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Bears Notebook: Day 2 Training Camp Observations

The Chicago Bears had their second day of practice on Saturday morning.

Friday, the Chicago Bears practiced outside through several downpours. On Saturday, it was another rainy day in Bourbonnais, IL, but the team was out there once again. Saturday was the first practice that was open for fans to attend. Luckily, I made my way down to check out the 2018 squad.

Here I will list my observations from Saturday’s practice. Let’s get into it.

Matt Nagy Change 

Something about the Bears on Saturday looked different. There seemed to be a buzz around the team. For starters, after each drill was done the players jogged to their next station. That is something that didn’t happen under Marc Trestman and John Fox. The practice was much more physical as well.

There may be some concerns with that because of the Bears issues with injuries over the last three or four seasons. However, no one was injured during Saturday’s practice, and I don’t expect more injuries to occur once the pads come on either.

The Bears seem to be practicing on a much more intense level, which was great to see as a fan. Matt Nagy runs a tight ship, and that will only benefit the team once the regular season rolls around.

Confident Kyle Fuller 

After getting paid in the offseason, cornerback Kyle Fuller still doesn’t seem very complacent. Instead, Fuller seems to still have a chip in his shoulder. He made several great plays in practice on Saturday. Here are a few of them.

General manager Ryan Pace made the right move by bringing him back. As long as he stays healthy, Fuller will be well worth what the Bears paid for him. Take that, Green Bay.

Mitch Trubisky Footwork 

After last season, many people wanted quarterback Mitch Trubisky to work on his footwork. During the 7-on-7 drills, there was an obvious improvement. I would call Trubisky’s footwork above average. Keep in mind the playing surface was fairly slippery because of the on and off rain. The real test will come on a dry surface, of course, with pads on.

Tight End Sets 

Considering the Bears have Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, and Dion Sims at the tight end position, it shouldn’t come as a surprise they ran a ton of 2-3 tight end sets on Saturday. It could be nothing, meaning Matt Nagy could just be seeing what he has, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears run a similar type offense in the preseason.

It makes sense, all three tight ends are big targets for Trubisky.

Kevin Toliver Making a Name for Himself 

Kevin Toliver was an undrafted free agent the Bears took a chance on. Now, he is the talk of training camp. He reportedly had a very solid first practice on Friday and followed it up with another strong performance on Saturday.

In two days of practice, Toliver has three interceptions. Not bad for an undrafted free agent. After Fuller, Prince Amukamara, and Bryce Callahan the cornerback position is pretty thin. Having a guy like Toliver emerge would be huge for an already good Bears defense.

Jordan Howard, the Pass Catcher 

In his young NFL career, running back Jordan Howard has had issues catching the football. That was one of the reasons there were rumors of him being traded in the offseason. Despite those rumors, Howard has made it a point to improve his abilities as a pass catcher. Specifically, with his hand placement when catching the football.

It showed on Saturday, as he looked much smoother and natural catching the football. Howard even spent extra time working on his hands after the final drills were done for the day.

Practice makes perfect.

Miller Time 

Second round draft pick Anthony Miller put on a show Saturday. He was all over the place. The first thing I noticed about Miller was his ability as a route runner. He runs some of the best routes I’ve ever seen in person. Miller is also explosive off the line of scrimmage, and can easily create separation. Having Taylor Gabriel and Miller on the roster feels a bit unfair for opposing defenses.

During his three seasons at Memphis, Miller scored 37 touchdown passes. He has an act for getting into the end zone. That was on full display Saturday. Get used to seeing this – Trubisky to Miller, TD.

Injury News 

At first, I was a bit concerned when I didn’t see Kyle Long out on the field at the start of practice. He did make his way out on the field but didn’t participate. Coach Nagy said it was a scheduled day off for Long. The opposite was true for Aaron Lynch.

Lynch is already starting off on a bad foot with the Bears. This is already his third injury with the team and they haven’t even played a game. Somehow, someway the Bears will need to add another pass rusher. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a trade if Lynch continues to be a no-show.

Linebacker Danny Trevathan was also out again with a minor hamstring issue. Roquan Smith was also absent. He and the Bears are trying to work out a contract. I’ll give the Bears another week before I start to get worried about Smith. Remember, the Bears started a week early because of the Hall of Fame game.

Other 

Andrew Link and James Fox will be at camp tomorrow. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter here: @TLS_Petrusevski.

Feature Photo Credit–Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune

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Nick is a recent graduate of Northern Illinois University and passionate about everything Chicago sports (except the Cubs). He has run his own website, been featured on Bleacher Report, and tried to sell his soul on eBay (which he hasn’t gotten back). He hopes to one day see his beloved Bears win the Super Bowl and is still trying to figure out why Jay Cutler gets so much hate.

2 comments on “Bears Notebook: Day 2 Training Camp Observations

  1. A WEEK ???? seriously that is a ton of practice missed by Roquan if that happens. then no HOF game for him as he wont be ready

  2. Pingback: Bears Notebook: Day 3 Training Camp Observations

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