Bears who stepped forward, backward, and sideways vs. Bengals


Bears who stepped forward, backward, and sideways vs. Bengals

This 21-10 Bears loss in Cincinnati wasn't quite the humiliating defeat they suffered in last year's dress rehearsal in Seattle.  There are clearly issues, from health, to performance.  There's also playing with the hand you're dealt, and between the injuries at wide receiver and some vanilla play-calling, perspective's needed in the offensive evaluation.  Perhaps more discouraging was the (presumably) starting defenders being unable to get off the field.

Injuries to nose tackles Jeremiah Ratliff (ankle) and Eddie Goldman (concussion) becomes the latest health storyline to follow, particularly for Goldman, since he'll be eligible to play in two weeks.  Coming out of that, however, was Will Sutton continuing to make noticeable plays, even after sliding into that nose spot despite not having the prototypical body for it.

Senorise Perry also continued to impress on kick returns, appearing to seal a roster spot, if there was a question.  But he'd limp off the field in the second half with no immediate word on his injury.

[RELATED: Boden's first-half thoughts on Bears-Bengals]

Rashad Lawrence and Joshua Bellamy may end up both making the final 53, if only for insurance for the recuperating trio of Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal, and Marquess Wilson.  If the staff decides to roll the dice at that position, they may be pitted against each other, and neither particularly distinguished himself Saturday night.  No one gained on them either.

Like that position, it will be interesting to see if the either wave of roster cuts over the next week provides an alternative at right tackle, because Jordan Mills and Charles Leno, Jr. continued making mistakes.

It was not the best of nights for Dante Rosario, either, but perhaps his history with John Fox, his special teams experience, and the fact another tight end hasn't stepped up behind Martellus Bennett helps his cause.  The backup running back competition remained status quo.

Terrance Mitchell wasn't mistake-free, but still made a couple of nice stops and recovered a fumble, so he just might be penciled-in already, especially after Tracy Porter reinjured a hamstring and simply cannot stay on the field.

Shea McClellin was a step behind his man in coverage, getting beaten consistently over the middle, while Lamarr Houston and Willie Young made a couple of nice plays as their recoveries continue, albeith versus second- and third-stringers.  Sam Acho did not play due to illness, but it was another awfully quiet night for Jonathan Bostic.  Brock Vereen had a bad moment on a short touchdown run in the first half, but filled a gap nicely to make a play after intermission.  Adrian Amos was most noticeable when he accidentally hit Goldman's helmet, causing his fellow rookie's exit.

Rosters need to be reduced to 75 by Tuesday.

Postcard from Bears camp: Not a great Mitch Trubisky day but another good one for rookie CB, plus Peter King’s look at the ’18 Bears

Postcard from Bears camp: Not a great Mitch Trubisky day but another good one for rookie CB, plus Peter King’s look at the ’18 Bears

 BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Dear Tolliver clan:
I think most of you were there at practice today in your “Toliver II 33” T-shirts, including the three little guys in their “K. T. II Cousin” T’s. That’s pretty amazing support for an undrafted rookie free agent cornerback out of LSU, so you know I just had to intercept another pass for you guys, after the two yesterday. This one was off Tyler Bray throwing a ball to Anthony Miller, a rookie wide receiver who’s playing like anything but a rookie. Miller has amazing speed and is catching balls all over the field and having fun with the crowd. He stopped short of the end zone after one long catch, fans started yelling for him to score, so he backtracked fast and broke the plane of the goal line. Fans loved it.
Anthony made a diving catch 45 yards downfield off a throw from Chase Daniel (I won’t say against whom) and Mitch Trubisky and I think half the offense sprinted downfield to give him high-fives. Lotta energy on that side of the football. 
And we had some great defensive moments, too. Prince Amukamara broke and nearly intercepted at Mitch pass to Kevin White, and Bryce Callahan broke up one to Josh Bellamy one play later.
Meanwhile, the fans loved just about everything, this being the first practice the public could watch. They were even cheering completions in drills, especially Tarik Cohen, who seems like everybody’s favorite. They loved it (and so did the players) when tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride was up tight on guys to simulate press coverage and got faked right off his feet by Trey Burton working his release. But it was all in good fun, and Trey is a tough cover for us DB’s, let alone a coach.
Speaking of “coach,” coach Nagy said some nice things about me after practice, saying I’d flashed a few times and gotten turnovers, and “we stressed takeaways on defense and having interceptions is important. [Kevin’s] done that now the last couple of days. Kevin’s a big kid. He’s a tall, rangy, lengthy corner that really almost looks like a safety. So for him to be able to move around out here, it’s about getting confidence. So any time he gets some interceptions, you’re going to build confidence.”
Coach Nagy said he needs to see me do it in pads, and we go in pads tomorrow for the first time. The hitting’ll really start then.
[signed] Your favorite family cornerback,

Wanted: QB accuracy
Improving on the 59.4-percent completion rate he posted as a rookie was a prime directive for quarterback Mitch Trubisky, but Saturday’s session was not a step in the right direction. Trubisky completed less than half of his throws in two 7-on-7 sessions that normally favor the quarterback and receiver. His accuracy rate was no better in the first full-team session but in the second he completed eight of 10, two for touchdowns.
Whether the issues were throwing accuracy, route-running or combination of elements wasn’t easily apparent, and coach Matt Nagy did not seem concerned.
“There’s going to be a lot of mistakes made out here; that’s what training camp’s all about,” Nagy said.
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Sick bay
Guard Kyle Long, coming back from multiple surgeries, was given the first of his scheduled days off on Saturday. Veteran Earl Watford stepped in at right guard. Linebacker Danny Trevathan remained out with a hamstring issue, as did cornerback Sherrick McManis.
More concerning was the absence of outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, who injured a hamstring in Friday’s relatively light practice. It marked the third time this offseason that Lynch has been sidelined with injuries, following ankle and hamstring problems through OTA’s and minicamp.
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It could happen….
Legendary NFL writer Peter King, who joined NBC Sports full time this year after nearly 30 years with Sports Illustrated, dropped by training camp as part of his annual “North American tour” and sat down for chats with this writer, which was a chance to recall some good times and stories as far back as Platteville. Peter and I did a little podcast that includes some Brian Urlacher, Mike Ditka and other tales, as well as Peter’s assessment of the Bears’ situation.
Interestingly, Peter does not rule out a season with as many as 10 W’s, despite being in one of the NFL’s toughest divisions with a first-year combination of coach-quarterback-system.
It could happen…..


Training Camp Daily: Peter King Talks Bears Upside


Training Camp Daily: Peter King Talks Bears Upside

Training camp Daily: Peter King joins the Under Center Podcast on Day 2 of practice in Bourbonnais. King and John "Moon" Mullin talk Trubisky year 2, Trubisky comparison, Bears upside this season and Urlacher's Hall of Fame Induction.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded link below: