Eddie Jackson and the Bears Defense Opened Up in Tip-Top Form and Other Bullets

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Eddie Jackson and the Bears Defense Opened Up in Tip-Top Form and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

I fully expect those of you who attended today’s practice at Bourbonnais to give me guff for holding out because of the rainy forecast. I’ll see you there either Thursday or Friday, when the temperatures are supposed to be in the low 80s and rainclouds are not in the picture.

  • After one padded practice, you could see why Eddie Jackson has realistic Super Bowl aspirations. Chicago’s defense looked the part of a championship-caliber unit on Sunday, with Jackson being the star of stars. The All-Pro safety intercepted a pass and had an impressive pass breakup not too long after that. Khalil Mack continues to look like someone who doesn’t need training camp to wreck your offense’s game plan. Akiem Hicks was causing havoc in several places (even lined up as a stand-up linebacker once). Roquan Smith’s speed and football instincts continued to stand out as strengths.
  • There was a lot to love … unless y0u were Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky. The offense didn’t look so hot on Sunday, but I didn’t think it was because of Trubisky throwing passes that made you wonder what the heck he was doing in the first place. From what I saw, Trubisky was trying some throws he wouldn’t have last year. Sometimes they look good, as they did when he targeted Taylor Gabriel in the end zone on Saturday. Other times, they get picked off by Eddie Jackson. This isn’t a terrible thing, mind you. Figure out what you can (and can’t) do right now, work your way to the preseason, then go from there. Training camp and preseason are the times to work out all of the kinks. Keep pressing forward, #10.
  • One defensive player who probably needs to sharpen up is nickel back Buster Skrine. His physical play should take certain receivers out of their initial game plans, but there are times when his aggressiveness hurts him. We’ll keep an eye on Skrine, as well as rookie Duke Shelley. It wouldn’t surprise me if Shelley balled out to the point where he played himself into a starting role in the second half.
  • As I was typing out Bullets, this happened:

  • There was plenty of buzz surrounding Michael Joseph’s play at cornerback yesterday, and rightfully so. The second-year UDFA cornerback opened eyes when he laid some lumber in Sunday’s practice. Joseph was so raw at this time last year, but he looks to have bulked up and filled out. Because this front office has done such a good job identifying under-the-radar defensive backs, Joseph’s progress will be worth monitoring throughout the summer and into the preseason.
  • For the record: Just because I thought Trubisky had some rough patches doesn’t mean I’m down on QB1. Some days are going to look like that when you’re facing the league’s best defense. It happens.
  • The Bears are practicing through the rain today, but will do so without tight end Adam Shaheen:

  • Shaheen sat out Sunday’s practice with a sore back. It’s the latest injury to slow down the Bears’ 2017 second-round pick. And while it opens up opportunities for the waves of players behind him on the depth chart, it’s maddening that a player with size and potential can’t stay healthy enough to take advantage of what he has.
  • In previous years, the potential loss of TE2 would have been hard to stomach. But because the Bears’ collection of pass-catchers is deep, a next-man-up approach allows the team to show off other talented players. Pro Football Focus’ Anthony Treash writes about Chicago’s group of receivers as the deepest (and arguably, the most underrated) in the NFL. Seven wide receivers who are on the young side of the age spectrum, a quality TE1, and a smattering of versatile running backs should give Mitch Trubisky plenty of options to make plays.
  • Javon Wims, a camp and preseason standout last summer, has looked excellent through the first two practices:

  • Allen Robinson II has looked remarkable in training camp. The guy runs every route from every spot on the field, then catches everything. If the ball is thrown in No. 12’s direction, it’s probably not hitting the ground. Robinson is a pro’s pro and is exactly who Trubisky needs to move chains and make plays when the going gets tough.
  • I don’t have any hard numbers to back this thought, but I feel as if players who are their own harshest critics tend to do better over the long haul. With that being said, don’t be too hard on yourself, Mr. Montgomery. You did more good than bad in Sunday’s practice with pads:

  • David Montgomery is #shifty as heck. His feet never stop moving and it’s going to help him gain those extra yards in tough situations when he gets opportunities with the ball. Montgomery started slowly in practice, getting beaten in some pass-protection drills. But he rebounded and improved with each practice rep, which is exactly what you want to see out of a rookie.
  • Eddy Piñeiro has a nice amount of support when it comes to public polling:

  • The Bears’ kicking competition hasn’t been as agonizing as I thought it would be. Yes, I know we’re only two practices into it … but we all know how quickly things can spiral. It’s good to see both kickers excel early. This is shaping to be a tightly contested battle between two guys hungry to make it into the league. There is something so pure about a genuine position battle at training camp, which is what makes this all the better.
  • Aaron Rodgers was facing the Packers defense, so I’d expect him to be “sharp as hell” all the time:

  • Ugh, bummer:

  • It’s worth noting that if A.J. Green’s injury lingers into the regular season, he could miss games against the Seahawks and 49ers — two NFC teams who could be battling for a postseason spot as Wild-Card entrants. It’s always good to keep in mind what injuries around the league could have an impact on the NFC playoff picture (even if they don’t involve NFC teams).


Author: Luis Medina

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