Undrafted free-agent Joseph Anderson arrived at his first NFL minicamp only identifiable by the number 12 on his practice jersey and “ANDERSON” written on white tape attached to the front of his helmet.
When the three-day rookie minicamp was over, the former Texas Southern wide receiver made such a good impression on Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice and head coach Lovie Smith that we was able to ink a three-year contract with the team.
“It is exciting,” Anderson said Monday after learning of the news he would be a member of the roster when training camp begins in August. “I think my family is more excited than I am.”
“When you start a camp like this, you’re anxious to see what you have as far as the new guys are concerned,” said Smith. “Our draft picks were pretty much what we thought they would be. All of them stood out some time during the camp. Some of the undrafted players made their mark.”
Anderson obviously make a mark on the coaching staff during practice sessions at Halas Hall, displaying the ability that resulted in 47 receptions for 638 yards and four touchdowns a year ago.
“They (the Bears) liked the way I ran routes, came in and out of breaks and how I caught the ball,” said Anderson who had been on the Bears radar since the NFL Draft, and will be expected to play multiple wide receiver positions, including the slot.
While Chicago hasn’t made him any promises in terms of playing time, Anderson will make it a point to learn as much as he can from veteran receivers such as Pro Bowl studs Brandon Marshall and Devin Hester.
“Right now I don’t know anything,” he said. “I just want to get into the playbook and learn from them.”
Anderson said the three years at Texas Southern was a major factor in what he hopes is the beginning of a successful NFL career.
“The SWAC has a lot of talent, but sometimes small school guys get overlooked. It makes me work harder. It makes me hungry,” Anderson said.