Another hot and humid day set the tone at Bears’ training camp today. While the practices tend to follow a familiar pattern, today’s practice seemed to focus more on actual football and football situations.
Once the team got back together following positional drills, the bulk of the remainder of practice was 7-on-7, 11-on-11 or 2-minute drills. On Sunday, the defense dominated in all aspects but on this sunny day in Bourbonnais, the offense struck back.
My initial thoughts are that the offense seemed to really pick up the pace today, which was a nice surprise. They seemed to have an extra bounce in their step and were breaking the huddle with a purpose. With that, let’s get down to my observations for the third day in pads.
- Like I mentioned above, the pace of the offense was impressive. This is the first time that they looked truly comfortable since I have been at camp. The team broke the huddle with a purpose and went to work
- Mike Glennon looked sharp today. He is really taking charge of the team and was clearly in command of his charges.
- Kevin White was a beast today. He caught passes early and often, which continued throughout practice today. White was fast, quick and physical. This was the Kevin White I saw at West Virginia and not the player I saw earlier in camp. He made a few catches over the deep middle, a leaping catch down the right sideline and a few WR screens that I saw.
- Cameron Meredith has turned himself into a true pro. He runs near-perfect routes and catches everything. He is so dangerous on post and comeback routes. I would be shocked if we didn’t see Meredith break out even further this year.
- Tarik Cohen again had a nice day. I will caveat this by saying that he is not being hit. But he took a screen pass to the house without anyone getting close enough to catch him. I will be curious to see how he is deployed during the regular season.
- Mitch Trubisky was running with the second team today, the entire day. If this continues, it is a significant development in my opinion. With some better weapons to throw to, he continued to impress me with his accuracy and timing. He also did not have any snap issues today. I repeat, no botched snaps today!
- The tight ends as a whole were solid but unspectacular. This seemed to be the day for the wide receivers to shine. That said, Ben Braunecker and Daniel Brown turned in a few very nice catches in team drills. I did not see Zach Miller today.
- The offensive line did a great job in pass protection today. Glennon had a clean pocket virtually the entire day, with a few nice rushes from Leonard Floyd mixed in that Glennon deftly moved to avoid. The running game stalled again today. Keep in mind that Kyle Long is still not participating in these drills. The second string had Trubisky moving his feet a bit more and the third string would have murdered Mark Sanchez on a number of occasions.
- The defensive line was stout against the run but failed to get much of a push today on passing plays. Also, the defensive and offensive lines were on the opposite field and in an awkward place to see the one-on-one drills, so there isn’t much to report there.
- Leonard Floyd continues to have a nice camp and his newfound strength appears to keep offensive lineman off balance. If this continues into the season, he seems poised for a big season.
- Vic Fangio spent the whole positional portion of practice with the outside linebackers. This is the first time I have had the defense on the field I was at, so this was a nice thing to see. According to Willie Young, Fangio has been a great help to him and the other outside linebackers. This position, more than any other, seems to be the tightest-knit. Lamarr Houston and Willie Young are constantly working with Floyd on the sidelines about technique.
- The inside linebacker group didn’t stick out much. The coverage seemed to be good on the tight ends in team drills, but the tight ends still seemed to get the best of them. Although I do believe that this is an outstanding tight end group.
- Not much about the secondary stood out to me at all. The one guy who flashed again was Eddie Jackson. The way that the offense threw the ball today, I am looking for a redemption day from this group tomorrow.
- I found it interesting, but not surprising, that Andy Phillips was practicing his punting skills as well as his field goals prior to practice. He wasn’t great but he wasn’t bad either. That is a really good skill for a kicker to have, and vice versa for a punter. I am not sure of Connor Barth can punt but if not, I have to think that this give Phillips a leg up.
That’s all I have for today. To recap, the passing game looked good, the run defense was stout and most of the players that you expect to play well did. So not much surprised me based on what I had seen to this point.
Also, if you are planning to head to camp tomorrow (Thursday 8/3), they are calling for thunderstorms all day, so keep that in mind. I will be following the weather closely and if it doesn’t look like they will get practice in, I will likely not be attending.
Until next time, happy camping and Bear down!
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