The guys at The Loop Sports are excited about Training Camp. A few of us sat down and answered some popular questions about the Chicago Bears going into camp.
Which new free-agent addition are you going to be paying the most attention to?
Dan DeYoung: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. I believe that he has a lot to give to Chicago that he didn’t give to Green Bay near the end of his stint. A one year contract and being in a perfect situation for him thrive will hopefully give us that.
Alex Burdelik: Cordarrelle Patterson. I think adding a player with his versatility will make the offense that much more dynamic. With his speed and experience, a Jet-Sweep type play will open up the field even more than it already is. Not to mention his abilities on special teams.
Jarod Blankenship: Mine would definitely be Patterson. Seeing what Josh McDaniels was able to do with him last season makes me excited thinking about what Matt Nagy might be able to come up with. Plus, the Bears finally have a kick returner.
James Fox: I’m looking forward to watching Clinton-Dix the most. I think he adds a new element to the defense with his ball-hawking ability next to Eddie Jackson. He also has a lot to prove in a contract year.
Jack Soble: Patterson, because of the way he’s been used thus far. He received more first-team reps at running back than David Montgomery on Sunday, so I’m incredibly interested in how he will continue to be used in a variety of ways going forward.
Which rookie are you going to be paying the most attention to?
Dan: I have been on the Duke Shelley train for quite some time. I said back in an article back in May that the nickel spot will be a competition between Shelley and Buster Skrine, and I’m not backing off that take. I’m interested in seeing if the film I watched of him is going to transition in the league because I really think this may have been Pace’s best pick from the 2019 Draft.
Jarod: I am infatuated with David Montgomery. I’m looking forward to seeing his pass-catching abilities with Trubisky. And I’m looking forward to how much time he earns with the first-team offense. I have a feeling that he is a major steal in this draft.
Alex: Montgomery has the potential to be a star in this offense. I love his ability to break tackles, which he did plenty of at Iowa State. Also, having Tarik Cohen in the offense with an every-down back will help the team that much more.
James: I’m all aboard the Montgomery train. I’m also interested in seeing Emanuel Hall and Dax Raymond. I think Montgomery is going to be a star and will make Mitchell Trubisky’s life a lot easier almost immediately though.
Jack: Shelley for me, kind of by default because it’s hard to tell how a running back is doing when the defense isn’t allowed to tackle him. I am interested to see if he gets any first-team reps, and how many.
Which player is going to be a big surprise at Training Camp?
Dan: Tight End Ian Bunting is someone to look out for. Mark Helfrich mentioned him in his Bears 100 panel that he was the udfa that impressed him the most. A lot of people are looking at Dax Raymond, but I like what I’m hearing about Bunting.
Alex: Stephen Denmark. He was an absolute force at Valdosta State after switching from receiver to cornerback. His size and athleticism make him a terrifying thought for opposing receivers looking to make a play. If he can develop well in Pagano’s defense, that is. Excited to see what he can do against NFL talent.
Jarod: Alex Bars. A season-ending injury caused Bars to go undrafted. It did, however, reunite him with Harry Heistand the Offensive Line guru. Don’t be surprised if he makes the team.
Jack: I’ve been impressed with Thomas Ives, an undrafted free agent out of Colgate. He’s tall and an extremely sharp route runner, earning a few snaps with the starters early. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him spend the year on the Bears’ practice squad.
James: I think Leonard Floyd will be a training camp star in this defense. As far as the preseason goes though, guys like Kerrith Whyte, Emanuel Hall, and Javon Wims will get plenty of opportunities to shine in preseason games.
Which player concerns you the most?
Dan: Buster Skrine is definitely one of the most concerning. After losing Bryce Callahan, I’m not as confident about Buster Skrine as the starting nickel for this team. I’m seriously concerned about his penalty issues and his overall tape.
Jarod: Adam Shaheen concerns me. He needs to stay healthy. He only played in six games last season and he was basically a non-factor. If he can stay active during training camp it will make me feel better about him.
Alex: Leonard Floyd has been okay since his rookie season. Unfortunately, He has dealt with some injuries which may have hindered his success. He is a real “prove it” player in my eyes. He has an amazing defense backing him up and hopefully, he can really begin to shine in Pagano’s defense.
Jack: Shaheen, because the injury issues have already begun.
Who will be the kicker for the 2019 Chicago Bears?
Dan: I want to see these two kickers kick in person before giving a hard judgment. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pace made a move for Kaare Vedvik.
Alex: If they decide to choose from the kickers they already have, probably Eddy Piñeiro. If they decide to go a different route, I believe it would be Cole Tracy. I am absolutely shocked he is not on an NFL roster yet.
Jarod: He isn’t on the roster yet.
James: I don’t think their eventual kicker is on the current roster.
Jack: I have absolutely no idea and anyone who says they do is lying to themselves.
What else are you excited to see at Bears Training Camp?
Dan: How the new Chuck Pagano defense will look in comparison to the Vic Fangio defense. I expect to see a much more aggressive group.
Alex: Honestly, I am just excited to finally see a winning culture surround this team. Before last season it always felt like we were planning for the future and It felt like we were so far away from a winning season. Well, I am happy to say that the future is finally here.
Jarod: I want to see a comfortable Mitch Trubisky. This will be the first season without a new playbook or “competition” so it’ll be fun to see him progress in the offense.
Jack: Khalil Mack. No explanation required.