It was a hot one in Bourbonnais for Monday's Chicago Bears’ practice, and while I thought the offense looked a little lethargic at first, they ended up probably having one of their better overall days, in particular quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. He still had at least one interception I saw, on a deep corner route in the end zone that Prince Amukamara got, but he was consistently on the money while his receivers dropped a few balls and the defense made some incredible plays.
Several times today I noticed Trubisky adding some zip on his passes, and the prettiest one of all probably came on a post route to Allen Robinson II between two defenders for a touchdown. Trubisky was also commanding his offense as the Bears did some late game situational stuff today. He was moving his receivers around when necessary, and he was crisp on the sideline routes so his receivers could get out of bounds.
A few times when the Bears were working a trips vs three defenders drill, Trubisky had no where to go and he threw it late, but in a real game situation he’d have the other side of the field to scan or the ability to take off and run.
Two receivers I wasn’t expecting to stand out today were Marvin Hall and Taquan Mizzell. Hall has had a solid camp, and his ability to play special teams could land him on the 53-man roster, and Mizzell is trying to stick as a wide out after playing running back a year ago. Anthony Miller had a nice practice today as well.
Wide receivers coach Mike Furrey was vocal all morning, but he was especially fired up when the Bears were running an end zone comeback drill early in the day. He wanted his wide outs to work back to the pylon and not the sideline, which makes the angle for the QB one where the pass is either going to the receiver or out of bounds.
Furrey also met the media after practice and he had something to say about Miller.
“He doesn’t lack confidence. He never has,” Furrey says of Anthony Miller with a sheepish grin on his face.— Robert Zeglinski (@RobertZeglinski) August 5, 2019
“For him, he’s slowed down. He’s less of a jackrabbit. There’s no freewheeling. “The game comes to him because he lets it. This is the mark of a veteran.”
And about Javon Wims, who has had a fantastic camp thus far.
“His biggest thing is acceptance. He’s recognized that when he steps onto the field, he’s a No. 2, a No. 1 weapon. He carries himself like he belongs.”— Robert Zeglinski (@RobertZeglinski) August 5, 2019
Bears WR coach Mike Furrey singing the praises of Javon Wims. The playmaker’s in the process of making a leap.
And about his starting duo of Robinson and Taylor Gabriel.
“They’re inseparable. They do everything together. They’re Batman and Robin.”— Robert Zeglinski (@RobertZeglinski) August 5, 2019
Mike Furrey is quite fond of his top receiving duo of Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel.
“This is it for them. It’s their responsibility to lead and lean on each other.”
The tight end position was missing Trey Burton, who was given another day off. Head coach Matt Nagy said it wasn’t a setback but a planned day off for the veteran coming off hernia surgery. Bradley Sowell continues to look good, as did undrafted free agent Ian Bunting, but Adam Shaheen, who is healthy, didn’t do much.
But let’s move over to defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano’s side of the ball.
Fans really need to keep in mind just how stacked the defense is that Trubisky is facing each day in practice. “Sometimes it feels like they’re cheating. They’re just that good,” Trubisky said of the talented defense he sees every day.
Nickelback Buster Skrine made a couple great plays by extending and knocking the ball away, and safety Eddie Jackson and corner Kyle Fuller had good days in coverage too. The pass rush was also there all morning, and the run defense made it tough for Chicago’s tailbacks to find much room. I can only remember two runs that were solid gainers, one by David Montgomery and one by Mike Davis.
And I can’t wrap this defensive recap up without mentioning Khalil Mack scooping an errant shotgun snap up and racing eighty yards to the end zone. He’s one of the hardest workers on the team, and after practice he made sure to spend some time signing autographs for the fans.
Another few guys that stuck around to sign autographs after everyone else was back inside were Trubisky, general manager Ryan Pace, former tight end Zach Miller and head coach Matt Nagy.
And speaking of Nagy, he was also doing this while his team was running 11 on 11 on the other end of the field.
Bill Belichick could never pic.twitter.com/9G3yctChsi— Windy City Gridiron (@WCGridiron) August 5, 2019
Nagy runs a loose camp, allowing his players to have fun, but when it’s time to go to work his players get down to business.
The two kickers, Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro, both missed a couple field goals, but overall still a decent showing. And speaking of kickers, this guy made his feelings known about that guy last year.
For more on today’s practice and some of my general thoughts on camp, I went live from Bourbonnais with Iowa’s KMA 960 AM and 99.1 FM, and you can catch that segment right here.