I know most Chicago Bears fans are completely invested in nothing but Justin Fields updates at this point, but today’s practice seemed like the defense had the upper hand. Some of that was likely caused by the projected starting tackles, Germain Ifedi (hip) and Teven Jenkins (back) both being out still, but several defenders got to shine today.
Reports from Halas Hall alluded to real nice practices from the returning Akiem Hicks (who was held out on Thursday with a sore foot), Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, Bilal Nichols, Trevis Gipson, and **checks notes** Robert Quinn?
“He’s rolling right now,” head coach Matt Nagy said of Quinn. “I’ve gotta actually tell him to pull the heck back a little bit because he’s getting in that throwing lane with the quarterback, and we had a couple close ones yesterday. So if you see me freak out today, it’s because of that.”
Yesterday Quinn talked about how dissatisfied he was with his 2020 season, which was hampered by injuries, but the last two days Quinn hasn’t appeared to be limited by anything.
The defense is usually ahead of the offense at this point in camp, but it’s still refreshing to see Sean Desai’s unit so fired up and excited.
Let’s run through some Tweets from those that we’re there today.
Better day for Justin Fields, but defense dominated as a whole. Khalil Mack was parked in the backfield all practice. #Bears— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) July 30, 2021
Thomas Ives with a nice one-handed grab in stride during WR drills. Got some nice compliments from his teammates. #Bears— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) July 30, 2021
Matt Nagy said that Darnell Mooney and Allen Robinson are "attached at the hip." Nagy also mentioned that Mooney sees Robinson as a mentor and thinks Mooney is in store for a big season.— Nicholas Moreano (@NicholasMoreano) July 30, 2021
Justin Fields was almost picked to close out 11 on 11 drills. Had pressure and over threw his receiver on the sideline. Bad throw but otherwise a good day for him. #Bears— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) July 30, 2021
Damien Williams with a nice catch down the sidelines from Dalton.— Greg Braggs Jr. (@GBraggsJr23) July 30, 2021
Another nugget from today: Backup K Brian Johnson had a solid showing. Strong leg and 9-for-9. Didn't face the kind of crosswind that Cairo Santos dealt with on Thursday, however.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) July 30, 2021
This #Bears defense is playing with a different energy right now. They are fired up and yelling on the sideline every time they make a big play. #Bears— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) July 30, 2021
Dalton nearly picked off again at the line of scrimmage. This time by @BNichols98! Who was very animated he didn't come down with it. Slamming his hands on the ground.— Greg Braggs Jr. (@GBraggsJr23) July 30, 2021
Defense having a good day. pic.twitter.com/Qm2xkRrDRp
Best pass rush of the day might have been by OLB Jeremiah Attaochu. Nifty spin move off the edge. Team believes he's an upgrade over Barkevious Mingo as a 3rd option this season.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) July 30, 2021
Justin Fields nearly picked off towards the sidelines. Defense is fired up and letting the offense know. pic.twitter.com/OPW65XJTa1— Greg Braggs Jr. (@GBraggsJr23) July 30, 2021
Best thing I saw in #Bears training camp practice today was a Roquan Smith pass breakup pic.twitter.com/wblESVRpeX— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) July 30, 2021
Quote of the day at #Bears training camp goes to OL Sam Mustipher: "I ate whatever I wanted to. It was an offensive lineman's dream."— Matt Zahn (@mattzahnsports) July 30, 2021
He was putting on weight and working on getting stronger this offseason. @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/50FR8pA4Ar
#Bears C Sam Mustipher on working with Andy Dalton: "HIs understanding of how to lead an offense and lead a unit is awesome. Just him being able to gather us and calm us down as a unit, that’s invaluable stuff."— Sean Hammond (@sean_hammond) July 30, 2021
.@Darnell_M1: "This year I just want to be an explosive player. I want to be dominant. I want to be a known name."— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 30, 2021
Darnell Mooney said he wants to be dominant this year. Asked if that means getting 1000 receiving yards, he said:— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) July 30, 2021
“Yeah, sure. I want 1000 yards.”
Another example: “Taking a slant 80 yards. I want to be able to do that.” #Bears
Damiere Byrd said one of challenges to playing the slot is that he has to learn to see the entire field.— Nicholas Moreano (@NicholasMoreano) July 30, 2021