The Super Bowl odds are in, and later today, we’re going to take a look at the Bears’ (non-zero) chances of upsetting the field (and universe) by taking home the trophy.
But for now, bullets:
- The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain has a pair of worthwhile reads that you should really check out. The first focuses on Mitch Trubisky’s deep ball skills, which he’s both showed at North Carolina and flashed at training camp. Quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone seems pleased with Trubisky’s mechanics on the deep pass, which could loom large in his development. Remember, though, one of Mike Glennon’s best assets is believed to be his deep ball throws. And to both of those ends, it’s worth noting that undrafted free agent Tanner Gentry was one of college football’s best deep ball receivers last season. He could be a real asset to either QB if he can crack into a crowded receivers room.
- After that, Fishbain also leads his observations from Monday’s camp with an anecdote about tight end Adam Shaheen, who is growing into a Bears fan (and QB) favorite. Shaheen made a highlight-caliber touchdown catch on a pass from Mark Sanchez with linebacker Jonathan Anderson all over him, was on the receiving end of a Trubisky strike on a crossing pattern, and even made an eye-opening grab on a throw from Glennon. It’s fair to say that despite his placement on the Bears’ first unofficial depth chart, confidence is growing in the Division II product.
- The Bears are at a crossroad with cornerback Kyle Fuller … writes Chris Emma over at CBS Chicago. Fuller was Phil Emery’s final first-round pick back in 2014, and his career has been inconsistent at best since arriving in Chicago. A lost year due to a knee injury (and Fuller’s inability to recover from it) complicates matters for the former starter moving forward, especially considering that the team has reworked the cornerbacks room, adding two new starters in free agency. Even still, Fuller believes in himself – and the Bears are looking at him with a clean slate. For what it’s worth, Fuller is listed as the second-string cornerback behind Michael Cooper, and will have to work to secure his roster spot at a crowded position.
- Earlier, it was newcomer Markus Wheaton who said he believed he and his teammates were being underrated as a receivers group. Perhaps he was onto something, as Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that this particular position group might be getting overlooked. Things have evolved at the position since the days of Marc Trestman’s pass-happy offense, with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains asking different things from his receivers than previous Bears offenses have. The team lacks a true No. 1, has questions surrounding several players on one-year “prove it” deals, and the injury bug always seems to be lurking, but this is a motivated group who’s looking to prove people wrong. As far as I’m concerned, they’ll have plenty of opportunities to show that they’re better than what others think – starting in Thursday’s preseason lid-lifter.
- While Jay Cutler might be the most polarizing figure in Bears history, I think we can all agree that we wish things would have gone better in his eight years with the team. Head coach John Fox had Cutler for just two years, but echoed those sentiments on Monday. “I was happy with [Cutler] both years,” Fox told Pro Football Weekly’s Eric Edholm. “I don’t think I would say I was happy with our seasons [6-10 and 3-13 records]. He was a smart, tough guy that worked hard. When we departed, we wish it went a different way. I am sure he feels the same way.”
- Cutler went 51-51 as a starter, but his time in Chicago featured two distinctly different eras. The Bears went 34-22 (.607 winning percentage) in 56 starts under head coach Lovie Smith, but just 17-29 (.369 winning percentage) in the years that followed under Marc Trestman and John Fox.
- New cornerback B.W. Webb has a mean shoe game:
BW Webb is a 757 guy but he still is representing the best flag in the Union at today's Bears practice. pic.twitter.com/d3RrUFpApJ
— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) August 8, 2017
- The starting quarterback job in Denver is still up for grabs, but a familiar face (as far as Chicagoland area football fans are concerned) will get the first crack at the gig. Mike Klis reports Trevor Siemian, who played his college ball at Northwestern University, will start for the Broncos on Monday. Siemian was the team’s Week 1 starter in 2016, and started 14 games (8-6 record as a starter) for a team coming off a Super Bowl title.
- Chicago isn’t the only team with a revolving door at safety. The Minnesota Vikings have been looking for a player to pair with Pro Bowl free safety Harrison Smith for a while now, but believe they have found an answer in Anthony Sendejo. He has been with Minnesota since 2011, but has faced competition at the position in each year since joining the team. And yet, Sendejo has started in 40 of the last 59 games he has played for the Vikings since 2013 – including 27 starts over the last two seasons. Sendejo earned a 72.8 grade from Pro Football Focus last year, which ranked him 58th among 90 qualifying safeties.
- The Bears aren’t the only team searching for ways to create more turnovers this offseason. Teresa M. Walker writes that the Tennessee Titans – who will provide the competition for the Bears in the all-important third preseason game – are focusing on creating more fumbles and getting their hands on more interceptions in camp this season. Tennessee went 9-7 last season, but missed the playoffs by a nose. With quarterback Marcus Mariota leading the way on offense, the Titans’ defense will need to step its game up in order to push the team into the postseason.