Howard's Hard Work, Kwiatkoski Steps Up, Trubisky Projections, Smith Update, and Other Bullets

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Howard’s Hard Work, Kwiatkoski Steps Up, Trubisky Projections, Smith Update, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

Roquan Smith remains absent from camp as his rookie contract continues to get sorted out, but the beat goes on.

  • An interesting nugget from Tim Graham of The Athletic, who notes that Bills first-round linebacker Tremaine Edmunds has the same agents as Smith and asked for the same protections … and had a deal signed just 17 days after being drafted. As it turns out, the Bills wiped what is viewed as “standard on-field suspension language” from Edmonds’ contract, which led to a deal getting done quickly.
  • Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? Time to get it done, Bears.
  • While Smith remains sidelined, it’s Nick Kwiatkoski who has stepped in and is making most of his opportunity. Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly writes that Kwiatkoski has been the team’s best linebacker so far at camp. This is encouraging to read as Smith’s holdout continues and as Danny Trevathan recovers from a hamstring injury that has limited him in the early going. Depth is good! Kwiatkoski has been a solid reserve (and was quietly one of the league’s best inside linebackers in some regards) who has been thrust into a starting role when others have been injured, so this is nothing new for the third-year linebacker. Mitch Trubisky has been intercepted a few times by Kwiatkoski at camp, and while we’d like to see Trubisky turn it over a little less, we wouldn’t mind if Kwiatkoski’s excellence continued.
  • While we have linebackers on our mind, let’s use this time to re-visit Brian Urlacher’s journey to the Pro Football Hall of Fame:

  • When we aren’t talking about Smith’s holdout and the players who have step up in his place, our conversations often center around Mitch Trubisky – who Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski writes is the talk of Bears camp. Before camp, chatter surrounding Trubisky revolved around comparisons to other quarterbacks and potential that went untapped last year. But now that Trubisky is in camp and tossing the pigskin around, there is a little less conversation and a lot more action to discuss. There have been some lofty expectations set for Trubisky, who is already taking steps toward becoming the player the Bears believe he can be.
  • David Carr’s NFL career didn’t pan out as expected, but he has grown into a quality league analyst and someone whose quarterback insight I find intriguing. Carr offers up his guesses at which young quarterbacks will have breakout performances in 2018. You’ll find Trubisky among this group, as Carr foresees a season where the Bears’ signal caller throws for 3,700 yards, 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Carr believes he saw Trubisky show an ability to make good decisions and is now in a position to make big plays with the additions of Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton, along with new coach Matt Nagy.
  • You know what will help Trubisky reach those huge projected numbers? Jordan Howard catching passes out of the backfield and a productive rate:

  • Re-watching this on loop should give you a good idea of why hand placement is so important.
  • Improvements from Trubisky and Howard will put the Bears in a position to score more points, especially with a kicker who is more reliable than the ones the team has trotted out in recent years. Evidently, Parkey’s presence is missed in Dolphins camp:

  • Monday is the last open practice before the Bears’ first preseason contest. Selfishly, I’d like to see the Bears’ head coach throw some passes with my own eyes to see if he can still sling it:

Author: Luis Medina

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