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Faust

Dynasty: WR Javon Wims, Bears

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Passionate Wims rising to the challenge

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Bears wide receiver Javon Wims lost his mind for a moment Tuesday — throwing a flurry of haymakers at cornerback Prince Amukamara in a practice altercation. But one bad day can’t obscure the reality that Wims has been one of the Bears best receivers in camp and one of their most improved players. 

Wims, the 2018 seventh-round draft pick from Georgia, has responded to the roster challenge he faced when the Bears signed Cordarrelle Patterson in free agency, drafted Riley Ridley in the fourth round and signed prime undrafted free agent Emanuel Hall in the offseason. 

“Competition brings out the best or worst in you,” the 6-4, 215-pound Wims said. “It’s healthy competition. We’re all cheering for each other. It’s bringing the best out of me.” 

Teammates can see the difference.

“There was a play in OTAs where he ran past one of our DBs,” Amukamara said, “and I said, ‘Dude, Wims looks like he got faster.’ And then he did it to me. I said, ‘What is it?’ I guess he just got faster. I read Twitter. It seems like a lot of people want him to get in and start making plays — me, too. He looks great out there.” 

Wims played only 30 snaps on offense as a rookie— 21 of them in Week 17 against the Vikings, when he had four receptions for 32 yards, including third-down conversions of 16 yards and eight yards on a fourth-quarter touchdown drive that all but clinched a 24-10 victory. 

That performance gave Wims a boost that he’s carried into this season. “It was good mentally, because I know I can play in the NFL,” Wims said.

And that confidence is huge for a receiver who played just 22 games at Georgia.

“The biggest thing for Javon is acceptance. He finally understands he can play in this league,” Bears wide receivers coach Mike Furrey said. “He started that towards the end of last year. So he was ready to [get] in the grind to come back, knowing that he can play in the NFL. Now it’s going be knowing that he can be a No. 1, No. 2 guy when he goes in there. It’ll get there. It’s just continuing to grow.”

Though his athletic skills and size are obvious, Wims’ best attribute at this point of his NFL career is his willingness to learn. He admits “I honestly had to learn how to practice” at the NFL level. He studies his teammates — particularly Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel — and emulates them. 

“Robinson more so on the field — his details to routes. His releases. I see how he runs a route and how it got him wide open. [With] Taylor Gabriel, more so things off the field — how to be a professional.”

The fight with Amukamara was an uncharacteristic blot on Wims’ Bears resume. He loves being on this team. 

“We’ve got a locker room full of good guys. We don’t have any cancers,” Wims said. “I’m lucky. I’m blessed. I came into a great culture, from the coaching staff to the general manager to the players to the equipment staff — it’s a top-notch organization. Everybody here. It’s a welcoming family environment.”

Every team likes to think that way. But Wims insists it’s real with the Bears. 

“We’re not faking it,” he said. “You could see it. Guys out there, we joke around. We play with each other’s kids. We meet their family. We seriously care for one another and seriously want one another to succeed. Now, we get out here and compete, but we still love one another.”

 

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Mark Potash @MarkPotash

A tough day for Javon Wims can't obscure the reality that he's been one of the #Bears' best receivers in training camp/preseason, with a chance to be a factor in 2019. "He finally understands he can play in this league."

 

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Johnathan Wood @Jonathan_Wood1

I've been thinking lately about Javon Wims and where he fits in Chicago's passing attack this year. I think the biggest impact he can have would be on go routes. Bears threw a ton of them (~1/6 of targets to WRs) in 2018. It was the 2nd most common route they targeted (curls)

 

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Jack Soble @jacksobleTLS

5. Javon Wims continues to impress. He looks like he’s built a strong connection with Trubisky and has been open on a consistent basis. Riley Ridley looked really good as well. This is a legitimate battle for the WR4 spot and the loser may be relegated to healthy scratch. #Bears

 

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Last year Wims showed a ton of flashes in the preseason. From everything I read (including this thread) he is going to make the team and looks great in practice. This is a guy who should be on people's radar as a free agent acquisition only if one of the top 3 WRs goes down.  Miller has had his share of injuries but I think AR, Miller and Gabriel will be the main 3 with Wims and Ridley getting some work as well. Not sure how Nagy will use Cordarelle Patterson either.  It is weird to think that the Bears are deep at WR. It is definitely better than the year they made Hester #1.

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My man, Wims!  He’s backing up A. Robinson and ARob is constantly in his ear sharing knowledge.  I wanted to see Wims last year, but he didn’t see the field until very late in the season.

Reports from camp & practices are glowing.  Catching nearly everything near him.  Running routes well, deceptive deep speed.  Much better balance after the catch than Alshon ever had.

All he needs is an opportunity to see the field regularly.

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