Bears

Dowell Loggains on Jay Cutler becoming a Fox analyst: ‘I think he’s going to be wonderful’

Dowell Loggains on Jay Cutler becoming a Fox analyst: ‘I think he’s going to be wonderful’

Jay Cutler’s first broadcast as a Fox analyst will be for Aug. 27’s preseason Bears-Titans game, and Dowell Loggains is ready for what his former quarterback’s TV debut will entail. 

“I’m perfectly ready for Jay to criticize our offense,” Loggains said. “I’ll hear it before you guys do through text message.” 

Few know the Bears’ offensive scheme better than Cutler, who worked with Loggains in 2015 (when he was the Bears’ quarterback coach) and 2016 (offensive coordinator). It won’t be until Week 6 that a Bears quarterback will have more regular season game experience running Loggains’ system than Cutler.

Loggains said Cutler is "very comfortable" moving from the field to broadcast booth, and is confident Cutler will do well in his new role. 

“I think he’s gonna be wonderful,” Loggains said. “Jay’s an extremely talented person. He’s a smart person. Jay will be successful in whatever he chooses to do and I think he’s going to do a wonderful job.

Bilal Nichols eyes an even bigger impact for Bears in 2019

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USA Today

Bilal Nichols eyes an even bigger impact for Bears in 2019

Even if Bilal Nichols repeated his 2018 performance in 2019, the Bears would be lauded for unearthing a solid rotational player with a fifth-round draft pick. But Nichols isn’t resting on his rookie accomplishments, and is aiming to be an even more impactful player on the Bears’ defensive line as he enters Year 2 in the NFL. 

“More consistent, more dominant,” Nichols said. “That’s the biggest thing for me right now.”

Nichols was a top-50 run defender in the NFL last year, as rated by Pro Football Focus — he made a “stop” on 8.7 percent of his run defense plays, ranking 44th in the league (PFF defines a “stop” as a play that constitutes a failure for the offense). For reference, Akiem Hicks ranked eighth at 13.3 percent, Eddie Goldman was 17th at 11.6 percent and Jonathan Bullard came in 40th at 9.1 percent. 

Nichols’ biggest “stop” came in the Bears’ narrow Week 3 win over the Arizona Cardinals, in which he dropped running back Chase Edmonds for a three-yard loss on a third-and-two play inside Bears territory just after the two-minute warning. While Nichols debuted a week earlier against the Seattle Seahawks and recorded a pressure of Russell Wilson, that play against the Cardinals was critical in an important victory for the Bears. It also proved to Nichols that what he was doing was beginning to work. 

“That was really a situation where I had cut it loose and went,” Nichols said. “I knew what i was doing on that play, I knew the possible things I could get from the offense and that was just a situation where I cut it loose and just played football. And I happened to make a big play. 

“I can’t wait to do that this year.” 

Nichols, as he was figuring out how to form a routine and study opponents in the NFL after making the jump from FCS-level Delaware, played a shade under a third of the Bears’ snaps last year as part of a rotation that proved critical to the team’s defensive success. Hicks played the most snaps (780), followed by Goldman (552) and Roy Robertson-Harris (353). Nichols (328) pushed Bullard (298) to the bottom of the rotation, which helped keep members of Jay Rodgers’ unit fresh and at their most effective when they were on the field. 

The Bears’ defensive line is arguably their best and deepest unit, one which can collapse pockets and stymie opposing run games (the latter of which is especially important, given the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions’ renewed commitments to running the ball this year). Nichols was already a big part of it in 2018, and may be an even bigger part of it in 2019. 

“Last year, I was still trying to figure things out, still trying to figure the league out, figure myself out as a player,” Nichols said. “And now that I got everything figured out, I’m just able to go. I could just play and play fast and cut it loose.”

Bears announce 2019 training camp schedule, which features July 25 report date

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USA TODAY

Bears announce 2019 training camp schedule, which features July 25 report date

The Bears' potential run to Super Bowl 54 will begin in earnest on July 25.

Thursday, the Bears unveiled their 2019 training camp schedule, which will run from July 25-Aug. 11 at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. The team will hold nine open practices during camp, including eight in Bourbonnais from 7:30 a.m. to noon. The ninth open session is Bears Family Fest, which will take place at Soldier Field on Aug. 3 starting at 7 p.m.

Before heading off to Bourbonnais, though, the team will hold a "Return to Decatur" event from July 20-21 in Decatur. 2019 is the Bears' 100th season in the NFL and they played their first season as the Decatur Staleys in 1920. The team will announce details at a later date, though both general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy will hold their opening press conferences on July 21.

Admission to training camp is free, though fans must get tickets in advance at chicagobears.com/camp. Giveaways will be available to the first, 1,000 fans or while supplies last, according to the team. 

Check out the official training camp schedule:

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