Bears

Free hugs available for violent Bears’ 'dogs' after first day in pads

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Free hugs available for violent Bears’ 'dogs' after first day in pads

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — A little girl with a homemade sign on her dad’s shoulders gave the Bears’ defensive line a boost that some of them may have needed after some portions of Saturday’s first day in pads:

“Free hugs D line” the young lady’s huge sign read.

The Bears’ D line didn’t have THAT bad a first day in pads by any means, and in fact was dominant against the run. Also evident was a degree of physicality that was absent the past couple of seasons, with linebacker/ends Jared Allen and Pernell McPhee among those delivering impact plays in team sessions that set a tone.

[MORE: Bears OL strong in first 2015 time in pads]

“That's going to really show who's got the dog in them and who doesn't,” McPhee said. "That's what it boils down to at the end of the day on defense: who's got the dog in them and who is going to be physical and violent.

“My attitude is, ‘Hey. I know what time it is; time to be a dog and every play I’ve got to be one.”

Defensive line

If Jared Allen is still feeling his way into a new job as a hybrid end/linebacker, it was not evident on Saturday. Allen played physical at the point of attack on numerous occasions against the run, lining up in multiple sets, and thoroughly handling block attempts by a receiver and tight end on separate plays, then closing down fast to stuff an attempted run play… . Cornelius Washington continues to show up on film, playing with 20 pounds added from last year and acquitting himself well as one of the 5-techniques. Washington recorded his third simulated “sack” of camp and also dominated two reps in one-on-one pass rushing drills… .

[RELATED: Two days, zero turnovers for Bears’ 'O']

Ego Ferguson is playing solid with the No. 1 defense but has not been able to provide noteworthy pass-rush pressure against strong pass-blocking efforts by Bears O-linemen… . Promising rookie nose tackle Terry Williams was held out of practice… .

Jeremiah Ratliff has been frequently unblockable one-on-one in team sessions, particularly strong against inside runs… . The hit of the day came from tackle Brandon Dunn, who got into the backfield and had 235-pound running back Daniel Thomas bounce off him like a ping-pong ball.

Linebackers

Sam Acho batted down a pass on a blitz late in practice, one of the first of this camp — a radical departure from practices when the defense was ordered to keep their hands down because they were blocking too many passes. Acho struggled in some one-on-one passing drills against different Bears right-side linemen… .

Pernell McPhee was barely held off in one-on-one pass rushing drills, working against tackles Charles Leno and Jordan Mills. McPhee is displaying an explosive first step to go with his use of leverage and 280 pounds… .

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]

The Bears had to be pleased with the play of Lamarr Houston on the first day in pads. Houston was a force against the run, holding the point against 353-pound tackle Tayo Fabuluje and making a hit on the running back. Houston also defended well in space, reacting quickly to pressure quarterback Jimmy Clausen and forcing one premature throw.

Secondary

Cornerback Terrance Mitchell produced the defense’s first takeaway of camp when he stripped wide receiver Ify Umodu after a catch across the middle, with the defense recovering… . Coverage was good enough twice in 7-on-7 to force quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Jimmy Clausen to tuck the ball and run because no receiver was open… .

Brock Vereen continues to work alongside Antrel Rolle as the safety tandem, with Ryan Mundy working in with Rolle as well, after Alshon Jeffery got completely loose in the secondary with no defender closer than 20 yards of him. “We're still early in the evaluation,” coach John Fox said. “I think that was our third real practice, first in pads. So much about that position is how they key and diagnose. When you get into live game situations sometimes, practice obviously is big. We let loose a guy wide open on an all-block pass or a gadget play. That's why we're here, we're trying to teach guys to have the right eyes and look at the right things and react the right way.”

USWNT star Carli Lloyd has received inquiries from NFL teams after hitting 55-yard field goal

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USA TODAY

USWNT star Carli Lloyd has received inquiries from NFL teams after hitting 55-yard field goal

Could Carli Lloyd become the next big multi-sport athlete?

Lloyd, a star soccer player and two-time World Cup champion with the U.S. women's national team, attended Philadelphia Eagles training camp this week. The 37-year-old lined up for a few field goals, drilling a 55-yarder along the way.

NFL teams took notice of Lloyd's kicking prowess. In an interview with Sports Illustrated's Planet Fútbol TV, Lloyd said she's received some inquiries following her kicking demonstration.

“I’ve definitely got some inquiries, I’ve definitely got some people talking," Lloyd said. "Anything is possible but right now, I’m strictly a soccer player and we’ll see what the future holds.”

Lloyd is a legendary soccer player, so one shouldn't be surprised at her kicking prowess. However, her accuracy is extremely impressive, especially considering that she was kicking through skinny/non-NFL regulation uprights.

Following the double doink that ended their 2018 season abruptly, the Bears' offseason has been defined by their kicking vacancy. Even though Lloyd said she's strictly a soccer player, perhaps the Bears should give her a call. Maybe they already have?

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Report: Colts will start third-string quarterback against Bears

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USA TODAY

Report: Colts will start third-string quarterback against Bears

Don’t call the Bears third preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts a “dress rehearsal,” because neither team is treating it that way.

Matt Nagy has been clear about how he feels about playing his starters in the preseason, and injury concerns are leading the Colts to follow the trend.

With Andrew Luck injured, backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett is their de-facto starter, so head coach Frank Reich plans to sit him too, according to The Athletic.

Third-string quarterback Chad Kelly is expected to get the start, with former undrafted free agent Phillip Walker to follow.

The nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly was a seventh-round pick by the Denver Broncos in 2017. He connected on just under 70 percent of his passes in the first two preseason games but is averaging only 6.6 yards per attempt.

Nicknamed “Swag” Kelly, he’s known as somewhat of a gunslinger, which could make for a more exciting preseason opponent under center.

He hasn’t had a turnover yet this preseason, but the Bears defense will be looking to nab his first.

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