Training camp is scheduled for July 28, and for the first time in 18 years, the Chicago Bears won’t be in Bourbonnais. And because of the COVID-19 pandemic, fans won’t be allowed to attend practices at Halas Hall, either. With camp approaching, let’s take an early look at who’s on the team right now.
• 2019 stats: 1 sack, 5 QB Hits, 10 tackles, 1 tackles-for-loss, 1 fumble recovery, 76.7 grade from Pro Football Focus in 5 games
• 2019 stats: 1 sack, 2 QB Hits, 29 tackles, 2 tackles-for-loss, 70.7 grade from Pro Football Focus in 15 games
• 2019 stats: 0 sacks, 2 QB Hits, 27 tackles, 1 tackles-for-loss, 52.0 grade from Pro Football Focus in 15 games
• Roy Robertson-Harris, Brent Urban, Abdullah Anderson, John Jenkins, Trevon McSwain, Lee Autry, LaCale London
What to Watch For:
Even though Bilal Nichols is listed as the starter above, I see the third defensive lineman spot similarly to how I would view a platoon between two baseball players. The way the Bears defense uses Nichols with Roy Robertson-Harris is one of my favorite things to watch on game day. It’s the kind of game-within-the-game thing football dorks nerd out about (present company included. These two players complement each other well, bringing different skill sets to the field. However, both can play at any down and distance. And from an offensive scheming perspective, that’s a tough draw. Neither player is a game-changer on an individual level. But both can cause havoc in the backfield as soon as the ball is snapped.
We Really Like:
Is there anything better than when Akiem Hicks is Mic’d Up?
That was a rhetorical question. Of course there isn’t:
If anyone needs me, they can find me preparing to run through a wall for No. 96 in navy blue and orange.
We Might Be Worried About:
I’m not sure the Bears are equipped to lose Akiem Hicks. Again. We saw what happened last year when Hicks went down with an injury and missed an extended period of time. The defense simply wasn’t the same. Don’t get me wrong. I see how they held down the fort in his absence. The Bears’ ability to tread water without Hicks is a testament to the players on that defense and the coaches in the room. But that group didn’t have the same bite when Hicks was sidelined. For the sake of fairness, I don’t imagine many teams would fare too well without the heart of its unit’s defense.
Some of this from Hicks:
A little bit of this from Goldman:
And even some from Robertson-Harris and Nichols, for good measure: