Get Pumped! One Week Until Training Camp's First Public Practice Begins and Other Bullets

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Get Pumped! One Week Until Training Camp’s First Public Practice Begins and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

There is only one week between now and the Chicago Bears’ first public practice in Bourbonnais and we’re totally geeked about it. If you’re as excited as we are, then you probably have your tickets for the opening weekend of practice printed out. But don’t worry if you don’t have those tickets printed out just yet. You can get them here. There is also a wait list for tickets for the August 11 night practice, which you can sign up for here.

See you at camp!

  • Allow us to fast forward to Week 1 for a brief moment, if only because there’s a wagering trend worth noting. Covers provides updated NFL Week 1 point spreads, and while the Bears are still underdogs, there is a notable push from Bears backers:

  • Can Chicago beat an 8.5-point spread? If it can, then it will come after a strong training camp and a preseason where a lot of things go right. The journey begins next week.
  • Every training camp has its share of comeback stories and Bears camp will be no different. Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune notes how some key outside linebackers will be participating in comeback season as they jockey for position at a key spot on the gridiron. No position group was hit harder by injuries than outside linebacker, where four players finished the season on injured reserve – including starters Willie Young, Pernell McPhee, and Leonard Floyd. The Bears are rolling the dice with a pair of newcomers who they believe can bring depth and production to the room with free agent Aaron Lynch and sixth-round pick Kylie Fitts.
  • WGN Radio’s Adam Hoge asks 10 important questions regarding the year to come, which you’ll want to thumb through all of them when you have some time.
  • Among the questions that will hopefully have good answers by season’s end are some regarding concerns regarding the team’s top pass-rusher. Floyd’s growth will be key to the Bears maintaining their ranking as a top-10 defense. He flashed after another slow start, but a season-ending knee injury derailed the hopes Floyd would be able to finish a full season. Of course, he isn’t the only player whose presence will be valuable.
  • Cornerback Kyle Fuller will be in the first year of a new deal, one he will try to live up to and show the Bears (and the rest of the league, for that matter) that last year wasn’t a fluke. Nose tackle Eddie Goldman and safety Adrian Amos are entering contract years, but there hasn’t been much of anything regarding possible extensions for either player. Both players are still entering the primes of their career and could conceivably be part of the Bears’ bright future, so we’ll keep a close eye on each player’s possible contract situation as this summer rolls on.
  • Depending on your point of view, the Bears’ offensive line is squarely in the middle of the pack or slightly above average. A healthy Kyle Long could help bring clarity here, as could the tutelage of new position coach Harry Hiestand. Long gushed about Hiestand’s arrival in an interview with Fansided’s Michelle Bruton. “He’s don a tremendous job with us so far. I overlapped with a few of the players in my career who got to play for him, and they all spoke very highly of him. We’re very lucky to have him. He’s just a stickler for technique, and that’s very important for our position.”
  • Chicago’s offensive line allowed Mitch Trubisky to be sacked 31 times in 12 games, and an 8.6 percent sack rate isn’t good at all. And while it wasn’t all the offensive line’s fault, it was clear that the group needed to go in a new direction. Hiestand has had success with established pros and college football’s top prospects. And in his second stint in Chicago, he’ll get his hands on veterans who could use a boost and young players still trying to establish themselves. Frankly, I can’t think of a better person for the job.
  • Tommie Harris was one of football’s elite defensive tackles when he was healthy early in his career with the Bears. With his football career being a thing of the past, Chuck Morris of WSMV-TV in Nashville reports Harris is helping partner inmates in Davidson County and songwriters in Tennessee make music that allows them to express themselves and share their life stories in a different way. And while there’s no magic cure-all, any attempt to reach people who need rehabilitation is viewed as a step in the right direction in my book.

Author: Luis Medina

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