Bears

Mike Glennon settling in on and off the field in Chicago

Mike Glennon settling in on and off the field in Chicago

Mike Glennon estimated it's been a decade since he last played baseball, and he only recently picked up a mitt to make sure he didn't throw an embarrassing ceremonial first pitch before Friday's Cubs game at Wrigley Field. 

Whatever preparations Glennon did paid off, even if he did lob his throw a little high to Cubs reliever Justin Grimm. But at least the Bears quarterback didn't bounce it. 

Glennon's trip to a festive Wrigley Field this week to throw out the first pitch and sing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch was part of the 27-year-old's ongoing introduction to Chicago. He and his wife recently found a place to live in the area and will be moving in soon, and on Tuesday, Glennon and the Bears will report for their offseason workout program. 

"It's been a month, it feels like it's taken a while to finally get started," Glennon, wearing a No. 8 Cubs home jersey with his name on the back, said. "So I'm just looking forward to really being part of the team and getting to do some football stuff. It'll be great." 

Glennon already acquainted himself with a handful of his teammates, recently throwing some basic routes at Deerfield High School to the likes of Cameron Meredith and Markus Wheaton over a four-day stretch. He took a few fellow Bears to a Bulls game at the United Center, too, in late March. Those informal throwing/hangout sessions should help him ease into football activities next week. 

"The introductions are over with," Glennon said. "I know them all, I know them a little personally, and just a little bit of chemistry. It's not a whole lot but at least we got familiar with each other a bit on the field as well."

Glennon will have a handful of new teammates to meet in two weeks when the Bears make their selections in the NFL Draft. The expectation is that the Bears will take a quarterback at some point during the three-day, seven-round event in Philadelphia, though it doesn't appear they're targeting that position with the third overall pick. 

So Glennon will consume this year's draft with a more laid-back approach, which wasn't the case two years ago. That was when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers effectively made him a backup by drafting Jameis Winston first overall. 

"I'm sure I'll watch as a casual fan just like everyone else just to see who we take, but that's not really a concern of mine right now," Glennon said. "I'm just focused on getting started." 

Glennon's first step next week will be to dive into the Bears' playbook, which he has yet to see. He'll get a chance to work with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, too, along with the rest of the coaching staff and offense. This offseason program is something Glennon has been eager for ever since he signed his three-year, $45 million contract in March. 

"It's been kind of a lot going on in a month, but it's exciting stuff," Glennon said. ‘It's what I've been working for and now, finally, I get to get it started."

Chicago Bears Training Camp: Veteran and rookie report dates

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USA Today

Chicago Bears Training Camp: Veteran and rookie report dates

Chicago Bears training camp is right around the corner with the first practice (non-padded) scheduled for July 21. 

Bears veterans and rookies will report a few days ahead of that first session to acclimate themselves to their new (for some) surroundings. Rookies report on July 16, with veterans coming three days later on July 19.

All eyes will be on QB Mitch Trubisky and the potentially high-flying offense under coach Matt Nagy. Training camp will take on extra importance because of the plethora of new faces on the roster and coaching staff as well as the installation of a completely new offensive scheme. It's critical that Trubisky builds chemistry with wide receivers Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and Kevin White, all of whom he's never thrown a regular-season pass to. Add Trey Burton to that mix and a lot of miscues should be expected in the preseason.

The rookie class is led by linebacker Roquan Smith, who remains unsigned. With less than 30 days until rookies are required to report, a greater sense of urgency -- even if it's not quite a panic -- is certainly creeping in. Assuming he's signed in time, Smith should earn a starting role early in training camp and ascend to one of the defense's top all-around players. 

The Bears have higher-than-usual expectations heading into the 2018 season making fans eager for summer practices to get underway.

Leonard Floyd picked as potential Pro Bowler in 2018

Leonard Floyd picked as potential Pro Bowler in 2018

The Chicago Bears need a big season from outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. He's the team's best pass-rush option and the only legitimate threat to post double-digit sacks this year.

Floyd joined the Bears as a first-round pick (No. 9 overall) in 2016 and has flashed freakish talent at times. The problem has been his health; he's appeared in only 22 games through his first two seasons. 

Floyd's rookie year -- especially Weeks 5 through 9 -- showed a glimpse of the kind of disruptive force he's capable of becoming. He registered seven sacks and looked poised to breakout in 2017. Unfortunately, injuries limited him to only 10 games and four sacks.

Despite his disappointing sophomore season, NFL.com's Gil Brandt has high hopes for Floyd in 2018. The long-time NFL personnel executive named Floyd as the Bear with the best chance to earn a first-time trip to the Pro Bowl.

CHICAGO BEARS: Leonard Floyd, OLB, third NFL season. Floyd had seven sacks as a rookie in 2016, but missed six games last season due to a knee injury. He's a talented guy who can drop into coverage or rush with his hand on the ground and should play much better this season. He also has become much stronger since coming into the league.

The Bears will be in a heap of trouble if Floyd doesn't emerge as a Pro Bowl caliber player. There aren't many pass-rushing options on the roster outside of Floyd aside from Aaron Lynch and rookie Kylie Fitts. Neither edge defender has a resume strong enough to rely on as insurance.

It's a critical year for Floyd's future in Chicago, too. General manager Ryan Pace will decide whether to pick up Floyd's fifth-year option in his rookie contract next offseason. If he plays well, it's a no-brainer. If not, Pace could be looking at two straight first-round picks (see: Kevin White) that he's declined the extra year.

We're a long way from that decision. Until then, the Bears' season may sink or swim based on its pass rush. It begins -- and ends -- with Floyd.