• Lucas Perfetti

The All-Pro Comes Out of His Shell(Kyle Fuller Article)

Kyle Fuller is an introvert, to say the least. During interviews, his wheels are always spinning. His answers are well thought out and carefully said. He is a stand-up guy and a true professional. Fuller's transition from his rookie contract to his first veteran deal wasn't the most ideal situation. After the Bears decided not to pick up his fifth-year option, Fuller had an impressive 2017 season accruing 2 interceptions, 22 defended passes, and 68 tackles. Despite his efforts, he was still put on the transition tag where the Green Bay Packers offered him a contract. The Bears immediately matched the offer and retained Kyle Fuller. While the "business side of football" worked itself out, Fuller was in the eye of the storm, and zero drama unfolded between him and the organization. Oh, and then went on to have an all-pro season. Fuller's was the first round selection in Phil Emery's last draft, and his professionalism must have played a part in him being one of the few who made it through the roster overhaul.

Kyle Fuller and Charles Leno were the bookends of the 2014 draft, with Leno being the seventh round selection. Leno and Fuller were given an interview on stage for the Bears 100 celebration. It was just the two of them, and "Chasing Great" was the only interview that had 2019 players exclusively. It seemed strange those two get their own segment, only because the other panels had Chicago Bears icons like Virginia McCaskey in them. It has to be because Leno and Fuller are the grandparents of the team. They have seen it all go down. They had to walk 8 miles, uphill, to get to school. These young kids don't know what it was like to work out at the old facility. Leno and Fuller were able to give insight on the transition, and perspectives from different sides of the ball. During the discussion, Tom Thayer asked if the guys were the type to get to practice early or if they would rather stay late, and Kyle Fuller's answer gives you a glimpse into what goes on when you see his wheels turning. He explains that after practice, he reflects on all the work that went into the day. Fuller likes to look around and take in everything that surrounds him. The statement I appreciated most was "you just look around, and realized where you're at, and that you worked your whole life for this." Fuller went through a gauntlet to stay on this team, became an all-pro, and remains humble. It was nice to see him express himself more than he usually does at the Bears 100 celebration.

Fuller must be getting more comfortable with the press because not long after the Bears 100 celebration, he was interviewed on the Chicago Bears All Access podcast. They talked about the upcoming season, but the conversation was dominated by Fullers plans to golf during summer break. He was asked what aspect of golf made him enjoy doing it so much, and cut off Jim Miller by blurting "For sure, I defiantly love the competitiveness of it." He likes to compete, but he said it's the mental obstacles that come with playing golf, that make him want to play it every day in the offseason. He also talked about the hype on the golf course leading up to the Bears 100 Celebration. Fuller knew how big it was going to be because of how many people approached him to talk about it. I'm sure he is less reserved in person than with the media, but I could not tell you first hand.

Kyle Fuller is an introvert. He doesn't have to be anyone but himself, and can quietly step into a leadership role. He is a smart, productive, and humble player. Fuller will lead by example, and when he speaks, a quiet man's words carry more weight. Fullers most recent media outings have led me to believe he's gotten comfortable in Chicago. Hopefully, he can become a little more of a vocal leader in 2019. Fuller even worked the runway during the Bears 100 celebration. He was the only player chosen to model the newest alternate uniforms for 2019. It may have taken five years, but Kyle Fuller is out of his shell.

-Lucas Perfetti


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© 2019 by Lucas Perfetti 

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