was looking for a team with the best chance to win and I felt like this was the best place I could be,” said Weems, who spent his first five NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons from 2007-11.
Weems heard positive things about coach Lovie Smith and the situation in Chicago from Bears defensive end Chauncey Davis, a former teammate with the Falcons.
“He told me it’s a great coaching staff,” Weems said. “Guys want to come in and work for Lovie. He said guys work hard there. It’s all about business. It’s a football city, so you can’t come in and play around.”
Working hard has never been an issue with Weems, who developed into a Pro Bowl special teams player after entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent from Bethune-Cookman University.
“When you work hard, it shows on Sundays,” Weems said. “You’ve got to come to work every day. That was my big thing coming in. I’m going to work every day and do everything the coaches ask me to do.”
In 55 career games with the Falcons, Weems recorded 41 special-teams tackles and averaged 25.6 yards on 113 kickoff returns with one touchdown and 10.6 yards on 77 punt returns with one TD. The 5-9, 195-pounder also returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown in a 2011 playoff game against the Packers.
Weems, who was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2010 as the NFC’s special teams representative, is eager to team with Bears star Devin Hester, the NFL’s all-time leader with 17 kick return touchdowns.
“It’s going to be great to work with a guy like him,” Weems said. “I’ll learn a few things from him, see how he works every day and why he’s such a great player. He’s a future Hall of Famer, so I’m looking forward to interacting with him and picking his brain a little bit.”
Weems, who caught 24 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns with the Falcons, also hopes to contribute “as much as I can” as a receiver with the Bears.
“Wherever they want me to be and wherever they need me to be, I’m here to fill in,” he said. “I want to go out there and show them why they signed me as a free agent.”