Jennings bounces back

At 5 feet 8, he always will have limitations. But Jennings doesn't back down from anything or anyone. He approaches the game as if he is the biggest, baddest dude on the field. There is more heart in this one little cornerback than there is in some entire secondaries.

After re-signing with the Bears, Jennings dedicated himself to justifying Emery's faith in him. He knew coach Lovie Smith and his staff were disappointed about how few plays he made on the ball, so he caught at least 60 passes from the jugs machine before each offseason practice.

When practice began, he was all about the football.

"I wanted to make sure if I touched it, I caught it," he said. "I don't remember dropping too many easy ones."

He also paid close attention to getting his body right. Jennings said his body fat is at 8 percent, down from 12 percent in 2010. He also has stayed a little lighter than he has been at 180 pounds, which he believes will make him quicker.

Although Emery clearly believes in Jennings, his bet is hedged. Emery also signed Kelvin Hayden, a free agent cornerback who once started ahead of Jennings for the Colts.

Jennings is expected to begin the first practice as a starter, but to stay there, he will need to keep ballhawking.

"I'm very motivated," he said. "I'm excited to get back out there."

He just needs to pick up where he left off — in the offseason, that is.

dpompei@tribune.com

Twitter @danpompei
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