We’re waving goodbye to the offseason and jumping into training camp mode by bringing back morning Bullets full-time. It’s a small tweak from what we’ve done in the offseason, but I think it will serve you well as our valued readers. Happy training camp week!
- It’s all about fresh starts at training camp this year, and it all starts at the top with a new voice. There is a lot to love about Matt Nagy as he takes over for John Fox as the team’s head coach. Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times goes inside Nagy’s world in an in-depth read that touches on a variety of things.
- There is a ton of optimism to be pulled from Cam Mellor’s Bears training camp preview over at Pro Football Focus. While there will be an obvious focus on what a new coaching staff brings to the table, all eyes should be on the playmakers the staff leans on. We already know Mitch Trubisky will be that dude for the offense, but Roquan Smith taking over as the new face of the defense basically makes him the Trubisky of the defensive side of the ball. He has the kind of high-end athleticism, non-stop motor, and premium football skills to be the kind of game-changing inside linebacker Chicago football fans rally around.
- Unfortunately, Smith doesn’t have a contract yet so he hasn’t joined his fellow rookies at camp. I’m not worried about a potential holdout situation, as Smith is one of 14 first-round picks without signed deals. And since the Bears have five preseason games (shoutout to the Hall of Fame Game!) I don’t feel like there is a reason to approach ledges on tall buildings.
- While Smith patiently waits his turn to sign his first professional contract, Danny Trevathan surely looks like he is ready to roll:
— Danny Trevathan (@Grindin_59) July 16, 2018
- Backup quarterback Chase Daniel is putting in that work, too. Gotta love seeing Daniel working out with Drew Brees and Darren Sproles to get geared up for Bears camp:
- Back to Smith for a moment. Even if he was to follow in Joey Bosa’s footsteps and hold out deep into the summer, inside linebacker is one of the positions where the Bears have notable depth. At 28, Trevathan is the wily vet with experience and a Super Bowl ring from his time with the Denver Broncos. Nick Kwiatkoski, who would otherwise be the primary backup for Trevathan and/or Smith, has quality starting experience of his own. In fact, Kwiatkoski would have been penciled in as the starter next to Trevathan had the Bears not drafted Smith. After all, Kwiatkoski was quietly (kwiatly?) one of football’s best inside linebackers in 2017. He’s no slouch, folks.
- I suppose one could argue that an extended bit of time away for Smith could work in the Bears’ favor as it would get Kwiatkoski some additional reps he wouldn’t get if Smith was in camp … but I don’t want it to get that far down the line.
- As long as Smith plays, I have a feeling we’ll think highly of the Bears’ 2018 draft haul. And as long as Mitch Trubisky lives up to the billing of being the No. 2 overall pick, everyone will think fondly of the Bears’ 2017 draft class. Bleacher Report’s Maurice Mouton offers up power rankings for each NFL team’s 2017 draft class now that we are a year removed from it all. Chicago comes away with a top-5 haul, coming in at No. 4 on Moton’s power rankings despite having just five picks. Moton believes Trubisky “looked the part as a franchise passer” during his 12-game stint and noted the contributions of Tarik Cohen and Eddie Jackson. Coming away with four starting caliber players in a draft class is pretty dope, no matter which rounds they come in.
- Peter King’s football column makes its NBC Sports debut … and it features a Bears-related anecdote. King speaks with former Obama White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, who says the NFL is a “close second” when it comes to the 44th president’s rooting interests. “He loves his Bears,” according to Pfeiffer.
- King also notes that Bears camp is the first stop on his summer tour, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled to see what he has to say from Bourbonnais.
- Eric Eager and Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus discuss win total expectations for the 2018 season. Of their projections that stands out, I’m intrigued by their push for the under 7.0 wins for the Giants. New York’s NFC team has the third-toughest schedule by PFF’s standards and are actually projected to have the fewest wins this coming season.
- Here’s a fun statistical nugget to keep stored away for future reference: Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill had six touchdowns on throws traveling 30+ yards in the air last year, which led the NFL. I’m not sure the Bears threw passes that went that distance six times last year. OK, I’m kidding … just a little bit. But I am looking forward to seeing who (if anyone) can generate that kind of big-play potential among the Bears’ receivers.