The Chicago Bears opened their offseason workout program on Tuesday, and it’s always good to see vets lead the way, especially when they’re new to the scene:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 18, 2017
They can’t do much beyond strength training and conditioning, but it’s still nice to see players – new and old – put in some work in preparation for the 2017 season.
Ka’Deem Carey is already hitting the weights, looking to improve on a year where he was viewed as one of the NFL’s best special teams players. As is Mitch Unrein, who might see himself in a battle for playing time along the defensive line. And of course, linebacker Jerrell Freeman is keeping it loose with the chatter….
- …And then there is Akiem Hicks, a free agent addition last year who had a breakout season in 2016 and has redemption on the mind for 2017, according to Larry Mayer. After winning just nine games over the last two seasons, redemption should be on the mind of many of the Bears’ players, because many of them have much to prove in 2017. Whether it’s free agent signee Mike Glennon wanting to show he can still sling it at quarterback, wide receiver Cameron Meredith looking to prove his 2016 breakout (fueled by the best double-move in football) wasn’t a fluke, to several players throughout the roster in search of shaking off an injury riddled season. During Phase One of the offseason workout plan, the Bears will stick to the mental buildup, as well as the strength training and conditioning needed to prepare for the grind of the football season. But at this stage, the vibes are more along the lines of the first day of school. Everyone is just happy to be back together again.
- Over at CBS Chicago, Greg Gabriel breaks down the art of the deal when it comes to draft day swaps. There are intricacies in making trades in the draft, because saying you want to and getting around to actually executing it are two totally different things. The former Bears scouting director breaks down how points are assigned to each pick and what the value could be to a team trading up or down. Chicago has reportedly been “antsy” about wanting to trade out of the No. 3 pick, and could even have a potential suitor in the Cleveland Browns.
- Every draft is full of sleeper picks, and it would be nice if the Bears found a few more diamond-in-the-rough types to add to a roster in need of an injection of new talent. Over at Bleacher Report, Chris Roling unveils a handful of deep sleeper candidates whom the Bears should target. It’s a group of intriguing potential draft candidates including an under-the-radar quarterback prospect in Virginia Tech’s Jerod Evans, tight end Adam Sheehan from Division II Ashland University in Ohio, and edge rusher Dylan Donahue – another Division II standout from West Georgia University. Someone breaks out from this group every year, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a few fliers and hope for the best if you’re the Bears.
- Over at Pro Football Weekly, Greg Gabriel has an idea about where future NFL Drafts should be held. After being in New York City forever, Chicago had it for two years before Philadelphia took over for 2017. If the NFL is going to continue down this path, it would look good if the league decided to spread the wealth. Gabriel believes smaller cities that don’t get a chance to host Super Bowls should be given that opportunity. It only makes sense. The draft is its own entity that brings out the biggest football-crazed fans, so it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities to cities to see fans flock to wherever the draft is held and receive a warm welcome from the locals. And the late-April date assigned to the draft could open it up for it being a fully outdoor event. Imagine what a packed Lambeau Field for draft night would look like.
- The Bears seem set at the running back position with Pro Bowler Jordan Howard leading the way and Jeremy Langford backing him up. Yet, the Bears will meet with one of the draft’s top running backs in Tennessee’s Alvin Kamara.
- We already know who the Bears will play in 2017 (in both the preseason and regular season), but we’ll soon find out when they’ll play those games with the NFL’s schedule reveal show coming tomorrow.
- LaMar Campbell (affectionately known as “Soup”) played 64 games – including 18 starts – for the Detroit Lions from 1998-2002 and will now serve in a new role in the NFC North with the Chicago Bears:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 18, 2017