The Chicago Bears held their fourth training camp practice at Halas Hall, and so far things have been moving along as expected. After scouring Twitter for reports from the beat writers and fans, including our guy @TJStarman, it seems the defense is ahead of the offense, which is normal for this time of year, and the 2021 quarterback room has been performing better than the group from last year.
The team is still practicing in just shells and shorts, but the intensity has been there from the players, even if the intensity has been lacking from the sparse crowd.
Head coach Matt Nagy talked about the defense needing to take the ball away more this season, so defensive coordinator Sean Desai has a blue takeaway bucket on the practice field for their players to dunk and celebrate any takeaways they get.
“We’re just trying to emphasize the details that we believe lead to takeaways,” Desai said when he met the media from Halas Hall yesterday. “I think through that and through that process of emphasizing that and getting the focus and the minds in the places that we want them, they’ll come. Takeaways come in bunches. There’s an energy that’s created about that. There’s been a lot of up years and a lot of down years in terms of takeaways. But when they come, they’ll come.”
See the takeaway bucket in action right here.
Now let’s hit on some Tweets from camp...
Nagy emphasized takeaways this year. This is my first camp experience so unsure if this is the norm or not, but Defense starting out with fumble/INT drills right out of the gate - some good hands showing too #BearsCamp— TJ Starman (Real Name, No Gimmicks) (@TJStarman) July 31, 2021
CB Teez Tabor punches ball out of hands of Rodney Adam’s after about a 20-yard completion. That’s one of the very few takeaways (you can count them on less than 1 hand) for #Bears defense in practice 4 of camp.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) July 31, 2021
Andy Dalton just dropped a dime to Damien Williams down the right sideline. Got some response from the crowd #BearsCamp— TJ Starman (Real Name, No Gimmicks) (@TJStarman) July 31, 2021
Wasn’t a great 7 on 7 for Justin Fields. Missed a throw up seam. But finished it on a strong note, delivering a dart over the middle to JP Holtz in a tight window. Good spin on it. #Bears— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) July 31, 2021
On third down, Justin Fields connects with Jesse James on a seam route for the first down. Ball had some good zip to it.— Nicholas Moreano (@NicholasMoreano) July 31, 2021
I won't sit here and sell Andy Dalton as some treasure at the QB position. But he's operating way more smoothly and efficiently than anything we saw from the Bears QBs in camp last summer.— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) July 31, 2021
Deon Bush made a nice leaping interception grab on an Andy Dalton pass just a moment ago. The #Bears defense is not shy about its turnover celebrations.— Sean Hammond (@sean_hammond) July 31, 2021
A Fields scramble inspiring some cheers. His mobility will definitely be a key for the offense when he takes over. That 4.4 speed is a difference maker #BearsCamp— TJ Starman (Real Name, No Gimmicks) (@TJStarman) July 31, 2021
Second straight day Trevis Gipson has found himself in the backfield for a TFL. #Bears— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) July 31, 2021
4. The offense itself looked EXACTLY like what we saw second half of 2020 with Trubisky. Plenty of motion and movement pre-snap. Play action. Boots. Drag routes by TEs. It looked exactly the same.— Joseph Herff (@JosephHerffNFL) July 31, 2021
Another strong day for #Bears K Cairo Santos. He was right down Main Street, Lake Forest.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) July 31, 2021
Bears DT Bilal Nichols on the defense: "We’ve got a whole new swagger about us. It kind of reminds us of that 2018 swagger we had. … (Sean Desai’s) been amazing so far."— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) July 31, 2021