Training Camp Thoughts, Amukamara's Focus, Nagy's Vibe, Nall's Flash, and Other Bullets

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Training Camp Thoughts, Amukamara’s Focus, Nagy’s Vibe, Nall’s Flash, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

Another summer in Bourbonnais is in the books. I’m not sure what I’ll do with my light-up bracelet from Saturday night’s final open practice. Throw it in the pile with the others, I suppose.

  • With training camp in the rear-view mirror, we’ll start to get a better grasp of things moving forward. At a minimum, we’ll see how certain situations are about to unfold. The Bears have three preseason games left to get their offense in gear, clean up some penalty issues, and sort out some positional battles. In short, things are about to heat up throughout the rest of August.
  • There was an undeniable sense of optimism throughout training camp that surrounded Matt Nagy, and I’m glad to see that Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times picked up on it. The Bears’ new head coach provided some much needed energy and a new voice to the team, which has become easy to rally around. Sure, some of this has to do with the natural honeymoon period between fans and new coaches, but I really think you could see hope and potential where there might not have been before.
  • You could really see it the most at three positions throughout camp: Quarterback, wide receiver, and safety. We’ve touched upon the quarterback and receiver situations here plenty of times, but the safety spot looks much improved compared to where the Bears have been in recent years. Adrian Amos might have the excellent Pro Football Focus grades, but Eddie Jackson really flashes at camp. He has a nose for the ball that allows him to make plays on passes and come away with his share of interceptions. Sure, that means Mitch Trubisky has thrown his fair share of picks this summer, but that also means a Bears defender was there to make a play on an errant pass. And there were plenty of times Jackson was that guy.
  • Elsewhere in the secondary, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes cornerback Prince Amukamara has his sights set on doing big things right now since his future is settled. Signing a three-year deal in the offseason after back-to-back one-year deals with the Jaguars and Bears the last two offseasons probably takes some weight off the veteran cornerback’s shoulders. Amukamara was the Bears’ best one-year “prove it” signing last offseason and figures to play a major role in keeping this defense among the top half of the league in 2018.
  • When it comes to recent offseasons run by GM Ryan Pace, we could look back at the draft class of 2017 as the one that really pushed the Bears in the right direction. Between Trubisky and Jackson quarterbacking their respective units and Tarik Cohen being a wizard with the ball in his hands, that group is off to a good start. It would sure be nice to add Adam Shaheen to that mix. The second-round pick appears to be growing in the offense, writes Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune. Shaheen’s growth was stunted last year in an offense that limited to run-blocking snaps and the occasional passing play outside of the red zone. There’s definitely more freedom for Shaheen and the Bears’ group of tight ends in Nagy’s system, one that seems to be driven by tight end excellence. Having a deep and versatile group there could ultimately pay off for the Bears as things progress.
  • Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox dives into the undrafted free agents who are making the most noise in camp and highlights Bears running back Ryan Nall as someone who is turning heads. Nall signed with Chicago because they were going to give him a shot as a running back when other teams saw him as a fullback. Runs like this will certainly help his cause:

  • Nall finds himself in a position battle with Taquan Mizzell and the recently signed Knile Davis for a spot on the 53-man roster as the possible fourth running back. Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, and Benny Cunningham seem to have spots locked down, but Nall is someone who could slide into a reserve role with a strong preseason. Runs like that could help Nall make a case for more carries and additional chances to prove he should stick around.
  • I jumped on CLTV’s Sports Feed to talk about some of the things I saw during training camp and the preseason with the new-look Bears:

  • This is certainly a neat tradition:

Author: Luis Medina

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