There are just 40 days until training camp starts and 86 days until the football season kicks off … it’s all coming together so quickly.
- Adam Hoge of WGN Radio rounds up 10 things to know upon the conclusion of the team’s mandatory mini-camp. Among the revelations, Hoge makes sense of Kyle Long’s move to left guard, notes there could be as many as four starters sidelined during the opening of training camp due to injuries, and details some of the Bears’ practice schedule changes.
- Over at The Athletic, Dan Durkin details how center Cody Whitehair can become one of the NFL’s premier centers. Whitehair is off to a good start, earning an 87.2 grade from Pro Football Focus that was the best among Bears linemen. In fact, Whitehair’s rookie year was one of the most productive for a Bears offensive lineman since 2013. While center isn’t the most important position on the line, there is still value in stability and strength in the middle.
- On the other side of the ball, linebacker Jerrell Freeman says he sees potential improvement all over the defense. Freeman missed four games due to a suspension for PEDs, but was the team’s top-graded defender in 2016 and is an integral part of the 2017 group. The defense could feature four new starters, including three in the secondary.
- He sounds like he’s ready to do so, but I’d love to see Pernell McPhee recapture the magic of 2015:
Pernell McPhee's 2015 season was one of the most productive we've seen from a pass rusher since 2006. pic.twitter.com/5ru6A6hiTj
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 16, 2017
- I don’t expect Mike Glennon to be in this group, but Pro Football Weekly has a look at some quarterbacks who have eyes on gaining top-12 status for 2017.
- In an attempt to bolster the team’s offensive line, the Detroit Lions have acquired offensive tackle Greg Robinson from the Los Angeles Rams for a conditional draft pick. Robinson was the No. 2 overall selection in 2014, and was the team’s primary left tackle in 2016. However, he failed to live up to the lofty expectations of being such a high pick. Robinson never posted a Pro Football Focus grade higher than 41.3 in his three seasons with the Rams, and his 38.0 grade in 2016 ranked 71st of 78 qualifying tackles. The team also signed Cyrus Kuoandijo, who has made just seven starts in three seasons, but earned a 76.7 grade in limited snaps in 2016.
- Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer missed some time during the offseason training period because of an eighth surgical procedure on his right eye, but still found a way to keep steady contact with quarterback Sam Bradford as things progressed at camp.
- Staying at Vikings camp, there is a battle brewing at backup quarterback between Case Keenum and Taylor Heinicke. Unfortunately, Teddy Bridgewater is still in the rehabilitation process from a season-ending leg injury suffered last summer and has not been cleared to practice.
- And now, the calm before the storm. A six-week layoff between the end of mini-camp and the start of training camp is the offseason’ final hurdle. And yet, there are still things left unresolved. Gregg Rosenthal offers up five storylines with loose ends, including a handful of free agents who remain unsigned.