The offseason’s heavy lifting is over, and the Chicago Bears are about to begin their climb towards meaningful football games. Tuesday marked the first day of Offseason Training Activities that will feature rookies and veterans, alike.
These camps aren’t mandatory, but I expect a high percentage of attendees, because everyone has a reason to want to get in, learn the system, and impress a coach or teammate. Let the games (or in this case, training activities!) begin, already.
- There’s still stuff to unpack from the weekend rookie minicamp, so I’m going to see it as a good thing that we’re quickly transitioning from one phase to the next. How the influx of young talent meshes with the established building blocks will be the most interesting thing to follow this year. If things go well, then we could be looking at a team on the rise in the NFC.
- I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to getting caught up in player comparisons. However, I always find myself intrigued when players talk about the peers they model their games after. Over at the Chicago Sun-Times, Adam Jahns rounds up what the Bears’ draft class had to say about their own futures. Seeing second-round offensive lineman James Daniels say he sees 2017 first-team All-Pro center Jason Kelce as someone he wants to model his game after is encouraging. Daniels mentions Kelce’s skills as a pass blocker and how he uses his hands as strengths. Even though Daniels won’t be at center, he could probably use the same concepts and apply them to playing guard.
- Fellow second-round pick Anthony Miller will get a chance to do something different in 2018. The NFLPA announced Miller was invited to its Rookie Premier event in Los Angeles, where Miller and 39 other rookies will get a chance to explore some off-the-field opportunities and get a behind-the-scenes look at the business of football. Miller was a self-made star at Memphis and it allows him to talk a big game. If he can live up to the buzz that surrounds him, he’ll be one of the team’s most marketable players. Being a marketable star in a major market has its perks, especially if he is part of a winning team in Chicago.
- Over at NBC Sports Chicago, Bryan Perez writes about how Bears head coach Matt Nagy found himself impressed with sixth-round pick Kylie Fitts during the weekend rookie minicamp. Fitts has size, speed, and a prospect pedigree that allows you to dream on him being better as a pro than he was in college – much like Eddie Jackson last season. Nagy was quick to point out that intangibles are going to stand out more than anything else, especially on the defensive side. So what Fitts did must have really stood out to Nagy.
- Fitts is ready to put his “run of bad luck” in the past, writes Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. Fitts’ injury history is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s understandably a concern for a group of outside linebackers that will feature three rotational players who are coming off injury riddled seasons one way or another. Not to put pressure on the rookie, but the Bears are going to need Fitts to be a contributor right away at a position of perceived weakness. While it’s tough to put any great expectations on a rookie sixth-round pick, proving to be healthy will ultimately help his odds of being what the team needs him to be.
- I really hope Mitch Trubisky likes what he saw at minicamp:
Mitchell Trubisky (right) sneaks into Bears rookie camp for a quick glimpse. pic.twitter.com/ehdd54Wzs7
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) May 12, 2018
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