BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- From the outside looking in, Alshon Jeffery and Curtis Johnson seem like polar opposites.
Jeffery, the Chicago Bears' star receiver, who is out with a minor hamstring strain, is quiet and reserved, content to let his play do the talking.
Johnson, Chicago's brand new receivers coach, is loud and aggressive on the practice field, verbally challenging guys with an in-your-face style.
Can the two men co-exist in 2016? Especially after Jeffery skipped the entire get-to-know-you voluntary portion of the offseason workout program?
"I think it’s a good relationship," Johnson said on Friday. "I think, I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Alshon. From my end, when I call, he answers. We talk about a lot of different things, a lot of different conversations. He’s a young guy and I like talking to him. He’s a very, very fun guy to talk to. He’s smarter than you would think. Very sports history -- he can talk about it all. And I can talk and he can talk. So everybody told me he was quiet, but he’s not as quiet as I thought he would be."
A former head coach at Tulane, Johnson coached a bevy of talented receivers in New Orleans, and at the University of Miami, where he mentored future NFL stars Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne and Santana Moss.
"[Alshon is] a big like Marques Colston," Johnson said. "I would say he has very good hands like Reggie Wayne. And I’m not saying those guys are the same, but if you asked me who this guy reminds me of, he’s kind of like those guys."
Johnson is also charged with the development of former first-round pick Kevin White, who is destined for a large role in Chicago’s offense.
Johnson, however, feels White is still a work-in-progress.
"[He needs to work on] everything," Johnson said. "Kevin had a year off. He comes from a program that really didn’t move him around very much. So now he’s getting used to the formations, he’s getting used to the quarterbacks, and he’s getting used to everything. But I think overall he’s just playing football, the knowledge of the game, and all those things, he needs to improve on that. But he’s improving and it’s going pretty fast.
"He’s big, he’s physical. He has really good hands. Better hands than I thought when I watched him in college. He’s just going to be a guy -- he’s a work in progress right now. I think he’s going to be a really, really good player for us."