— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 14, 2017
In case you want to keep score at home, this is only one of two Fridays left before the Chicago Bears report to training camp. So, let’s make the most of them.
- Leonard Floyd had a promising start to his career, recording seven sacks in 12 games as a rookie. His sack-strip-recovery-touchdown against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers was the highlight of an early season Thursday Night loss. That should be just the beginning for Floyd, though, who should have more plays like that in the years to come – starting with the one the team will embark on in a few weeks. Over at The Athletic, Dan Durkin dives into Floyd’s film and highlights the kind of plays that allow you to dream about Floyd as a star in the making.
- Floyd is one of the potential playmakers that could make the team’s group of edge rushers a strength going into 2017. Over at CBS Chicago, Chris Emma writes about Floyd, McPhee, and potentially Lamarr Houston as players who make this particular position group a team strength. Floyd and McPhee will get most of the snaps, and their production and development are a top priority for this defense. However, we can’t forget about Houston, who recorded eight sacks in 2015 but played in just two games in 2016. This will be a big year for Houston to prove his value to the Bears (and maybe 31 other NFL teams) as he enters the fourth year of a five-year contract he signed in 2014.
- Moving to the back end of the defense, the safety tandem of Quintin Demps and Adrian Amos could turn out to be a spot where the Bears are strong this season. Both players ranked among Pro Football Focus’ 30 best safeties last season, so there is hope that kind of production carries over into 2017. CSN Chicago’s JJ Stankevitz previews the safety position, which could feature a training camp battle between Amos and rookie Eddie Jackson for the right to start at free safety. It’s a crowded position group, so Deiondre’ Hall will really need to open some eyes in camp if he’s going to make the cut.
- How the Bears’ safeties play in pass coverage will go a long way toward determining how well the defense performs, so I’ll be curious to see how that group matches up with the Bears’ tight ends during training camp. Pro Football Weekly’s Kevin Fishbain takes a look at a group of tight ends that could see a complete overhaul if the team parts ways with Zach Miller before the season starts. Even if Miller stays on board, free agent addition Dion Sims and second-round draft pick Adam Shaheen will likely take on significant roles as both still have to refine multiple aspects of their respective games.
- Heath Cummings takes stock of the Bears players who could be impact fantasy players this season, and frankly, there isn’t much going on beyond Jordan Howard based on projections by CBS Sports. Projecting Howard to score 192.6 points would put him 10th at his position, but no other Bears player comes close to matching that kind of value. Cameron Meredith provides a high floor, but a low ceiling, and Kevin White is an untrustworthy wild card until he can prove to be totally healthy. To sum it all up, don’t expect the Bears to provide many fantasy sleepers or saviors this season.
- Former NFL offensive lineman Mark Schlereth has made the move from ESPN to FS1, and the former hard-nosed lineman-turned-analyst has already made waves with some not-so-kind words about Bears quarterback Mike Glennon. Over at 247 Sports, Matt Eurich has the details of Schlereth slamming Glennon in his podcast, saying: “He should be in a circus. Shouldn’t he? You ever look at that dude? He’s freakish.” Being critical of the Mitch Trubisky pick is one thing, but Schlereth seemed to cross the line with his comments aimed at Glennon.