As an undrafted rookie out of Northern Illinois last year, Chad Beebe made the Vikings’ roster and made four catches in three games. This year, Beebe wants more than just a roster spot. He wants to be an impact player.
Toward that end, Beebe is putting in hard work this offseason — with some help from his dad, former NFL wide receiver Don Beebe.
As an NFL rookie himself in 1989, Don Beebe wanted to invest in himself, so he spent $2,200 on a JUGS machine, which allowed him to practice catching passes even when he didn’t have a quarterback to throw to him. The Beebe family still has that same machine, and Chad has been working with it this offseason.
“It’s got duct tape on it and its screws have been replaced and it’s been through a lot, but it’s still hanging in there,” Don Beebe told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “Chad is wearing out that JUGS machine. That’s what he does for a living. He’s catching hundreds and hundreds of balls out of a JUGS machine, and that’s why I think he’s got very good ball skills.”
Vikings assistant head coach Gary Kubiak praised Chad Beebe this offseason, saying he had done as good a job as anyone on the roster and indicating that he has a chance to earn the No. 3 receiver job behind Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Part of that strong offseason was working on his hands, which entailed standing directly in front of the JUGS machine and catching balls firing at him at 65mph.
Beebe has also been working on fielding punts from the JUGS machine, and he’s hoping to earn the punt-return job as well. Chad has a long way to go before he’s as good an NFL receiver as his dad was, but he’s willing to put in the work.