How do Bears players want to be remembered?
Well, let them speak for themselves:
- There is a new feeling of optimism surrounding the Bears’ tight end position, and with good reason. Daniel Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune explains the positive vibes in his training camp preview of the position. The team expects expect rookie Adam Shaheen to contribute early as a rookie, which means the second-round draft pick from Division II Ashland University made major strides during the offseason training program. He could even be a Week 1 starter depending on how training camp unfolds. With Shaheen and free agent Dion Sims under contract for at least the next three years, Chicago’s tight ends room could see a complete overhaul completed if the team parts ways with Zach Miller, who has been the team’s most productive player at the position in each of the last two years.
- On the other side of the field, Pro Football Weekly’s Kevin Fishbain analyzes the Bears’ cornerbacks in his latest training camp position preview. Quarterbacks aside, no positional group better represents the Bears’ offseaon overhaul or best explains the team’s direction for 2017 like cornerback. This group features two new starters with high floors as reputable starters who are young enough to still have some prime years left. Prince Amukamara provides an upgrade from Tracy Porter, who had a career worst 2016, but will have to play a healthy season to show he is worth a longer look and possibly an extension. Marcus Cooper didn’t grade out well by Pro Football Focus’ standards, but he showed a nose for the football and could benefit from not being a team’s most targeted corner, as he was in Arizona as teams did everything to throw away from Patrick Peterson.
- Kyle Fuller’s future is in jeopardy. The former first-round pick enters the final year of his rookie deal with the Bears having missed the entire 2016 season and without a clear roster spot heading into 2017. In addition to two new starters, the Bears also have two stand-out slot corners that could bump Fuller down the depth chart. Still, flashes from his rookie season where he had three interceptions over the course of back-to-back primetime games represents a flash of hope that Fuller can round into shape and work his way back into peak form. If not for the Bears, perhaps for a team in need of a cornerback in need of a change of scenery.
- The competition at safety should be intriguing with new faces (free agent Quintin Demps, fourth-round pick Eddie Jackson), familiar faces at a new position (Deiondre’ Hall), and a returning starter (Adrian Amos) who has played well since being thrust into the role as a rookie, but could end up pushed out of a starting role this season. Rich Campbell previews the showdowns at safety over at the Chicago Tribune.
- Bleacher Report’s Sean Tomlinson looks at the biggest free agent moves of 2016 and checks in on where the players are a year after shifting teams. The Bears’ signing of linebacker Danny Trevathan catches Tomlinson’s eye, but a season that ended with a season-ending injury that has lingered into 2017 and could cause him to start the season on the PUP list clouds things and could result in Trevathan losing a step. Not quite what you want out of a prized free agent signing, but injuries are rather unpredictable, so it’s worth pointing out that the Bears’ process was sound – even if the desired result hasn’t been reached. As of now, Trevathan has missed 21 games over the last three seasons, which puts some pressure on second-year linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski to take another step forward in his development during training camp so he will be ready when Week 1 rolls around.
- It appears as if quarterback Josh McCown has fully embraced his role in the Jets rebuild, saying he will “a dang good bridge” as the team that employs him seeks long-term answers at quarterback. It’s a bit of a different approach than what Mike Glennon has taken, but that isn’t to say there is a wrong way to do such a thing. In fact, the ways that McCown and Glennon have gone about looking at the season to come are both positive ways to deal with potentially awkward situations. Still, the way McCown is handling it is exactly why he could have had a (short-term) future with the Bears had the team decided to go down that road again in free agency.
- At least we know he can handle pressure:
The most impressive quarterback seasons down then stretch against pressure pic.twitter.com/5lIwbMeo5R
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 19, 2017