Trestan Ebner’s welcome to the NFL moment didn’t happen when he was drafted in the sixth round or when he first stepped on the practice field at Halas Hall or even when he got his first carry against the Chiefs in the preseason.
It happened nearly four months after becoming a Chicago Bear.
“This is actually the first time I’ve felt like I was in the NFL was today,” Ebner said after seeing he made the Bears’ 53-man roster.
The Bears selected Ebner with the 203rd overall pick on Day 3 of the NFL Draft, making him the 20th running back taken.
In two preseason games, the former Baylor Bear carried the ball 15 times for 60 yards and caught one pass for a 12-yard touchdown against the Chiefs. He also returned two kickoffs for 53 yards against Kansas City.
Before Ebner exited the Week 2 preseason game against the Seahawks with an ankle injury, he started to feel his confidence in himself begin to grow.
“Obviously the games you’re playing against other teams, other guys that are NFL players. I did pretty decent in those games,” Ebner said. “I made a couple of plays. In the Seattle game, Khalil came out and I went against some of their ones and I played pretty decent. I was like, ‘alright, I think I can play with these guys. I feel good about it.’ That was really the first moment and I went back and told coach Walker that I feel pretty good.”
Ebner said he was pleased with his preseason, especially now that he is back to feeling healthy and practicing. Still, one of the areas he wants to focus on improving throughout the course of the year is his pass blocking, which he felt “wasn’t great” but “wasn’t bad either.” The 23-year-old feels confident he will make strides in this area of his game because of running backs coach David Walker.
When Ebner isn’t working on his pass pro assignments or studying his playbook, he likes to get away by playing video games. His favorites are Madden and NBA 2K. And, of course, when the new Madden came out, he had to see what it was like playing as himself. Most of the stats checked out in the game except for the speed.
“I would say the in-game speed is a little off,” Ebner said. “We really don’t go by the 40, but that’s fine. We do the in-game speed and so hopefully I can make a few plays where I pull off a little bit and bump the speed up. That’s all I care about.”
If by chance Ebner isn’t playing his Xbox, he plans to test out the golf simulator that is in his new apartment and wants to also find time and a spot to go fishing.
But for now, the former Baylor Bear is just embracing being a Chicago Bear and is looking forward to starting his first season in the NFL.