By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
With the induction of linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it was only fitting for the Chicago Bears and the Baltimore Ravens to duke it out on the field. This allowed the Bears and Ravens to start training camp early and get the cobwebs out after long disappointing seasons.
The question has always been, with all the off season acquisitions and NFL Draft picks, did the Bears do enough to have a promising season?
Well the answer is YES! As with all teams, everything looks good on paper but does it transfer on the field? Is the new culture one that is being embraced by the whole team, not just a few? I’m glad to say so far, yes!
It starts with a new culture that stirs a sense of brotherhood where the whole team helps each other to win. They want to be obsessed, driven, passionate and feared on the field. The Chicago Bears are tired of being at the bottom of the NFC North and this season they plan on making that a thing of the past.
Entering training camp with a playbook of incredible schemes, head coach Matt Nagy has put his team to the test, starting with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The young QB for the past several days has been tested by stretching the field and seeing how far he can throw the rock and whether or not he can throw with accuracy especially through tight windows. Trubisky has shown great promise in the long ball and continues to practice to get it right. He was also tested on no-huddle plays to get comfortable with his reads and checkdowns.
Offensive tackle Charles Leno was also struggling to block and hold back linebackers, especially Leonard Floyd. Hopefully he will fix that. Rookie James Daniels struggled as well. In one play it appeared as if he was daydreaming and missed his block allowing a defender to rush the QB.
— Greg Braggs Jr. (@GBraggsJr) July 23, 2018
With Trubisky’s testing, it has paid off to the wide receiver and running back core. The uncertainty of WR Kevin White has been looming for three years, but he is healthy for now and showing great promise on the field. White was able to grab a nice throw for Trubisky and show his athleticism in between the hash. However, due to not playing enough he struggled with the three-step take-off and was reprimanded for it.
Off of a knee injury last season, WR Allen Robinson had no problem showing his abilities on the field and that he is ready to go. Taylor Gabriel’s speediness was no joke and he has a wicked catch radius as well as rookie Anthony Miller who has exploded in practice with amazing catches to entertain the fans.
Highlights from Day 2
Trubisky with a deep TD to Gabriel.
Jordan Howard is making all his catches, even on some weak throws.
Kevin Toliver with his 3rd pick in 2 practices.
Anthony Miller owns catch of the day -and has broken multiple ankles. pic.twitter.com/Gs5pO0MWUi
— Chicago Bear Pause (@ChicagoBearPaws) July 21, 2018
Running back Jordan Howard proved to all that HE CAN CATCH, and frankly, he always has been able to. He made sure of that by practicing in the off season and proving that he can be the three-down back he was drafted to be. Alongside Howard is RB Tarik Cohen who will be an all-around RB, slot receiver and whatever position scheme Coach Nagy wants him to play. He through a couple of passes to Trubisky in training camp to keep that play fresh.
Benny Cunningham struggled a bit in training camp, was a little sluggish at times and dropped a few balls. But the surprise out of camp was Taquan Mizzell who impressed with his run cuts and ability to break through the defense.
And speaking of defenses…..
It is heartbreaking not to see first round draft pick Roquan Smith on the field. I would have liked to have seen what kind of impact and pressure he could have put on Trubisky. But the show was all on the defensive backs as cornerback Kyle Fuller did not lose his drive from last season. Rookie Kevin Toliver II made sure he was not going to lose his spot on the roster. Toliver made some incredible plays. He is the ideal size for a corner at 6’-2” and was favored by several analysts to be drafted in mid rounds 4-5. Toliver went undrafted and the Bears got a steal!
Hopefully by next week, Smith will be on the field and we will have more on him.
Make sure to check back soon for a more in-depth look on the Chicago Bears!
Talk Bears football with Wanda on Twitter // @WandaW63