LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Rookie defensive end Barry Turner could help the Chicago Bears' defense improve its pass rush, according to head coach Lovie Smith.
"When you talk about defensive end, first off, you say can a guy rush the passer," Smith said Friday. "That's what we've seen from him. [He's a] live body, athletic, with speed off the corner. We don't have a lot of guys like him, as far as what he brings to the table.
"Eventually, when you get on the 53-man roster, you have a chance to some day get up. He'll have a chance to some day get up.
Turner, elevated from the Bears practice squad Tuesday, was an undrafted rookie free agent out of Nebraska who finished his collegiate career with 17 sacks, which ranks eighth in Cornhusker history. The 6-3, 259-pound defensive end first caught the team's eye during organized team activities, and followed that up with a solid training camp.
In addition to refining his pass rush skills, Turner spent extra time after practice working with Bears special teams coach Dave Toub, a strong indication the Bears are preparing to dress Turner on game day.
"Early in my college career I played all special teams, so I'm familiar with special teams and understand the importance of special teams," Turner said.