Bears

Bears notes: Willie Young reportedly asks for trade

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Bears notes: Willie Young reportedly asks for trade

NBC Sports cousin Mike Florio over Pro Football Talk reported Sunday night that defensive end Willie Young wants to be traded, and a mild surprise will be if the Bears don’t accommodate him in some form.

Jared Allen didn’t agitate for a trade so much as have a candid talk with the organization that he didn’t feel like his play at rush linebacker was really working, and the Bears dealt him to Carolina. Young has acknowledged that he still doesn’t “feel” like a linebacker, and he hasn’t played like one, at least not the kind that coach John Fox and coordinator Vic Fangio need. Young played 18 snaps on Sunday and did not register on the initial stat sheet with a quarterback hit, assisted tackle, anything.

[MORE: Explaining Jay Cutler's Week 4 grade vs. Raiders]

Young was a healthy inactive for the Seattle game. He played 19 snaps vs. Arizona and netted one tackle, no quarterback hits or pressures. Same against Green Bay. Young doesn’t contribute on special teams and hasn’t in pass rush, so...

Keeping it close at the break

Games are not won with first-half stats or scores but they can be lost in first halves, and the Bears for the fourth time this season went in at halftime within one score of an opponent: leading Green Bay by three and Oakland by two, and trailing Arizona by eight and Seattle by six.

By way of context: The Bears led at halftime just four times all last season and went in trailing 10 times.

(Some) clarity upfront

The play of the Bears’ offensive line on Sunday merits another huge attaboy, all across the front five, which was more than just “five.”

Oakland got sacks from their elite three pass rushers – Khalil Mack, Justin Tuck, Aldon Smith – but the Raiders had just four quarterback hits in a game that saw the Bears call 47 pass plays.

Kyle Long was dominant at right tackle (for now: as John Fox said last week, “I can’t predict what’s going to happen down the road”); Vladimir Ducasse had one false start (a holding penalty on third-and-10 was declined); Matt Slauson moving over to center after Will Montgomery suffered the broken leg and was excellent, the mishandled snap notwithstanding; Patrick Omameh was strong stepping in at left guard; and Charles Leno, who was in no way overwhelmed by the moment of his first start at tackle, had one holding penalty but won against Mack and Smith.

How the Bears move forward at center – Slauson or rookie Hroniss Grasu – may not be clear until next Sunday in Kansas City. But base on Sunday, their starting points at multiple positions are as good as any in recent seasons.

Ryan Pace calls Bears' offseason 'aggressive' and 'energizing'

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USA Today

Ryan Pace calls Bears' offseason 'aggressive' and 'energizing'

The Chicago Bears won the offseason. At least, that's what the national opinion seems to suggest.

General manager Ryan Pace may not have read all the news clippings, but he offered his thoughts on the job he and the front office accomplished since January 1.

"It's been aggressive, a lot of work has been done, very exciting and energizing," he said at Bears training camp from the campus of Olivet Nazarene University Thursday. "There's a lot of new pieces and it's really neat to see the assets come together."

Pace and his team certainly did do a lot of work. The Bears made headlines in free agency with the signings of Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Trey Burton, three players expected to provide a huge boost to the Bears' passing game.

In addition to what he did on offense, Pace exercised his option with the transition tag placed on Kyle Fuller and matched the Packers' offer for the ascending cornerback. It was a big-money deal that showed players in the locker room he's willing to reward hard work and effort. It also showed the fans that he wasn't going to let the Packers steal a homegrown talent.

It didn't stop there. Pace strengthened the defense even more with the selection of linebacker Roquan Smith in the first round of April's NFL Draft and gave the offense yet another weapon in the second round when he traded up to select Anthony Miller, a receiver who could challenge for a starting job as a rookie.

Yeah, it's been an aggressive few months.

And let's not forget the biggest change of all: Matt Nagy.

Pace's tenure as Chicago's GM will likely be defined by the last few months. He invested in his hand-picked quarterback and made his first "real" coaching hire after a few years of experience on the job. He'll sink or swim with those two decisions. He knows it, and he went all-in this offseason.

Matt Nagy says Allen Robinson is mentally and physically ready for training camp

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USA Today

Matt Nagy says Allen Robinson is mentally and physically ready for training camp

The toughest part of any comeback from injury in sports is the mental aspect. Players have to build trust in their body again in order to eliminate thought from their movements.

In the case of Chicago Bears receiver Allen Robinson, he has to regain confidence in his left knee after tearing his ACL in last year's season opener.

According to coach Matt Nagy, Robinson is ready.

Nagy, who met with the media at Bears training camp Thursday in Bourbonnais, told reporters that Robinson is mentally and physically ready to go. The biggest issue for Robins, Nagy said, is building chemistry with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

Robinson is more than 10 months removed from his ACL tear, an injury that generally takes less time than that to recover. He participated in some on-field work during minicamp sessions this offseason in an effort to build that confidence.

Robinson will look to regain the 1,400-yard, 14-touchdown form he displayed in 2015, a year in which he was arguably the top young receiver in the NFL. 

"For us, he can play multiple positions," Nagy said. "We want him and Mitch to work on timing."

They'll start working on that timing Friday when the Bears kick off their first training camp practice.