When Ryan Poles used his first two picks in the 2022 NFL draft on Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker, many Bears fans wondered what the first-year GM was thinking. The first week of training camp has provided a peek into the answer: talented, versatile playmakers to play modern defense. Kyler Gordon played both outside and shifted inside to play the nickel. Jaquan Brisker played back, walked down into the box, and carried tight ends up the field. They both got their paws on the ball for interceptions off Justin Fields.
Gordon’s pick came off a tipped ball. A poor throw by Fields batted into the air off Darnell Mooney where Gordon snatched the ball out of the air and immediately looked to score. Brisker’s pick, however, was a thing of beauty. Playing a trail technique on Cole Kmet on what appeared to be an over route, Brisker undercut the pass with a burst at the top of the route and scored another turnover the for defense. The versatility, intelligence, and takeaway ability of both players paired with talented veterans around them in the secondary makes the defensive back unit the most promising on the team.
- Justin Fields rebounded from a tough 7 on 7 drill Thursday to post a perfect 10 for 10 today. Mostly short passes to the outside with a few intermediate routes in the middle of the field in this session, but it’s worth noting the field was condensed as it turned into a red zone drill at the end.
- Nsimba Webster made a nice catch. Equanimeous St. Brown made several. There are a lot of players fighting for six likely roster spots.
- Byron Pringle and Dante Pettis both committed drops.
- Cody Whitehair enjoyed a veterans day off. The starting line in his (and Lucas Patrick’s) absence from left to right: Riley Reiff - Zach Thomas - Doug Kramer - Ja’Tyre Carter - Larry Borom. Mustipher slid over to the second team to handle the pivot, giving Carter the chance with the one’s.
- Thomas Graham Jr. and Teven Jenkins did not practice.
- Dominique Robinson, rookie out of Miami of Ohio, certainly looks the part. Number 91 worked in with the second team defense. I think he has a chance to carve out a small role this season.
- Angelo Blackson and Khari Blasingame got into it a little bit after a play in the team session. The practices are still non-contact but the tension grows with each passing day.
- David Moore had a chance at a great catch in the back of the end zone but it was broken up by two converging defenders.
- Jaylon Johnson hasn’t been targeted much in practice yet. Might be a sign of things to come.
- The player on the front of the program today was Deandre Houston-Carson. Yesterday, it was Dane Cruikshank.
- The HITS principle continues to dominate practice, but the last “session” of the day allowed the defense to celebrate after a planned pick six (the ball was rolled like a bowling ball and the remaining 10 players acted as pins - it was a strike). The offense celebrated a TD with a more traditional spike of the football. The honors were given to Ja’Tyre Carter. Offense needs to step it up.
Find me on Twitter @gridironborn covering camp on Saturday.