Devin Aromashodu: Still got “a lot of upside” in second stint with Bears
‘‘I think I’m much better [than before],’’ Aromashodu said. ‘‘That was two, three years ago. Experience makes you a much better player.’’
In his first stint with the Bears (2009-10), Aromashodu recorded 34 receptions for 447 yards and four touchdowns. Aromashodu spent the following two seasons playing for the Vikings, registering 37 catches for 650 yards while averaging 17.6 yards per catch and also scoring one touchdown. However, Aromashodu is now again in a familiar position with the Bears – competing for a roster spot in training camp. Behind Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett on the depth chart, the Bears have nine receivers battling for two or three spots at the position. Besides Aromashodu, veteran Eric Weems, former undrafted free agent Joe Anderson and seventh-round draft pick Marquess Wilson top the list at the remaining receiving spots.
‘‘He’s continued to progress. He’s learning the offense, and he’s a smart guy. He understands what’s going on,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said of Aromashodu. “I know the quarterbacks have a confidence level in him because they’ve been around him. They know him a little bit better than the coaches do.’’
A seventh-round pick in 2006, Aromashodu originally entered the NFL via the Indianapolis Colts, and briefly played with Peyton Manning. However, it wasn’t after claimed off waivers from the Washington Redskins’ practice squad that Aromashodu showed a knack of making big plays in his first stint with the Bears during 2009.
Aromashodu had an immediate impact on the Bears’ offense, logging eight receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown in a 21-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He also had seven receptions for 150 yards and made a game-winning 39-yard touchdown catch on a Jay Cutler pass in the in a 36-30 overtime victory against the Vikings. Aromashodu again proved vital on the offense, recording two touchdowns in a 37-23 win over the Detroit Lions in the 2009 season finale.
But after starting the 2010 season opener against the Detroit Lions to get five catches for 71 yards, Aromashodu was put on the inactive roster by Week 3, and amassed only a further five receptions for 78 yards the rest of the way with the Bears. Aromashodu did not get another long-lasting opportunity until now, as the end of the 2010 season essentially marked his departure from Chicago.
‘‘It didn’t go the way I wanted to (the first time with the Bears). ‘I’m not sure (what went wrong). I kind of moved on from it because I went to another team,” Aromashodu said. “I didn’t focus on it. I haven’t looked back since.’’
However, Aromashodu is now more optimistic about his second-stint with the Bears.
‘‘I’m definitely still ascending because I haven’t really had the opportunity to play a full season,’’ Aromashodu said. ‘‘So I think I’ve got a lot of upside.’’