BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — A day after Matt Nagy thought the Bears’ offense took a step back in a “sloppy” practice, that group took two steps forward on Sunday led by a strong day from quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
For Nagy, the important takeaway was the timing and accuracy with which Trubisky threw the ball.
“Today was a very good day for him,” Nagy said. “He grew in the fact of, today was an anticipation and accuracy day for him. So he threw the ball early and on time, and then he was very accurate. There were some tight windows and he hit a lot of those today.”
On the receiving end of plenty of those passes were Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller, both of whom put together the latest in a string of impressive practices down here in Bourbonnais.
Miller’s been a consistent standout during training camp, playing with the kind of speed, quickness and savviness that showed up on tape in college but not looking like a rookie while doing so. He’s a menace in one-on-one drills, and — to take one example — beat Prince Amukamara to the corner of the end zone in one of them today.
"A guy like Anthony Miller, who’s a rookie coming into this thing, you can slowly start to see that he’s starting to understand the ‘why,’" Nagy said. "And when that starts to happen, now he gets the timing down and then him and the quarterback are on the same page and you roll."
Robinson, meanwhile, hasn’t visibly looked like a guy coming off a torn ACL. What’s impressed Nagy is not only what Robinson has done on the practice fields, but what he’s doing off them to make up for lost time with Trubisky during the spring.
"He's close," Nagy said. "I wouldn't say he's there yet but I tell you this, he's doing everything he possibly can to get there. So him and Mitch are very close."
Another Hit from 54
Nagy tweaked the evening schedule on Saturday so his team could watch Brian Urlacher’s induction speech at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. And the message Urlacher delivered in that speech couldn’t have been better as Nagy continues to drive home the history and tradition of the Bears to his players.
“I thought it was important for our guys to understand the significance of somebody standing up there at that podium with that jacket on,” Nagy said. “And just talking about the Bears like he did and all the great people in the organization, he talked so much about others and not just about himself. I thought it was really telling for our guys.”
That inclusive, not-about-me message (read more on it here from colleague John "Moon" Mullin) stood out for inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, who himself is one of the Bears’ most important leaders.
“He said he wanted to be the best teammate, the best player he could be,” Trevathan said. “He didn’t want to take all of the time talking about himself in the speeches. That just goes to show the true leader and he loved the game of football. He played it the right way at linebacker. He changed the criteria of linebackers, made play. He was the glue that held them together. That’s what I’d say: Just enjoying the little things like the players you’re playing with, the plays you make together.”
Taylor Gabriel (foot) was not present at Sunday’s practice as trainers were working to determine the nature of his injury, Nagy said, though the speedy wideout is considered day-to-day.
There was no news to report on Roquan Smith’s holdout, which on Sunday reached its 21st day. Trevathan said he’s texted with Smith and “just told him to get here when he can,” and sounded supportive of the eighth overall pick. But missing weeks of practice reps will have an impact, either big or small, on Smith’s readiness for the regular season.
“Just the communication aspect, and little details,” Trevathan said of what Smith is missing. “Where you mess up here, you ain’t gonna mess up again. You get that down pat and move on to the next one. Just the little stuff. But I mean, we’ll take care of that when he gets here. We got his back.”