Bears veterans start reporting to camp tomorrow, which means we’ll likely get some updates regarding the health status for some of the team’s most important players. Hopefully, they’ll be positive ones.
- Some of the most important updates will come on the defensive side of the ball where the two players who figure to be the Bears’ top pass-rushers are coming off injury shortened seasons. Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune writes about the hope that Aaron Lynch’s return to Vic Fangio’s system will help bring a boost to a defense that needs it from its edge rushers. Lynch struggled with injuries and a position change the last two years, but has also been dinged a bit during the offseason training program. He is expected to be ready to roll for training camp, but his Bears career isn’t off to the best start.
- On the other side, there is an expectation that Leonard Floyd will be a full-go for training camp. Floyd is entering his third year in the NFL, which often happens to be a breakout season for Fangio’s standout players. It would sure be nice if Floyd played up to his potential and completed a full 16-game season. There’s obviously talent and upside in that frame, it just hasn’t been out in full force. And without Lamarr Houston, Pernell McPhee, and Willie Young to lean on this year, Floyd will have to hold his own as the main man.
- The Bears’ starting options beyond Floyd give me pause regarding the defense’s upside. Sam Acho is a steady, reliable veteran who is a stellar run defender and a strong presence in the locker room. However, his pass-rush skills leave you wanting more. Kasim Edebali was a relatively late signing, but I suppose he has an outside shot of earning a starting role. Edebali has eight sacks in 61 career games, with his best showing coming in 2015 when he picked up six sacks for the Saints.
- JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago writes that the Bears expect to have Kyle Long medically cleared for training camp. Even if Pro Football Focus’ metrics suggests Long had a down year in the snaps that he played last season, there is no doubt Chicago’s offensive line missed Long’s presence and the stability he brings by being a rock at right guard. It’s difficult to find consistency with a revolving door along the offensive line, especially when that position featured the group’s most talented player. Long was a limited participant during the offseason training program, but it’s worth noting that there is no reason to rush him back. Offensive line play is too important to not show patience regarding a player’s health.
- Larry Mayer of the Bears’ official website believes the team’s stable of running backs is the strongest position group on the roster. No argument here. That group has a two-time 1,000-yard rusher, a versatile pass-catcher/gadget player, and a wily vet who is excellent in pass protection and on special teams. Behind Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, and Benny Cunningham are youngsters like Taquan Mizzell and Ryan Nall who are looking to make a strong impression. And if the Bears’ offensive line is healthy, it’s hard to imagine that group not being the team’s most talented.
- I mean, seriously. Check these guys out:
5. Jordan Howard
4. Todd Gurley
3. LeSean McCoy
2. Mark Ingram
1. ??? pic.twitter.com/LBj5lfLydw
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) July 17, 2018
Alvin Kamara: 81 catches, 29 missed tackles
— PFF CHI Bears (@PFF_Bears) July 18, 2018
- Based on his connections, Vic Fangio might be the most interesting man in the world:
— A friendship with @Cubs manager Joe Maddon.
— Harold Melvin and Blue Notes.
— Financial articles.
— And a lasting connection to an 82-year-old legend.
My inside look at #Bears DC Vic Fangio, who sat down with the Sun-Times: https://t.co/XOi3Av61jW
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) July 17, 2018
- If you’re going to the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, you might want to keep note of this:
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) July 17, 2018
- And finally, remember to like The Ten-Yard Line on facebook, because, like why not? Just do it. Just click the little button … it’s right there. What else are you doing right now?