Bears

What you need to know from Bears camp: Kevin White impresses Victor Cruz

What you need to know from Bears camp: Kevin White impresses Victor Cruz

1. It wasn't much of a practice: Just as the Bears were completing pre-practice stretching on the campus' southeast practice field, weather warning sirens went off.  The Bears went indoors to Olivet Nazarane's athletic complex, shoulder pads came off and the team went into walk-through mode, which was supposed to be Friday, when the Bears will now have a longer practice. Unfortunately for the fans who traveled Thursday, Friday's practice will remain closed to the public. It's the first time in this camp there was a cancellation due to Mother Nature.

2. A corner is back: Prince Amukamara was back a day after the cornerback's wife had emergency surgery, and she came out okay.  "She's a trooper. It's funny because the night before she was telling me her stomach hurts, and I told her one of my teammates (Markus Wheaton) had the same thing and they had to take his appendix out.  She said if it still feels that way, she's going to the ER and she would end up getting operated on (like Wheaton, an appendectomy)." Wheaton told NFL Network's Stacey Dales he expects to only miss two weeks after surgery early Sunday morning.

3. Long's road back continues: With Josh Sitton returning to practice Wednesday, Kyle Long was on the basketball floor for the walk-through as we slowly works his way back from ankle surgery. That means the projected starting offensive line was intact for the first time this summer. "Kyle's taking it a day at a time, getting moire comfortable with that ankle" said John Fox. "It's kind of like lifting weights after time off, you're a little sore. He's on target and we're pleased with his progress."

4. Game Anxious: Talking with some players the last couple of days, we've reached the one week point in camp, and you sense they can't wait for another week to pass to line up in the preseason opener next Thursday at Soldier Field versus Denver. But they still have to get through practices Friday, Saturday (at Soldier Field), Monday and Tuesday before they can go after an opponent.

5. Cruz on Kev: A day after some miscommunication or misperception crawled out of the wide receiver room in how Kevin White's viewing of his college tape was portrayed, Victor Cruz was asked a couple of times about White's ability to block out the so-called outside noise and channel his focus. Cruz insisted he's impressed by how White goes about his work and knows White's feeling about two injury-plagued seasons all too well. While White has been healthy enough for just four games his first two seasons, Cruz was limited to six games in 2014 and 2015 because of calf and knee injuries.

6. Cooperating coordinators: Friday marks the first time the media will have a chance to talk with Coordinators Vic Fangio, Dowell Loggains and Jeff Rodgers since rookie minicamp in May.

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

It seems like an annual talking point at this time in the offseason: Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman is one of the best yet most underrated players in Chicago. His performance in 2019 continued that career narrative. 

Goldman finished the year making 15 starts with 29 tackles and one sack. He earned the eighth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all Bears defenders and remained the consistent run-stopping force in the center of Chicago’s defensive line. 

To be fair, Goldman wasn’t as dominant as he was in 2018, when his 89.1 PFF grade was one of the best at his position in the NFL. But in terms of his role with the Bears, he’s irreplaceable. 

Goldman is entering the third year of a four-year, $42 million contract and will quickly become a source of contract negotiations once again. If he has another strong season in 2020, GM Ryan Pace will have little choice but to lock him up on another extension. Sure, that seems like it’s way down the road, but big-time defensive linemen get paid big-time contracts; Pace has to be prepared. There are currently six defensive tackles making at least $14 million per season.

Quality nose tackles are hard to find. They don’t fill up the stat sheet and rarely do they ever become league-wide superstars; but the Bears’ defense simply wouldn’t possess the upside it does without Goldman anchoring the defensive line, and that remained true in 2019.

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

It seems like an annual talking point at this time in the offseason: Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman is one of the best yet most underrated players in Chicago. His performance in 2019 continued that career narrative. 

Goldman finished the year making 15 starts with 29 tackles and one sack. He earned the eighth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all Bears defenders and remained the consistent run-stopping force in the center of Chicago’s defensive line. 

To be fair, Goldman wasn’t as dominant as he was in 2018, when his 89.1 PFF grade was one of the best at his position in the NFL. But in terms of his role with the Bears, he’s irreplaceable. 

Goldman is entering the third year of a four-year, $42 million contract and will quickly become a source of contract negotiations once again. If he has another strong season in 2020, GM Ryan Pace will have little choice but to lock him up on another extension. Sure, that seems like it’s way down the road, but big-time defensive linemen get paid big-time contracts; Pace has to be prepared. There are currently six defensive tackles making at least $14 million per season.

Quality nose tackles are hard to find. They don’t fill up the stat sheet and rarely do they ever become league-wide superstars; but the Bears’ defense simply wouldn’t possess the upside it does without Goldman anchoring the defensive line, and that remained true in 2019.