Fangio's Questions and Concerns, Cohen Seeing Differences, Surprise Playmakers on D, and Other Bullets

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Fangio’s Questions and Concerns, Cohen Seeing Differences, Surprise Playmakers on D, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

The Bears wrapped up rookie mini-camp on Sunday, and everyone came away healthy. That’s a win for a team that ended the 2016 season with various starters and role players on injured reserve.

And in case you missed it, the Bears put a bow on the weekend’s festivities with a minor transaction: waiving Levonte Whitfield and signing Titus Davis.

  • With the majority of focus landing on the Bears’ quarterback situation, it’s understandable how Vic Fangio’s third season in Chicago has gotten lost in the shuffle. The Bears’ defensive coordinator is fighting an uphill battle in 2017, leading a group with a new-look secondary that features three free-agent signings and a fourth-round pick.
  • As Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune writes, the Bears’ defense is full of unknowns. There are currently four projected starters/contributors (Kyle Fuller, Eddie Goldman, Lamarr Houston, Danny Trevathan) who ended the 2016 season on injured reserve. The team also has depth concerns along the defensive front seven – and that’s not limited to the recently remerged questions about Trevathan’s health. We’ll have to see if the free-agent signings (Jaye Howard, John Jenkins, Dan Skuta) can alleviate some of those concerns. Putting the defense in a position to be successful might be the Bears’ biggest challenge outside of developing quarterbacks this season.
  • Maybe the Bears’ secondary will get a boost from Cre’von LeBlanc, a returning player who is an unlikely inclusion on Pro Football Focus’ list of top playmaking cornerbacks:

  • And then there’s Leonard Floyd. He’ll look to make a successful leap from a contributing rookie to a reliable pass rusher who can cause havoc at a moment’s notice. Over at the Chicago Sun-Times, Adam Jahns writes about how the Bears have to be excited about what their former first-round pick can bring to the table in his second year in the league. And now that he’s bulked up (dispelling previous strength and playing weight concerns), any questions about his future will revolve around staying healthy (concussion, calf injury) and producing consistently. If you’ll recall, Floyd picked up 6.5 sacks in a five-week stretch between Weeks 5-9, but registered only a 1/2 sack in his other seven appearances.
  • Running back Tarik Cohen is already seeing what the jump from FCS to the NFL looks like, telling Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times he noticed fewer cutback lanes during the Bears’ three-day rookie mini-camp. Even still, Cohen thinks he can make some game-breaking runs – even though he admits there will likely be fewer compared to his college days.
  • Some more on Cohen from the Tribune’s Dan Wiederer, who sheds some light on what the North Carolina A&T’s role could be as a ‘Joker’ back with some perspective from the Bears’ head coach.
  • It was a bit of a surprise to see the Bears pass on many of the more popular players who made names for themselves at the Senior Bowl, but the team took advantage of their time in Mobile, and hopefully plucked a diamond in the rough in offensive lineman Jordan Morgan. The Division II (Kutztown University) product is a fifth-round offensive line project who was a four-year starter at left tackle – a demanding position no matter what level of competition you’re playing. In a video up at the Bears’ official website, Morgan touches on several topics, including what it was like to work with the Bears during the Senior Bowl.
  • Not only does it look like Victor Cruz will make his scheduled visit with the Bears today, it could be a two-day trip:

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.