— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 22, 2018
- We’ve heard a bunch about the Bears on the defensive side of the ball during the first week of OTAs. The defense is ahead of the offense at this stage of the game, but there is a strong belief in Mitch Trubisky – and it’s at least one reason one of the team’s top corners re-signed with the team. Perhaps the defense could acquire a pass-rusher to help bolster that part of the roster. And even if they don’t, there’s plenty to dream on if you’re looking at the potential of guys like Aaron Lynch, Kylie Fitts, and the potential of Leonard Floyd and a possible breakout third season. And if all else fails, Danny Trevathan expressing a desire to mentor rookie Roquan Smith made me feel good about the veteran leadership on the team.
- Over at Fansided’s NFL Spin Zone, Dan Parzych makes a bold prediction for the draft class of each of the NFL’s 32 teams. The angle for the Bears? How about a surprisingly high sack total from Roquan Smith as an inside backer. Parzych sees a 6+ sack season for Smith, which isn’t crazy if you think about the 6.5 sacks he racked up at Georgia last year. Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio has proven to be creative when blitzing linebackers, and Smith has talked about how he likes that about his new coach. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see Smith sneak up the sacks leaderboard in 2018 as part of a monster rookie season.
- Seriously, let’s dream on this for a moment:
The Bears opted to improve their linebackers by adding Roquan Smith through the draft. pic.twitter.com/2u6ZyU1fdL
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 21, 2018
- Trevathan is an excellent tackler with superb coverage skills. That’s something that could free Smith up to blitz often. Or at minimum, be more aggressive on certain plays and let his instincts take over. Trevathan isn’t shabby as a blitzer either, and while Smith still has to learn about coverage assignments and schemes at the pro level, his athleticism and football IQ could help take a bite out of the learning curve. There’s a lot to like about the middle of the Bears’ defense, so long as Trevathan stays healthy and Smith plays to his potential.
- Even if Smith racks up the sack numbers, Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report still sees the Bears’ edge rusher spot as the most important position battle during camp.
- No matter how the Bears get pressure up front, it’s imperative that it happens. Chicago’s secondary was good last season despite inconsistent pass rush, which was one reason Kyle Fuller saw so many passes thrown his way. Even then, throwing at Fuller was often an exercise in futility for opposing quarterbacks:
Defensive Playmakers! pic.twitter.com/UvB3eVsOga
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 21, 2018
- John Franklin III is one of the handful of secondary members who I’m looking forward most to seeing when training camp rolls around because of his speed, versatility, and potential to grow into something more than you would expect from an undrafted free agent. Perhaps Franklin’s experience at other positions will prove to be valuable during training camp, telling Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times that he is picking up the defense quickly because of his experience at quarterback. If turns out that’s the case, then he could find himself carving out a niche role at the back end of the Bears’ roster because of his ability to apply his knowledge of the game.
- A speed match-up I’d like to see is Franklin vs. Taylor Gabriel:
- One battle we’ll definitely see (barring injuries) is one where Adrian Amos (one of football’s best safeties against the run) gets an opportunity to bring down fellow Penn State product Saquon Barkley (the first running back taken in the draft) in the open field. Don’t think Amos is going to take that battle lightly:
"He's one of the best college running backs I've seen…"
— Penn State On BTN (@PennStateOnBTN) May 16, 2018
- *chef kissing fingers dot gif*
Patriots’ QB Tom Brady will not be at the opening of the teams’ Organized Team Activities today, per a source, continuing his absence from the team’s offseason program. Today is the start of the Patriots’ voluntary OTAs, which Brady regularly has been a part of in the past.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 21, 2018
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 22, 2018
- Are we sure that the best quarterback in Cleveland’s city limits isn’t playing basketball?
It's poetry. pic.twitter.com/bY2PeAJX67
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) May 22, 2018