Coach John Fox said that linebacker Jonathan Bostic and rookie wide receiver Kevin White, both expected to be significant figures in the 2015 Bears plans, should be ready for the start of training camp after neither participated in this week’s mandatory minicamp because of health issues.
Bostic, competing with Mason Foster, Christian Jones and Shea McClellin for the two inside-linebacker starter spots, suffered a back injury at Carolina in Week 5 last season and was sidelined for three games. He has not participated in any of the offseason sessions but at least was able to be on the sidelines during practices.
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White, the seventh-overall pick of the draft, got in some camp time following his selection but was absent altogether from any of this week’s sessions for unspecified reasons.
“Part of the offseason is getting ready for the season and any decision we make is going to be with the player’s best interest in mind,” Fox said. “It could be physical, it could be a variety of reasons. I feel good about where we are and we will be when we start camp.”
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Offensive tackles Jermon Bushrod and Jordan Mills, and linebacker/ends Lamarr Houston and Willie Young remained out of practices all week. Houston (knee) and Young (Achilles) are expected to be on reduced practice schedules when they finally are able to be in pads.
The Bears were not at their best against the New England Patriots on Sunday. They made plenty of mistakes on all three phases and gave Tom Brady too many opportunities to control the game.
It wasn’t all bad from Chicago, though. Trey Burton emerged as a new favorite weapon of Mitchell Trubisky, and the tight end was the Bears’ highest-graded player in the game by Pro Football Focus.
Burton had a career high 11 targets, nine catches and 126 yards with a touchdown, giving Trubisky a 144.7 passer rating when targeting his top tight end.
Seven of Burton’s targets and six of his catches traveled 10 or more yards in the air, according to PFF.
Defensively, safety Adrian Amos led the pack with a 74.6 overall grade. He did not miss a tackle after missing a career-high five last week, and he allowed only one catch for eight yards against the Patriots.
On the bottom of the scale, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd received the second-lowest grade of his career (38.9 overall) for his performance. He did not record any pressure on the quarterback in 13 pass rushing snaps, and he allowed two catches for 13 yards and a touchdown in coverage against running back James White.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson had a career-low grade as well at 44.9 overall. He was clearly limited by his groin injury, targeted five times with one catch for four yards and a dropped pass.
Overall, the Bears were able to stick with one of the top teams in the AFC while also leaving a lot of room for improvement. It’s a step in the right direction from where Chicago was in recent seasons.
Take a look over the NFC landscape and try to find me a team that can compete with the Rams.
Packers? Held back by Rodgers' knee and Rodgers' coach. Saints? Might not even win their own division. Washington? Does Alex Smith really scare anyone in the playoffs?
The Rams have one of the easier paths to the Championship Round/Super Bowl that we've seen in some time. Will it likely stay that way? Probably not. But there's a difference between parity and mediocrity and right now the NFC is toeing the line HARD.
Outside the NFC's "elite", how did your team do this week?
You can take a look here and see where they landed.