Bears

Six Points: Sunday's Bourbonnais Bears bullets

Six Points: Sunday's Bourbonnais Bears bullets

Here are six bullet points recapping Sunday's Bears training camp at Bourbonnais:

  • Good/Bad I: Defensive backs had four interceptions. But the quarterbacks and receivers were the victims. Prince Amukamara picked off a Mike Glennon-to-Deonte Thompson hookup. Mark Sanchez was victimized by DeAndre Houston-Carson and Kyle Fuller (the latter an attempt to Kevin White). Those three were in 7-on-7, or strictly wideout vs. defensive back isolation matchups. Mitch Trubisky had an 11-on-11 target to Rueben Randle intercepted by rookie Eddie Jackson.
     
  • Good/Bad II: There were also some impressive catches, so the DBs hardly went unscathed. Among those getting a rise out of the Sunday crowd was a Titus Davis grab on Deiondre Hall, undrafted rookie Tanner Gentry managed to victimize Quintin Demps, and Trubisky found Joshua Bellamy to beat Amukamara.
     
  •  Aw, Snap! Trubisky cut his fumbled snaps from three Saturday to one Sunday. This one came on an exchange with Cody Whitehair. For all fans in a panic over this development, don't. It's part of a learning process for a rookie who hadn't done it before, while trying to sort out play calls, routes, reads, and snap counts.
     
  • Grasu, Guard Too? John Fox has told the media not to be surprised if they see a player moved around a bit during the preseason. When we spoke with former third-round pick Hroniss Grasu on Friday, the strictly-center to this point was asked about trying his hand at guard, and he said he'd do whatever was asked if it helps him make the team. Eric Kush knows how to play both positions, and so does starting center Cody Whitehair. As Grasu reacclimates himself to trusting the knee he tore up nearly a year ago as he returns to full contact drills, we also saw him slide one spot over from his natural position on a few brief occasions Sunday.
     
  • Cam & Cruz: I wasn't able to attend Saturday's practice at Olivet Nazarene University, but in the three others I've seen, Cameron Meredith and Victor Cruz have been particularly impressive with their consistency catching the ball when matched up with defenders. Yes, it's what they're supposed to do. Meredith may end up being matched up this season vs. opponents' "shutdown" corner. This is a crucial camp for him to build on route-running, using his body to win battles, and get in sync with his new quarterbacks. But the hands have been impressive. Let's see what happens in preseason games. Cruz has been sharp in traffic and is quickly growing a rapport with fans when a play takes him towards the sidelines.
     
  • Sleek Tarik: As 5-foot-6 Tarik Cohen spins, pivots, disappears and dashes through and around defenders, he's produced the greatest number of "oohs" and "aahs" from the fans. He got stopped once Sunday, when Jonathan Bullard engulfed him at the line of scrimmage. Come to think of it, he was stopped a second time: when he attempted to chest-bump a charging Whitehair in the end zone after a catch-and-dash touchdown. Whitehair won. The crowd laughed. Cohen, fortunately, quickly popped back up.

Kevin White's NFL career was an 'every day battle, mentally and physically'

Kevin White's NFL career was an 'every day battle, mentally and physically'

Many Bears fans already know the toll that Kevin White's injuries took on him physically. Leg breaks, hamstring tears, and shoulder fractures all contributed mightily to White's underwhelming time in Chicago, but the lesser known side of things centers on the emotional toll those injuries took. Talking with our Bears Insider JJ Stankevitz, White went into detail about what it was like for him to be living through that: 

It was hard. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hard. It was hard because I love the game so much and want to be great so bad and did the right things, be a good person — forget about football, I try to be a super good person. And it was just like oh my gosh, when am I going to get my chance or my turn? Or when am I going to be like, oh my gosh I got through it and now I’m with this team or got this contract and I was able to score the winning touchdown or whatever. So I just kept thinking that’s gonna come, it’s gonna come, it has to happen. Just stay the course, keep fighting, keep battling. You got the talent, just stay healthy so we can show it. So that’s what every day kept me going.

... Like, you don’t understand what that player has to go through day in, day out. Even sleeping, it’s hard to sleep because your mind is like, I’m ready to play, I wanna go. Your body is like, no shot. So you gotta sleep on that. Then you get kind of bored, or sometimes you know what the media’s saying, fans are saying, it kind of gets you like, I’m gonna go out there and run a route. I want to be able to do it right now. Like I want to be able to do it now. So you gotta be able to deal with that mentally. Physically, your body’s not ready, so you gotta do treatment and extra things every single day. You don’t just go in for treatment from 9 to 11 and then you’re done for the day. That’s not it. It’s an every day battle, mentally and physically. 

It's fascinating – not to mention a bit heartbreaking – to get such a first-hand account of what failure in the NFL feels like. You can listen to the entire interview on the latest episode of the Under Center Podcast: 

NFL head coaches can reportedly return to team facilities next week

NFL head coaches can reportedly return to team facilities next week

No one steals thunder quite like the NFL. 

On a day when the NHL is planning to publicly announce how their season will return, it's being reported that the NFL may take a significant step towards their own reopening – and soon. 

Yahoo Sports' NFL columnist Charles Robinson is reporting that NFL coaches may return to team facilities as early as next week, and the league has its eyes on OTAs in mid-to-late June:

The sources told Yahoo Sports that if coaches resume their in-house work next week, minicamps including players could be scheduled as early as June 15 or as late as June 27, depending on COVID-19 data and whether a handful of franchises get a “go ahead” signal from state governments to resume full operations. Resuming full operations and getting a minicamp scheduled would represent the league's biggest step to date toward keeping the 2020 NFL season on track for a regularly scheduled fall kickoff.

Robinson's source adds that 'June 15 and June 27 are the dates that have been identified as potential full-squad minicamp windows,' and the 'key hurdle' is the timeline in which California governor Gavin Newsom begins to reopen the state. Newsom has already expressed a willingness to have professional sports team return under strict and specific guidelines. 

The news is a good sign for the return of the NFL on a normal schedule – a reality that's looked increasingly likely over the past couple weeks.