Allow me to take a quick moment to show some love to everyone who has shown me some when seeing me at games and training camp practices this summer. I knew I was missing fan interaction in 2020, but seeing those friendly faces in person this summer really drove that home. Can’t wait to see you out and about in 2021!
• The highlight of being at Bears practice on Monday was getting
a free bobblehead team-branded sunscreen a magnet schedule to see Justin Fields take a rep with the first-team offense. More on that in a moment. But the throw of the day might’ve been this:
— Funky Cold Luda (@lcm1986) August 23, 2021
• Justin Fields is throwing some dudes into consideration for roster spots. As things currently stand, I think Rodney Adams will make the season-opening 53-man roster after seeing what he has done with both Fields and Andy Dalton. But Jon’Vea Johnson was an off-the-radar camp addition who Fields has been linking up with while working with the bottom half of the receivers depth chart.
• And while fitting Johnson onto the season-opening roster just doesn’t make sense, it’s possible that his production could land him on the practice squad. Once you’re on the practice squad, you are one call away from the game day roster. Admittedly, seeing Johnson on the game-day roster in 2021 would likely mean something has gone terribly wrong at the top of the depth chart. However, it would be nice for the Bears to accumulate developmental options who the team can groom into bigger roles as time evolves.
• As for Fields’ first team reps, they were too few and far between for me to draw up a grand conclusion on what I saw. It remains as simple as this: Fields looks like the best QB with the most talent in camp. His mobility opens up options pre- and post-snap. And his arm allows for so many more downfield shots. That he is getting practice reps (not just drills, mind you) with first-team offensive players is a step in the right direction. Even if it isn’t the full slate of snaps we would all like to see.
• Perhaps more important than getting a handful of first-team practice reps early in the week is the chance to start and play behind the first-team offensive line in a game. Fields will start on Saturday against the Titans because Andy Dalton will start in Week 1. Many will gravitate to Dalton being QB1 as being the hook of the story. HOWEVA … the bigger deal for me is Fields with the first-team line.
• These practices mark the first time the Bears have fielded a full and healthy line. But it’ll also be the first time any Bears QB has gotten a chance to work with five first-team offensive lineman in a game situation. That’s not inconsequential. Dalton won’t even get that until the season kicks off on in 19 days. So here’s hoping Fields and center Sam Mustipher hit it off and the rest of the line does its part. Because it sure would be nice if Fields and the line had a level of comfort ahead of whenever his time to start officially comes.
• New LT Jason Peters is a quote machine:
“Come watch the game or practice and see if they can see that I’m 39.” (Chris Emma)
“When you stop loving the game, then you let it go. Right now, I still love doing it.” (Colleen Kane)
“I don’t really think I have anything to prove. I just want to win. Get another ring.” (Adam Hoge)
• On the other side of the line, it was nice to see Germain Ifedi return to action in a practice setting. Having a representative right tackle – someone who has done it before and knows tricks of the trade – is nice. And while I appreciate getting players like Lachavious Simmons opportunities to get some trial-by-fire action, there is a certain sense of ease that comes to mind knowing the starter with a first-round pedigree (and great expectations) is healthy and ready to go.
• I have mixed feelings about this tweet:
The takeaway bucket is getting a workout at today’s practice. Some ill-advised throws from Andy Dalton and Justin Fields.
— Jeff Dickerson (@DickersonESPN) August 24, 2021
• Maybe this is why the Bears seem to have 6-9 tight ends in camp every summer:
Busy day for Jesse James. Every other tight end on #Bears roster is out this morning. Jimmy Graham is getting a vet day. Cole Kmet still sidelined with a hamstring and Jesper Horsted, JP Holtz & Scooter Harrington are injured.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) August 24, 2021
• Jason Peters has experience as a college tight end. Just saying…
• An important fashion update:
OK, a lot of you have been asking what happened to the visor, so I finally asked Matt Nagy today:
"More than anything, the sun tan lotion wasn’t working so I was getting like a visor tan on my head."
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) August 23, 2021
• The Colts have waived Eddy Piñeiro, giving the place-kicking duties to Rodrigo Blankenship. Piñeiro, who was set to be the Bears’ kicker this time last year before a groin injury took him out of action, was nails again this preseason. He didn’t miss a kick while with the Colts and could ultimately latch on somewhere before the regular season begins. I’m glad the Bears aren’t among the teams looking for kicking help. In fact, the Bears have an enviable situation in which they have two kickers who have been looking good this summer. Seeing Piñeiro hit waivers makes me think there might not be a trade market for Brian Johnson, the Bears’ camp leg. But I suppose that could be good news for the Bears, who have a nice break-glass-in-case-of-emergency option in Johnson.
• Extending a popular and productive wide receiver? I thought that was a myth:
• I could get used to this guy stopping shots for the Hawks:
• OH, COME ON:
ESPN’s Updated Power Rankings Pick Bulls as the 6th-Worst Squad in the Easthttps://t.co/g8bavTnqfl
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) August 23, 2021
• The Cubs have been a tough watch since the trade deadline, but I imagine getting this guy back would help matters:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) August 23, 2021