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.”

Predicting the value of Roquan Smith's rookie contract with Bears

Predicting the value of Roquan Smith's rookie contract with Bears

Chicago Bears first-round pick Roquan Smith remains unsigned, a situation that prior to the rookie wage scale would've been cause for concern. With contracts now based on slotting, or where a first-round pick is selected, there's little reason or room for agents to haggle over terms. A holdout isn't expected.

There have been some exceptions to this general principle, however. Joey Bosa, who was selected with the third pick by the Chargers in 2016, held out until August 29 over offset language and his signing bonus. So, while a holdout for Smith is unlikely, it's not impossible.

Assuming he agrees to a contract on time, here's what the terms of his deal should look like, according to CBS Sports:

2018 Cap Number: $3,349,485
Signing Bonus: $11,517,940
Four-year value: $18,477,168

If the numbers are correct, Smith will have the 17th-highest cap hit for the Bears in 2018, according to Spotrac. By comparison, Danny Trevathan has a $7.15 million cap hit this season.

Drafting well is critical for long-term success. If a general manager misses on first-round picks, the cap consequences mount over time. Consider Kevin White, the seventh-overall pick in 2015. He has zero touchdowns in his pro career but has a $5.27 million cap hit this year. Leonard Floyd, the team's first-rounder in 2016, has a $4.30 million cap hit and Mitch Trubisky, last year's second pick overall, is $6.59 million. Pace's four first-round picks, when counting Smith's expected deal, are four of the top-17 paid players on the payroll even though none of them have the production to back it up.

Smith, however, is as close to a bust-free prospect as the Bears have drafted in Pace's tenure. He was considered one of the best pure football players in the entire 2018 draft class and will start immediately alongside Trevathan as a rookie, assuming he's under contract in time to contribute in Week 1.

Which Bears have the highest player rating in Madden 19?

Which Bears have the highest player rating in Madden 19?

The time has come to start counting down to the release of Madden 19. The most popular football video game franchise of all-time is set to release in early August and as is a tradition with the weeks leading up to the game appearing on store shelves, leaks about features and player ratings have started.

Here are the highest rated Bears players in this year's edition:

Adrian Amos leads the way with an 88 rating, followed by Akiem Hicks (85) and Allen Robinson (85). 

Chicago's offense received a 75 overall rating, which should result in a significant challenge for Bears fans trying to score virtual points later this summer. The defense, however, will be stout, coming in with an overall rating of 81. Amos and Hicks have a lot to do with that.

Ratings are subject to change due to injury. Madden 19 is scheduled for release on August 10.