Early standouts at Bears camp


Early standouts at Bears camp

After two days of practice, a couple of things have stood out at Bears camp in Bourbonnais.

First off, the cornerback position is much deeper. The additions of veterans Kelvin Hayden and Jonathon Wilhite should protect the defense should any injuries occur. It's also clear that they are going to give a good look to rookie safety Brandon Hardin. He moves well for a big guy and most importantly looks comfortable on the field.

Alshon Jeffery picked up where he left off when he arrived at the rookie mini-camp way back in the spring. He can run and catch the ball, and there is no question that he will have a good size role this season in the offense. The key for him will be minimizing the mental mistakes. If he can do that, then he will ensure a spot on the field frequently.

Tonight is the first padded practice, which means we'll get to see how the young players respond to the tempo and physical part of the game going to another level. We will see if first round pick Shea McClellin displays the talents the Bears need.

Ryan Pace on Kevin White: 'There is a lot of momentum with his play'

USA Today

Ryan Pace on Kevin White: 'There is a lot of momentum with his play'

No player will get Bears fans riled up as much as former first-round pick Kevin White, who since being selected with the seventh pick overall in the 2015 NFL draft has been ravaged by injury and has yet to score a touchdown as a pro.

After an offseason focused on upgrading the Bears' wide receivers, White is facing a make-or-break year for his career.

White has enjoyed a productive offseason, arguably the best -- and healthiest -- of his brief career so far. General manager Ryan Pace has noticed, too.

"I just feel like there is a lot of momentum with his play," Pace said Thursday in Bourbonnais at the start of the team's training camp. 

"He's had a good offseason. He's playing with a lot of confidence."

Pace said the goal for White is to be the best player he can be, which the team once envisioned being a dominant force as an alpha receiver. While it's unfair to have that kind of expectation for White in 2018, it's also not impossible for him to rise to the challenge and become the team's next-best option after Allen Robinson. If he does that, he could set himself up for a lucrative contract extension or, in the alternative, a rich deal elsewhere.

36 Days to Kickoff: Glenbard North

36 Days to Kickoff: Glenbard North preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Glenbard North

Head coach: Ryan Wilkens

Assistant coaches: Rich Smelko, John Cassidy, Bruce Donash, John Pullia, Tom Gudella, Kudret Kamabari and Matt Ng

How they fared in 2017: 5-5 (4-4 DuPage Valley Conference). Glenbard North made the Class 7A state playoff field and lost to Batavia in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Neuqua Valley

Aug. 31 vs Warren Township

Sept. 7 @ St. Charles East

Sept. 14 vs Batavia

Sept. 21 @ Wheaton North

Sept. 28 @ Lake Park

Oct. 5 vs St. Charles North

Oct. 12 vs Wheaton Warrenville South

Oct. 19 @ Geneva

[MORE: 50 Days to Kickoff - Neuqua Valley]

Biggest storyline: The Panthers have a new conference home. Can the Panthers reload and fare well in the DuKane Conference?

Names to watch this season: LB Michael Wellman and FB Jake Wilson

Biggest holes to fill: The Panthers will need several players to step up on offense with just one returning starter back from a season ago-- senior FB Jake Wilson.

EDGY's Early Take: Glenbard North says farewell to the DuPage Valley conference and says hello to all things DuKane. The Panthers will undoubtedly be a younger team in 2018. While some of the star power has graduated, head coach Ryan Wilkins will once again focus on establishing a strong, fast and physical running game. Getting off to a good start against a loaded schedule will be a big key for Glenbard North this season.