Save for the Kiss Camp and the steady prompts for fans to make noise when an opposing batter has two strikes against them, Target Field isn’t a bad place to watch a baseball game. It’s actually quite good. I hope the Cardinals fans who sat behind me yesterday and scoffed at the notion that their favorite team’s park is “just OK” won’t be too miffed if I put Target Field ahead of Busch Stadium.
- I saved some nuggets from my notepad for today because I didn’t want Friday’s Bullets to be an epic that would have rivaled Homer’s “Iliad.” For a game that didn’t feature many starters, there was plenty to take away from experience. And while we explored most of the good, I still feel like there is so much to clean up.
- Last year’s effort from the Bears’ special teams unit left much to be desired last year … and it wasn’t all Cody Parkey’s fault. This year’s group isn’t off to an inspiring start after penalties and a 57-yard punt return by Terry Godwin gashed the unit. If there is a place where jobs can be won on this team, it is along the special teams unit. Punt and kick coverage were lacking last season and have been for some time (though the shortcomings that happened before Chris Tabor shouldn’t fall on his plate). Tabor, Head Coach Matt Nagy, and General Manager Ryan Pace need to keep a close eye on the bottom third of the roster for evaluations of special teams players. It would be a real shame if special teams hiccups throw off what is otherwise a championship-caliber roster.
- What QB3 does in preseason Week 1 is highly inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but I wish I felt better about Tyler Bray. Unfortunately, an 8-for-17, 85-yard performance that cooked up a 62.1 passer rating isn’t helping. And I find it will be difficult to evaluate receivers on the bottom part of the depth chart if their quarterback isn’t putting the ball where it needs to be.
- I suppose Bray is a perfectly cromulent third-string quarterback because he is familiar with Nagy’s system and can properly communicate it to starting signal caller Mitch Trubisky. But part of me wishes there was another arm in camp to give the position group some juice. Granted, having a fourth quarterback at training camp would be a logistical nightmare, would complicate things such as practice rep snap share, and rock the boat when smooth waters are totally acceptable. HOWEVER, I feel as if the Bears might be better served with a developmental arm who could grow into a backup role. Let’s face it, Chase Daniel isn’t going to be QB2 forever.
- Chuck Pagano is saving the good stuff for the games that count, right:
New #Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano blitzed on 33.3 percent of passing plays against the Panthers.
In the Bears first preseason game in 2018, Vic Fangio blitzed on 31.8 percent of passing plays.
So far, not so different
— PFF CHI Bears (@PFF_Bears) August 9, 2019
- Adam Shaheen’s return to practice is a welcome sight:
Adam Shaheen is moving really well today. No signs of the back pain that’s plagued him pic.twitter.com/vBL5Esrflp
— Bears Barroom (@BearsBarroom) August 10, 2019
Adam Shaheen with a diving one-handed TD catch
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) August 10, 2019
- It looks like TE1 is starting to get into the swing of things, too:
Trey Burton is back at practice for the #Bears today.
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) August 10, 2019
Photo evidence: Trey Burton in positional drills pic.twitter.com/qXnrpMv7GT
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) August 10, 2019
- Before leaving practice early with an injury, Anthony Miller was doing good stuff:
Anthony Miller Beats Michael Joseph for a TD in the first 1-on-1 drill of the day. #Bears
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) August 10, 2019
- UPDATE: He’s good, tho:
- Opposing defenses should probably get used to seeing “Montgomery 32” running away from them:
David Montgomery has had an impressive start to his NFL career. Stood out in camp. Stood out yesterday. Nagy is licking his chops after drafting a PERFECT scheme fit. Opposing defenses better make sure their shoe laces are tight cause #32’s got some serious cuts.
Full highlights: pic.twitter.com/SphRxaePK5
— Flo Ottis (@flo_ottis) August 9, 2019
- That look is worth a thousand words:
- Do not underestimate the importance and value of players who like playing and blocking for your team’s starting quarterback:
Right guard Eric Kush blocked for Mitch Trubisky last year and now he is blocking for Baker Mayfield. “It was a blast blocking for Mitch and it’s a blast blocking for Baker,” he said. #Browns, #Bears, @MentorAthletics pic.twitter.com/9z8W3AHxYi
— Jeff Schudel (@jsproinsider) August 9, 2019