Aikman on Trubisky, Vikings Injury Report, Not-So-Special Special Teams, and Other Bullets

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Aikman on Trubisky, Vikings Injury Report, Not-So-Special Special Teams, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

Monday Night Mitch is coming:

  • Over at The Athletic, Dan Pompei talks to Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman – who knows a thing or two about what Mitch Trubisky is going through as he enters his first regular season start – about the Bears rookie. Aikman said taking his lumps as a rookie was tough, but also beneficial because of the things he learned through a season littered with losses. As for Trubisky, he believes the Bears QB might be in a better spot than some anticipate because things are different for rookie signal callers these days.
  • Eric Edholm (PFW) writes that the Bears offensive coordinator couldn’t hold back his enthusiasm, regarding the new opportunities linked with Trubisky’s promotion. Specifically, Trubisky’s ability to extend plays is a different look from Mike Glennon’s traditional drop-back style, and could be a boon for an offense looking for a spark and some chances to push the ball down the field.
  • With that said, I hope we all know that the Bear’s (currently healthy) receiver talent is not quite up to par. However, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune offers up the idea that this group could be better off with Trubisky than they were with Glennon. At minimum, Biggs notes that Trubisky looked to be more willing to squeeze a pass through a tight window than his predecessor – something that could result in some exciting big plays or possibly crushing interceptions.
  • For what it’s worth, Trubisky had chances to make those throws while running the scout team offense for the first four weeks. Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times details what Bears defenders learned about their new quarterback from his time working as the scout team quarterback. Leonard Floyd praised Trubisky’s ability to read defenses and run through his progressions, while safety Eddie Jackson – a fellow rookie – said Trubisky makes it difficult on members of the secondary.
  • It’s interesting to think about how Trubisky didn’t get reps with the first-team offense until this week, but has worked primarily against the first-team defense since the start of the regular season. While this defense won’t be confused with those run by Lovie Smith or Buddy Ryan, seeing a first-team defense can be a blessing in disguise for a rookie quarterback looking to gain experience through practice reps.
  • With the Bears bringing in a pair of kickers to possibly unseat Connor Barth, now feels like a good time to note how not-so-special the team’s special teams unit has been so far in 2017. Eric Eager of Pro Football Focus recently ranked the 32 special teams groups, placing the Bears 20th. The Minnesota Vikings, who present the opposition for Week 5, rank as the second best special teams group in football.
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
  • Despite the lowly ranking, punter Pat O’Donnell ranks fifth in average punt and net average, while recording the 11th most touchbacks. Further, Bears special teams have stifled opposing kick returners to the third lowest yards per return, while Bears returners are posting the ninth highest return average. However, the Bears have allowed the 10th highest average when it comes to punt return yards.
  • We made note of quarterback Sam Bradford practicing on Thursday, but let’s take a big picture look at the Vikings:

  • He’s not returning from injury, but Minnesota looks ready to add a competent No. 3 receiver to the mix. Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press writes Michael Floyd is practicing with the team after serving a four-game suspension stemming from a DUI arrest in December. Floyd played in all four preseason games before serving the suspension in the regular season, but it remains unclear what his role will be once he plays in games that matter in the standings.
  • For what it’s worth, Floyd seems ready to make some plays in the passing game, telling Tomasson: “I’m going to be an aggressive player. I’m going to go out there and make plays. That’s what I do.”
  • Speaking of making plays, Stevan Ridley – who ran for more than 1,200 yards when he was a second-year player with the New England Patriots back in 2012 – says he’s ready to take Dalvin Cook’s roster spot. Ridley hasn’t done much since tearing his right ACL in 2014, but believes he still has something left in the tank for an offense that looked to be motoring pretty well with Cook in the backfield.

Author: Luis Medina

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