My Saturday started at 6:10 a.m., when I woke up to get ready for the hour-long drive down to Bourbonnais for Chicago Bears training camp. I had initially planned to wake up earlier, but, due to some mishaps with my alarm, I got a bit more sleep than I expected. I arrived at Olivet Nazarene University with just enough time, as I was still able to get a good seat in the bleachers and catch the players walking out to the field. The weather was supposed to be cloudy and relatively cool, so I brought some sweatpants and a long sleeve Bears shirt. That came back to bite me, as there were nearly no clouds in sight for much of the practice. Although I was relatively uncomfortable in my attire, I was excited to get down and watch some Bears football for the first time in months. Here’s what I took away from today’s practices.
- I got the chance to sit by Will DeWitt and Nicholas Moreano of Da Bears Brothers, as well as Johnathan Wood from Da Bears Blog. WCG’s own Robert Zeglinski - who gives great handshakes, by the way - stopped by before the practice and said hello before joining up with the press. They provided some good commentary and discussion throughout the practice.
- In general, Chicago’s defense seemed to have the upper hand over the offense, which has been the case for much of camp so far. This isn’t necessarily surprising, as the Bears have had the same defensive scheme in place for four years, while the new offense has only been played in for a few weeks. That said, it’s not all that alarming that the offense hasn’t been lighting it up on the field so far.
- I didn’t get to see much of the offensive and defensive linemen go at it due to where I was sitting, but undrafted free agent Cavon Walker stood out to me when I got a few glimpses at their workouts. I also overheard that Nick Williams also looked good in drills.
UDFA defensive lineman Cavon Walker looking good so far, and I know that @BearsLink82 will be happy to find that out.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) July 28, 2018
- Michael Burton looked very good today. He was fantastic as a blocker, regularly overwhelming linebackers in drills. He was even able to totally shut down Leonard Floyd on a play when the offense was backed up inside their own five-yard line. The Bears used him quite a bit today, as he saw time with both the starters and the second-string offense. I could realistically see Chicago bringing one of Burton and Ryan Nall up to the 53-man roster, so it will be interesting to see how those two are used going forward.
Michael Burton getting a good chunk of reps in with the 1s and the 2s. FWIW, I was the only one at @WCGridiron who predicted that he’d make the team.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) July 28, 2018
- With Aaron Lynch and Kylie Fitts both out with injuries, Sam Acho got plenty of time starting at outside linebacker in practice, and he sure made the most of it. He overwhelmed basically every tight end on the roster in one-on-one blocking drills, and he displayed ample tenacity and strength. He was named a starter in the first depth chart of the season, and his play today made him worthy of that title. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Acho start his fair share of games off the edge this year.
Sam Acho physically overwhelming Colin Thompson in one-on-one tight end blocking drills. Acho is off to a very good start to practice so far today. pic.twitter.com/QqYJEyMrR6— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) July 28, 2018
- Cre’Von LeBlanc and Prince Amukamara stood out in the secondary. Both had interceptions on Mitchell Trubisky, and LeBlanc had a pass deflection that was nearly intercepted by Deon Bush. Amukamara impressed in one-on-one drills, even shutting down electric route runner Anthony Miller. Both of their roster spots are pretty much secured - Amukamara’s especially - but it’s always good to see that they’re playing at a high level.
Cre’Von LeBlanc with the PBU, and Deon Bush almost has the interception.! pic.twitter.com/p01747aYWa— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) July 28, 2018
- Speaking of Miller, he looked to be as good as he has been hyped up to be throughout camp. He looked athletic and made several impressive grabs. I’m excited to see him in the preseason, as his ability to pick up yards after the catch is very impressive, but he has made the most out of his chances to make plays so far. Fellow rookie wide receiver Javon Wims also looked great in practice. He made a few snags, including a nice jump ball over Doran Grant. He has displayed his ability to make circus catches throughout training camp, which was one of his best traits coming out of the draft. He’ll be a name to watch throughout the preseason.
Javon Wims with the nice snag on the comeback. Good velocity on the throw by Chase Daniel. pic.twitter.com/JWwRd4MudC— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) July 28, 2018
Javon Wims with a "nasty" catch right over Doran Grant.— Da Bears Brothers (@DaBearsBros) July 28, 2018
- I didn’t get to watch a lot of the offensive linemen due to where I was sitting, but Kyle Long was very physical, for better or worse. He flattened Prince Amukamara early on in practice, and he got into a scuffle with
- Mitchell Trubisky didn’t exactly light it up today - he had three interceptions - but it’s not the end of the world yet. Players aren’t going at full speed yet, and Trubisky’s actions are relatively limited. Although he was able to do a few designed bootlegs on play action calls, he didn’t have much of an opportunity to use his legs or improvise. He did seem to be forcing throws on occasion, but it’s not exactly a guarantee that he’ll make those mistakes in a game situation. These are the baby steps in his development, so it’s best not to overreact to training camp mishaps.
Mitchell Trubisky throws his first interception of the day to Nick Kwiatkoski, who probably would return it for a TD in a real game. pic.twitter.com/weSIbTnbru— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) July 28, 2018
- Jordan Howard has been working on his hands this offseason, and his hard work showed in practice. He was a reliable checkdown option, displaying hands that seemed to be stickier than last year. There were many checkdowns today, which resulted in a lack of splashy plays, but it’s good to see that Howard has been putting in work to make himself a more valuable asset to the team.
- Both Cody Whitehair and James Daniels had snaps that went above the quarterback’s head. Considering the fact that they’ll likely play quite a bit out of the shotgun, it wasn’t very assuring to see both centers make mistakes like that.
- Allen Robinson didn’t participate in a ton of drills, which shows that the Bears are aiming to play it safe as he returns from his ACL tear. He did make an impressive leaping grab up the middle on a pass by Trubisky, though, displaying his ability to adjust his body to make grabs. Overall, however, there isn’t much to report on his part.
- Kyle Fuller wasn’t fantastic by any means today. He allowed Kevin White to make a diving catch on a comeback route, and he even got torched by Josh Bellamy, who himself had a fairly decent practice. He’s going to have to take a big step this season to live up to his big contract.
That’s all I’ve got from today’s practice. Make sure to keep updated to Windy City Gridiron for constant camp updates.
Jacob Infante is a Chicago Bears writer at SB Nation’s Windy City Gridiron. He is also an NFL Draft writer at USA Today SMG’s Draft Wire. He can be reached through Twitter @jacobinfante24 or emailed at email@example.com.