Taylor Gabriel Dropping Hints, Roquan Smith's Possible Setback, TEs in the New Offense, and Other Bullets

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Taylor Gabriel Dropping Hints, Roquan Smith’s Possible Setback, TEs in the New Offense, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

If you’re one of those Bears fans who likes to make yourself (and maybe others watching the game with you) a nice sub sandwich, allow me to suggest adding hot soppressata to your meat combination.

I recently tried some from my local deli counter and was quite happy with my purchase. It’s a bit like salami, but has a little extra kick, so it’s definitely going into my rotation of sliced sandwich meats for this season (Michael: As an Italian-american who’s basically never had a sandwich without soppressata, I can confirm its excellence (goes great with prosciutto, tomato, some provolone, and a little oil and vinegar)).

What if we just did ten bullets about sub-sandwiches today?

  • The Chicago Bears are No. 18 in the latest set of power rankings at Bleacher Report. Not that there’s much to takeaway from these preseason games, but it sure beats being ranked in the upper 20s, like we’ve seen in the past. And because you’re curious, there are eight teams on the Bears’ schedule who rank lower than they do, including the Lions, whom the Bears will face twice. Beat the teams below you on the power rankings and voila, an 8-win season. Pull of a random upset or two and BOOM! a winning season. It’s that simple! (It’s never that simple.)
  • There are just 18 days until the Bears kick off the season on Sunday night football and we sure hope Taylor Gabriel (who happens to wear No. 18) is ready to rock and/or roll. As far as I’m concerned, I’m going to take this as a sign that Turbo is nearly cleared for takeoff:


  • The Bears are already dealing with a wave of unsettling injury news, so it would be nice to have word of a player’s imminent return. Gabriel has been sidelined for the better part of two weeks while recovering from a foot injury, which has slowed him down and kept him from playing in the Bears’ first three preseason games. Head Coach Matt Nagy has expressed hope that Gabriel will be ready for Week 1, which is infinitely more important than any preseason game. Still, you’d like to see him get some reps in with the guys he’ll line up next to in this offense sometime over the next two weeks.
  • Roquan Smith’s hamstring tightness throws things a wrench in a Bears defense, which seems intent on remaining among the league’s best. Chris Emma of 670 The Score writes that Smith’s hamstring issue could present a problem for the rookie linebacker to be ready for Week 1 against the Packers. There was a timetable for Smith to be ramped up and ready to roll against Green Bay before the hamstring issue popped up and threw a wrench in the plans, though it’s still possible that this setback is just a minor one. In any case, the Bears probably need to get Smith on the field before Week 1 to feel comfortable with a player who hasn’t seen game action since the College Football Playoff championship game back in January.
  • At least defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris is making the most of his opportunity. Bob LeGere of Pro Football Weekly highlights how Robertson-Harris is growing into his role as a defensive end as he enters his third year with the team. Robertson-Harris was originally signed as an outside linebacker prospect but is plugging away in a battle to start next to nose tackle Eddie Goldman and across from Akiem Hicks as the Bears’ other starting defensive end. If Robertson-Harris completes the summer as a starter, it will have been one of the most remarkable battles in recent memory. Because to go from an undrafted free agent outside linebacker to a starting-caliber defensive end is nothing short of impressive.
  • On the other side of the line of scrimmage, Larry Hawley of WGN-TV notes that the Bears’ tight ends have been quick to find success early in Matt Nagy’s offense. Trey Burton has been at the top of the list of most impressive offensive players since training camp, so it should have come as no surprise when he scored the first-team’s first offensive touchdown. Burton is going to play a key role in this offense, and it goes beyond catching passes and picking up yards after the catch.
  • Defensive back Deiondre’ Hall didn’t have much to say regarding the cause of his one-game suspension, reports Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune. The NFL handed down the suspension as a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. As we noted when the suspension was announced, Hall’s path to a spot on the Bears’ season-opening 53-man roster became less clear because of the suspension.

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Author: Luis Medina

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