Growing Pains, Quotable Kmet, BoJack the Leader, and Other Bears Bullets

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Growing Pains, Quotable Kmet, BoJack the Leader, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

The first day of open training camp practices didn’t disappoint. You can check in on my adventures here.

  • The Athletic (Fishbain and Jahns) and NBC Sports Chicago (Schrock) have expanded takeaways from Day 2 at Bears camp. While the Tribune (Wiederer) explores rookie learning curves as camp rolls on.
  • A friend who isn’t as perpetually online as me (or you who are reading this) asked me what the Bears offense looked like on Thursday. Fair question. Good question. The best way I could put it was by saying they look like a team in the early stages of learning a new offense. To be clear, I’m not writing this in a derogatory manner. In fact, this is what I was expecting to see from the Bears in their first open training camp practice at Halas Hall. There were ups (Justin Fields had sparkling throws to Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet) and downs (I get as annoyed by offensive line false starts in July as I do when I see them in September). Because of the nature of football under a first-year head coach, rookie play-caller, and second-year quarterback, I imagine there will be more days like this early in camp.
  • So one thing we’ll be looking for is to see if Fields can steady the ship. These practices can’t all be oil paintings, but taking steps in the right direction and getting down a few good strokes would make for an encouraging development. I reckon the Bears brass believes Fields can overcome these types of situations. Otherwise, I feel as if GM Ryan Poles would’ve done more to create safeguards in an attempt to make a most pristine situation for Fields in 2022. (I wrote as much earlier in the offseason.)
  • I’m not sure one player was a better example of how uneven an early summer practice can be like N’Keal Harry. In a matter of snaps, Harry went from being unable to haul in a pass on the boundary from Fields to making a contested catch on the boundary while showing some toe-drag swag in getting both of his feet in to secure the completion. This is what it will look like at practice. Again … we’re talking about practice. And these are just the beginning stages. I’ll never tell you how to fan, but what I can do is ask for you to have some patience as these players (particularly the newbies) get their feet wet.
  • The most encouraging thing from Thursday’s practice might not have been a throw or catch. But instead, this quote from Cole Kmet:
  • It is good too see that the offseason chemistry building from Kmet’s practice time with Fields and Mooney this summer is already paying off in practice. Only 44 days until we get to see it in a regular-season game.
  • On the other side of the ball, a veteran has praise for a rookie:
  • Feeling good about the defense is old hat around these parts. But that Bears secondary has the potential to be a strength if veterans Eddie Jackson and Jaylon Johnson play as well as they have in the past and if rookies such as Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker play to their potential. There is some real talent here. And that is a good thing, especially when you think about how pass-happy the league is right now.
  • Jaylon Johnson was right when he said everyone in Bearsland is getting chewed out if they deserve it. Eddie Jackson was on the receiving end of a verbal lashing during Thursday’s practice. But that’s all part of embracing a leadership role. Mark Potash (Sun-Times) has more on Jackson leaning into the old-head role after seeing the likes of Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, and Danny Trevathan leave town.
  • Just imagine how good this defense will look when Roquan Smith jumps off the PUP list. For what it’s worth, Smith was looking physically fine while roaming the sidelines on Thursday. I’d guess we are a strong extension offer away from seeing Smith taking the *UN* out of physically unable to perform.
  • A tough break for the Bucs, but it sure looks like they have some worthwhile backup plans with center Ryan Jensen out for the year:
  • We still don’t know the severity of Lucas Patrick’s reported thumb injury (UPDATE: We do now). And until we do, keeping free agents like JC Tretter, Matt Paradis, and Billy Price in mind as depth options would be wise. Then again, the Bears chose Doug Kramer in last April’s NFL Draft for a reason. That the team hasn’t moved Kramer suggests this brass feels as if his long-term future is at the position. Otherwise, the Bears would likely be pushing versatility angles like they are with Larry Borom and Teven Jenkins, who are both spending time at left and right tackle.

“I know they came out and said they fired me, but I had already decided that my time was up at CHGO just because of some things that I thought were unprofessional in the way they ran their business. That was my decision. And like I told my kids, man, you do something like that, you pay the penalty. You take the punishment, and then you try to become a better person and try to learn from every situation.”

  • Kreutz would go on to say later: “I’d love to tell my whole side of the story, but obviously people have advised me not to talk too much about it.” Sigh. It can be difficult to admit fault in a situation. But sometimes what is as important is stepping away and growing from adverse situations. Here’s hoping that can happen at some point down the line. A lot of people like his commentary on Bears football and offensive line play. But the incident at CHGO led to his departure there and appears to be a determining factor in him not returning to NBC Sports Chicago.
  • Hey, these names are familiar!
  • I guess we’ll be keeping tabs on Dan Graziano over the weekend:
  • For your listening pleasure:
  • One of the most unique things about this podcast appearance featuring myself and Eli was our ability to draw parallels in the Bears and Bulls rebuilds. They’re starkly different paths, but some of the similarities in the starting points and early transactions are too notable to overlook. With that in mind, I hope you give the podcast a listen. Follow, rate, subscribe, and all that good stuff.
  • More from Eli, who notes how it’s different here:
  • The one player I would risk it all to have on my favorite team:
  • Well, that’s quite a decision:


Author: Luis Medina

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