The Human Joystick is getting a workout early in camp:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 31, 2017
But he’s not the only rookie with the spotlight on him this summer…
- Mitch Trubisky has a growing level of comfort as he gets his legs under him in his first NFL training camp. So much so, he says he is comfortable with the Bears’ plans for him, writes Larry Mayer of the Chicago Bears’ official website. “I have to respect the plan that they have in place, and I have to believe in that, so that’s what I’m doing. We’ve got a great quarterback room. Mike, Mark (Sanchez) and Connor (Shaw) have really all been helping me with everything I need—the mental side of the game as well as preparation going into practice and staying on top of the plays and all that.”
- If you feel Trubisky has a lot of learning left to do, you’re not alone. The Bears need to be careful with how they develop their latest first-round pick and need to make sure they do it properly on all fronts. Slow playing his development on the field while also giving him the proper support in the quarterbacks room is a good way to start.
- While Trubisky gets his feet wet at his first camp, Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times talks to several Bears second-year players who shared details on the skills they sharpened in their first offseason as professionals. Making that leap from Year 1 to Year 2 will be important for these players, but also for the progress of the team. Cody Whitehair and Jordan Howard established themselves as quality starters, but others like defensive end Jonathan Bullard, safeties Deon Bush and Deiondre’ Hall, and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski each could make major strides that could lead into increased playing time.
- The Bears are using virtual reality to help advance the growth of their quarterbacks, and it’s an outside-the-box idea I’ve been intrigued by for a while. This group needed some additional help because the team is trying to divide camp reps between four quarterbacks – including three who weren’t with the team last year. With the CBA limiting time on the practice field, VR could be something that helps aid the Bears’ signal callers in an unexpected way.
- Jeremy Langford isn’t the only starter-turned-reserve who could be pressing for playing time. Hroniss Grasu will need to prove to be versatile in 2017, writes Bob LeGere of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald. Grasu was a third-round pick in 2015 who made eight starts at center as a rookie and looked to be in a position to start in 2016 before a season-ending ACL injury. Cody Whitehair turned in a stellar rookie season as a starter at center in Grasu’s place, which has led to Grasu playing guard during OTAs and early in camp. The Bears have 14 offensive linemen in camp, including six new additions from this offseason. However, the team will likely carry just seven on the active roster.
- Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweeted about several promotions handed out by the Bears over the weekend. Former pro scouting director Champ Kelly (who was approached by the Miami Dolphins for a job in their front office) was promoted to assistant director of player personnel. Additionally, Biggs reports that Chris White (pro scout), Scott Hamel (area scout), Brendan Rehor (combine scout) were also promoted.
#Bears promoted Champ Kelly from pro scouting director to asst director of player personnel. GM Ryan Pace has praised him numerous times.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) July 29, 2017
- A fun nugget from Sunday’s practice.
After a Tarik Cohen TD, Cody Whitehair came over for a chest bump. It did not end well for the small RB.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) July 30, 2017
- In case you missed it, Trubisky has a little problem with the quarterback-center snap exchange, but things could be worse for the Bears rookie. For example, he could have had a day like Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles where he throws five interceptions in a practice. Not that training camp picks are the absolute worse, but Bortles’ 51 interceptions are the second most in football since the start of the 2014 season.
- Brandon Albert was supposed to shore up the left tackle position in what could be a make-or-break year for Bortles and the Jaguars. However, Jacksonville will be looking elsewhere to fill the void left behind by the two-time Pro Bowler (most recently in 2015) who has abruptly retired after his first three practices with his new team.
- The Minnesota Vikings have an open competition for a pair of special teams spots. Head coach Mike Zimmer says he and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will work together when deciding which kicker and punter will make the 53-man roster. Minnesota has two place kickers (Kai Forbath, Marshall Koehn) and two punters (Ryan Quigley, Taylor Symmank) battling in camp.
- This is really the last thing I wanted to see in July 2017:
Allow this to sink in for a second.@AaronRodgers12 looks… even BETTER.
— NFL (@NFL) July 31, 2017