It’s Friday the 13th and I’m just hoping to get through the rest of the day unscathed.
- Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report runs through the league and presents each team’s most disappointing player. To no one’s surprise, Kevin White is the choice for the Bears. White, who once wore No. 13, will soon get a chance to put the past where it belongs by having a strong training camp. The offseason training program has been good for White, who has gained public support from his teammates and coaches. One of the best storylines to follow will be how he makes his mark and if he can apply it to preseason games. Speaking of which, White is one of 12 receivers in camp and is one of a handful who return from last year’s team.
- While Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Anthony Miller are locks at their respective positions, wide receiver figures to be the position group where the biggest summer battles will take place. Let’s assume the Bears will carry six receivers, that leaves nine players to scrap among each other for the remaining three spots. This will certainly be a nice competition, especially for some of the bottom of the depth chart guys who also contribute on special teams.
- Of the nine receivers who don’t have a secure spot, Josh Bellamy and Tanner Gentry are the only ones who earned significant playing time last year. Bellamy is a more proven special teams player, but Gentry is younger and might have more untapped upside. But they’ll battle the likes of Bennie Fowler and Marlon Brown for playing time.
- What a difference a year makes. Last year, there was no sense of direction with that Bears’ group of wide receivers. Several players were on one-year deals and the future didn’t look bright. With some stability at the top and upside throughout, there is a more confident feeling surrounding this group than in previous years.
- The Bears’ receiving corps is one of the reasons listed by NFL.com’s Adam Rank on why he believes the Bears will make the postseason. There is a considerable amount of hype for this collection of pass catchers with Robinson leading the way, Gabriel serving as a complementary piece, and Tarik Cohen jumping out and contributing as a member of the backfield.
- Now that the Bears have usable pieces, it’s time to get them some more looks in the first quarter – where Mitch Trubisky thrived:
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 12, 2018
- Trubisky’s first-down excellence and Jordan Howard’s late-down conversion rate should set the offense up for some good times this year:
Jordan Howard picked up the yardage needed on 75 percent of 3rd and 4th downs with a yard to go in 2017. pic.twitter.com/ZGmUFx8Gd1
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 13, 2018
- And Tarik Cohen is no slouch, now that we mention it:
Tarik Cohen exceeded most reasonable expectations as a rookie for the Bears. pic.twitter.com/ytAlsoH9kX
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) July 13, 2018
- Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune writes that Trubisky’s ability to command the offense will go a long way toward defining the 2018 season. Because having a new coach, scheme, and players is one thing, but having a complete grasp of the responsibilities and everything else that goes with being a premier starting quarterback is something totally different. If Trubisky struggles to get a feel for his new system, the Bears will struggle.
- To be fair, I’m not expecting a smooth sailing trip from the get-go. There will be bumps in the road and kinks to work out throughout the way. Heck, there might even be some moments during training camp where things look rough. Patience will be important for all parties involved, that includes Trubisky.
- I don’t think I’m stepping out on a ledge in predicting the Bears’ offense will have its share of problems to overcome. And that’s why it’s important that the team was able to bring back Vic Fangio to run the defense. Having both sides of the ball learning new systems, schemes, and terminologies might have led to an overload that might have been too much to overcome all at once.
- Because of the continuity on the defensive side of the ball, it might be easier for us to pick a potential breakout player there because positions are pretty set. Matt Eurich of 247Sports offers up Isaiah Irving as someone who could step up in a big way. Irving had a strong close to the preseason last year and flashed in spurts during his brief stint on the roster during the regular season. Between special teams work and the possibility of growing into a pass-rusher on the edge, there should be ample opportunities for Irving to prove he can bang with the big boys.