Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace put a bow on this offseason by summarizing it during his joint press conference with Matt Nagy to officially open up training camp:
Ryan Pace said of the Bears' offseason: "It's been aggressive. There's been a lot of work that's been done. … But it's very exciting and energizing."
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) July 19, 2018
We’re excited and energized, so let’s dive into some other things the duo discussed!
- GM Ryan Pace expressed a surprising amount of optimism regarding Roquan Smith’s contract status. By the sounds of things, it feels like it’s a matter of “when” not “if” Smith shows up to camp. The Bears (and Smith, for that matter) are in a position to just trust the process. This is nothing new for the Bears or Smith’s agents, even Pace said it was predictable. These things are common, so there shouldn’t be anything but confidence that a deal will get done.
- Because the Bears didn’t announce a Smith signing, the best (and biggest) story to come from Thursday’s press conference is that there is plenty of positive news to report on the health front. It sounds like it’s full-speed ahead for right guard Kyle Long, wide receiver Allen Robinson, and edge rusher Leonard Floyd. And it doesn’t look like anyone is starting the year on the physically unable to perform list, as noted by WGN Radio’s Adam Hoge.
- Three important starters having a clean bill of health before training camp is the best news you could get as a team. Long’s health could help Jordan Howard push forward and put together another 1,000-yard rushing year and aid in protecting Mitch Trubisky. A strong running game and quality pass protection would mean big things for Robinson as a receiver. And if the Bears have leads, they can unleash Floyd as a pass-rusher. Gets me giddy just thinking about this possibility.
- Pace also opened up about wide receiver Kevin White, saying he has had a good offseason … but needs to carry those good vibes into training camp.
- There has been a ton of optimism surrounding White this offseason … and with good reason. He spent time working out with Mitch Trubisky in California and has impressed new head coach Matt Nagy at every turn. The Kevin White Redemption Tour™ is in full swing and we can’t wait to see which direction it goes. Frankly, there’s nowhere to go but up after the last three seasons.
- One of the things I’m looking forward to seeing in this offense is where all the pieces fit. More important than that might be that all the pieces get used. Nagy told reporters: “The one things you’ll see here in this offense is we’ll have guys all over the place in different spots.” Tarik Cohen talked earlier in the offseason about how he (and the rest of his teammates) were learning the roles of everyone around them, which I imagine could be important as the season goes on. Everyone pulling from the same side of the rope and moving in the same direction is huge.
- Sounds like my kind of offense:
Ryan Pace on Matt Nagy’s offense: “The first word that comes to mind is creative. … You can tell the players are having a lot of fun with it.”
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) July 19, 2018
- And it definitely sounds like my kind of camp:
#Bears HC Matt Nagy: "We're going to have a physical camp. We need to callous our team a little bit."
— Bob LeGere (@BobLeGere) July 19, 2018
- Hopefully the camp isn’t too rough-and-tumble for these Bears. After all, this is a team that has lost a ton of man-games to a variety of injuries over the last two seasons and I’d hate to see history repeat itself again during summer training camp.
- And yet, I’m kinda geeked about seeing some live action starting Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting.
- I’m totally here fore #SmartFootball:
"Every one of these guys on this team understands that they need to be a smart football player." Matt Nagy on situational football #Bears
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) July 19, 2018
The "smart football" quote from Matt Nagy shouldn't go unnoticed for fans especially after the mental mistakes made over the past 3 seasons. #Bears
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) July 19, 2018
- Penalties and bone-headed plays reared their ugly heads too many times in recent years to the point where you could see some players regress in their development. Attention to detail should be a top priority for Nagy and his staff.
- In the end, it’s up to Mitch Trubisky to lead the way … and his coach thinks he has the right mindset to do it:
— Larry Hawley (@HawleySports) July 19, 2018