Today is a well-earned off day for the Bears, who now have five practices under their belts.
It’s early, so I won’t dwell too much on some of the negatives that have sprung up early in camp. For the most part, the Bears seem to be healthy and in good spirits as they ease their way into the 2017 season. Frankly, training camp is an awkward period where your main concerns revolve around hoping no one gets seriously hurt and that everyone – at the minimum – gets a sense of what their role is going to be in the year to come.
It’s like walking through a mine field while encased in bubble wrap. Good luck with that.
- No one said the transition period for a rookie quarterback was going to be easy, but it’s encouraging to see that Mitch Trubisky bounced back after a rough first weekend. Trubisky had trouble handling snaps, which feels common for first-year signal callers early in camp. There’s something about getting to learn a new offense, teammates, positioning, mechanics, footwork, and other things that something important won’t probably click right away. Trubisky reportedly looked like he moved on, putting together a relatively clean practice and making some impressive throws. ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson has updates on the Bears’ other quarterbacks, including Mike Glennon (who showed accuracy on undernearth routes, but also fumbled some snaps … go figure) and Mark Sanchez (who is performing as you’d probably remember).
- The good news regarding Trubisky’s issues is that he isn’t expected to start in Week 1, which should allow him to work through any problems without the stress of needing to be perfect when the curtain raises on the season. Over at FanRag Sports, Eric Edholm explains why the Bears can’t rush to start their prized quarterback of the future into the starting lineup. Beyond all the strong points Edholm makes, I’d like to see Trubisky earn his starting job with good play, solid fundamentals, and an understanding of his offense, as well as what defenses are throwing at him rather than handing him the keys simply because he was the first quarterback selected in the draft.
- And even though Trubisky is working through some issues and isn’t expected to play early (some suggest he shouldn’t play at all), William Moy of Pro Football Focus still has Trubisky as the Bears rookie to watch in 2017.
- Trubisky’s growth as a quarterback will be directly tied to how he connects with his receivers. Over at CSN Chicago, Chris Boden unveils a unique motivational tactic used by new wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni. Little toy soldiers, ones you might be familiar with from your childhood if you didn’t grow up with a mobile phone in your hand, are being given out to Bears receivers as a reward for positive plays, production, and effort in camp. And leave it to a group of football players to see this as a source of pride as each is out to collect the most toy soldiers in camp. I’m definitely here to see which player builds up the biggest army because of his play on the field.
- ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports the Bears-Packers rivalry will come with a little twist this season, as the Week 4 showdown between the two long-standing rivals will be the first Thursday Night Football game to be shown on Amazon Prime. “Alexa, run a cover-2 beater for a first down, please.”
- We touched on the value of ball security from Bears quarterbacks yesterday, but look what Jordan Howard did as a rookie in 2017:
Tackle breaking ability and ball security
Jordan Howard is quite the combo pic.twitter.com/6YNnSEcv2J
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 31, 2017
- For a unique experience, you can hold your fantasy draft party at Soldier Field. Hopefully, your drafts will be more celebrated than those of GM Ryan Pace.
- Speaking of drafts, I meant to share this over the weekend, but long-time NFL beat writer John McClain had some high praise for Texans first-round pick DeShaun Watson, tweeting: “I covered Warren Moon from from Day 1 for 10 years. At his 3rd practice, Watson reminds me of Moon n his first camp in 1984. So smooth!”
- In case you’re unfamiliar with Moon, he threw for 49,325 yards and 291 touchdowns in a career in the NFL where he played for four teams over the course of 17 years. The nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
- Albert Breer called the Minnesota Vikings the most balanced team in the division, which should serve as a reminder of how deep the NFC North is – and how difficult the road to a Bears rebuild could prove to be. The Vikings are only a year removed from winning the NFC North, and were a botched field goal attempt from winning a first-round game against the Seattle Seahawks. It turns out losing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater hurt more than the team’s hot start led on. With all due respect to the historically accurate arm of Sam Bradford, it’s really difficult to run a successful offense behind a dink-and-dunk quarterback.
- Sticking in the NFC North, the Detroit Lions signed former Bears offensive lineman Nick Becton – who did not appear at all in 2016, but played five games with Chicago in 2015.
- College football season starts THIS MONTH, and Chase Goodbread has seven story lines to follow as we ramp it up for games that matter. Because GM Ryan Pace did what he did to secure Mitch Trubisky and install him as the team’s future at quarterback, we won’t be keeping as close of an eye on the quarterback derby between Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. However, the progress of a player like LSU pass rush extraordinaire Arden Key will be on our radar for most of the season.
- Down goes Qualcomm Stadium. The last piece of the San Diego Chargers came tumbling down. Known for many years as Jack Murphy Stadium, the facility was home to the Chargers and Padres, hosted three Super Bowls, the Holiday Bowl, two MLB All-Star Games, and two World Series. For the record, the Bears won their final appearance at the stadium behind 345 passing yards and two touchdowns from Jay Cutler.