Bears expect first true test by Colts in practice, preseason game


Bears expect first true test by Colts in practice, preseason game

Practice is, as Allen Iverson would agree, is just practice. Except this week.

After a one-day stopover for Tuesday's practice at Halas Hall, the Bears were headed for Indianapolis for two days of practice and a Saturday game with the Colts. Inter-team practices typically extend over three days but the third day was done away with this trip for a simple reason, besides the presence of a game.

“One of the things you learn through experience is we’re only going two days instead of three days,” Bears head coach John Fox said. "That third day things get a little chippy, so I think part of the planning is looking at that third day. So we’ll work like we did last week prior to Miami the day before the game’s scheduled and we’ll practice with our own team at Lucas Oil on Friday.”

[MORE BEARS: 'Loss' of Kevin White affects one Bear in particular - Jay Cutler

The mood was clearly one of looking forward to something other than seeing the same faces day after day after day in practice.

“It'll be really nice to go down to Indianapolis to echo some of the things that coach Fox was just talking about,” said guard Kyle Long. “[The Colts are] a playoff team; they have the model for what it is to be successful in this league.”

(That “model” probably has something to do with staffing a certain position with No. 1 overall picks (Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck) that work out at Hall of Fame levels. But that’s another discussion.)

Still, “it'll be a good idea to see how they practice and how they go about their business and also get an opportunity to see some other guys in a practice setting, you know we get to practice against them twice, get to play against them Saturday, so that'll be a really good experience for a lot of the younger guys and for all of us,” Long said.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

The practices are scheduled for mid-afternoon Wednesday and Thursday. As recently as Monday night the two teams were still tweaking plans, including the prospect of rain, in which case half of each team will stay at the Colts’ facility for practice and the other halves will be indoors at Lucas Oil. "There’s been a lot of planning, yes,” Fox said.

That planning includes specifically avoiding fighting, or at least the NFL wants that to be part of training-camp thinking. In the wake of the spate of fights in camps, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent sent a memo to all 32 teams Friday reminding players that prohibiting fights during games will be a point of emphasis for officials, the Associated Press reported.

“I just think it’s important to see other people, the styles of play,” Fox said. “They’re a playoff team from a year ago and I know their staff pretty well; they’re good guys and look forward to it being competitive and yet civil.”

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.

According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.

The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.

For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.

Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

The Chicago Bears will kick off the fourth season of "Meet the Rookies" on June 25, a series that profiles four of the team's 2018 draft picks for a behind-the-scenes look at their journey to the NFL.

The four-episode series will air on at 7:00 p.m from June 25 - 28 and will feature one rookie per night. 

Monday's episode will cover the Bears' first-round pick, Roquan Smith. Selected with the eighth-overall pick, Smith is expected to become an instant-impact player on defense. He's expected to make an impact off the field, too, as a high-character leader. Smith's linebacker-mate Joel Iyiegbuniwe is the focus of Tuesday's episode, with Anthony Miller (Wednesday) and James Daniels (Thursday) rounding out Season 4.

For a deeper dive into what's in store in "Meet the Rookies," check out this description.