This week on Bears All Access, Tre Roberson joined Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, and Jim Miller to talk about his journey to the NFL. The former Hoosier/Redbird quarterback didn't have the most traditional route to the NFL. Roberson talked about how he wasn't a natural 'thrower of the football,' and was open to assuming a more natural position at the NFL level. Roberson said cornerback is that position. He feels natural backpedaling and flipping his hips in coverage.
Roberson joined the Vikings practice squad in 2016 as a UDFA. He explained that Minnesota is where he learned the nuances of being a defensive back. Every week, he helped prepare receivers like Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs for game day. In exchange, he was receiving reps covering top-tier receivers to help elevate his game. Eventually, he was released by the Minnesota Vikings and signed with the Calgary Stampeders. His time in between the NFL and CFL is the most intriguing part of his story.
Roberson had about a year between jobs and a baby on the way, so he went home to Indianapolis and got a job at Westmoreland Trucking company. He spent a year working double shifts as a driver. Roberson would start his first shift at 7:30 AM and wouldn't finish his second shift until 3 AM. Then he would head to Life Time Fitness to get his training in. Roberson stated that he would be able to steal a little sleep from 7 PM to 9 PM while on break during his second shift. That year of grinding showed just how remarkable of a human being Roberson is. He wasn't willing to sacrifice his family's well-being or his dream, so instead, he sacrificed sleep. Roberson's drive, grit, and blue-collar work ethic is something that will resonate with the Chicago Bears fanbase.
When asked about his time in the CFL, Roberson explained the importance of getting valuable game reps. His time covering the elite receivers in Minnesota gave him the confidence to play at a high level in the CFL. Roberson recorded 95 tackles, ten interceptions, two forced fumbles, and two touchdowns in his two years as a Stampeder. His production at the CFL level drove a ton of interest in the NFL.
During the interview, Jeff Joniak asked, "So, if my math is right, a dozen teams tried you out, nine offered contracts, so why the Bears?"
"I just feel real comfortable there. When I came on my visit to the Bears, my workout I just felt like I was at home," Roberson replied.
The 6-foot-1, 201 lb quarterback converted to corner wants to be a Bear. Roberson likes the idea of being a short drive away from his home in Indianapolis and likes the environment that Bears' management provided for him. Bears management also rewarded him with one of the highest CFL-to-NFL contracts ever. Roberson signed a two-year, $1.335 million deal with a $75K signing bonus.
While Roberson's role on the Bears is still unknown, his story and blue-collar work ethic can resonate with the Chicago fanbase. With continued speculation about Prince Amukamara becoming a cap casualty, there is a legitimate chance Roberson comes in to compete for the starting job. If he can continue his upward trend as a DB and produce at the NFL level, he will become a beloved member of the Chicago Bears.