Braxton on the Rise, Fields Finds Tight Ends, Brady Takes a Break, Refs Are Ruiners, and Other Bears Bullets

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Braxton on the Rise, Fields Finds Tight Ends, Brady Takes a Break, Refs Are Ruiners, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

I’m working with a new pair of glasses, so my apologies if things are off in any way today. That adjustment period hasn’t fully kicked in yet, and I’m feeling a bit off-center myself.

  • One last roundup of training camp observations from Bears Wire, NBC Sports Chicago, Bear Report, and CHGO before we enter the exhibition season. Thursday’s practice was the last one before the preseason, and I’d argue that might’ve been the best team showing in terms of balance. There were moments where I felt the offense clicked and thought to myself that “today is a win for the offense. And there were times that had me like here’s another day that’s a win for the defense. Thinking about it had me reminiscing to when I was a wedding DJ. You know you have a balance when fans of different genres say you’re doing a good job because you’re playing X.
  • This Justin Fields throw from yesterday was a beaut:
  • Trying to capture the perfect image really took me back to a different time in my life:
  • I hope Justin Fields’ connection with tight ends extends into the regular season. If it does, then now seems like a good time to buy Cole Kmet stock.
  • Anyway … Preseason football begins TOMORROW for the Bears at Soldier Field. And it’s already feeling like a choose your own adventure game:
  • One Bears regular I’d like to see an extensive amount of is left tackle Braxton Jones. The Southern Utah product has had quite a climb since being a Day 3 pick back in April. Once seen as offensive line depth, Jones has gone from trendy sleeper selection to be the Bears’ starting left tackle to entering the preseason as LT1 on the depth chart. In baseball jargon, we’d call this fast-tracking a prospect. And while he doesn’t figure to get a full snap share in a preseason game, I’d like to see him get as much as he can handle as a first test. I’m not saying the Bears need to immediately know if he is The Guy long-term after one preseason game. But it would be nice to give the rookie an early test against a new opponent.
  • For what it’s worth, Jones appears to be impressing Robert Quinn – who represents the in-house competition lining up across from the left tackle. And his recent review of the rookie has my attention. More from NBC Sports Chicago’s Josh Schrock:

“Athleticism,” Quinn said Wednesday when asked where he sees Jones’ upside. “That’s just one by itself. You can’t really coach that. So to be able to have that as an ability as young rookie, it only can go up from here. Take his coaching points and use his God-given talents and somehow mix them together, I think there’s a lot of upside to that.”

  • There are few players who will test a rookie left tackle like someone who set the Bears’ single-season sack record. That Jones is already getting rave reviews makes me feel better about Chicago’s tackle situation. And if it turns out the Bears were able to unearth a starting left tackle with a sixth-round pick in GM Ryan Poles’ first draft, I might consider the whole class to be a dub.
  • Dan Wiederer (Tribune) catches up with Bears players with local ties as they prepare for the preseason opener. The butterflies that are fluttering inside the likes of Micah Dew-Treadway, Davontae Harris, James O’Shaughnessy, and others with local connections have to be wildin’ out right now. Imagine the feels you’d get as you prepare to suit up for your hometown team. Chills.
  • Keep your eyes on the Bears here:
  • The AP reports Tom Brady is taking an 11-day break from the Bucs for personal reasons. Brady, 45, could have any number of reasons to take some time off. What’s left for him to learn at training camp anyway? Although, I must say the timing is peculiar as it comes as the Buccaneers and Dolphins are set to participate in joint practice sessions. And if you’ll recall, there were wild rumors about Brady angling to join the Dolphins in some capacity this offseason. Is Brady taking time off to avoid an awkward situation? I’ve had worse ideas.
  • While the Ravens got the win, it was Titans rookie Malik Willis making waves with a highlight-reel run:
  • Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter: Baltimore has now won 21 consecutive preseason games, which is an NFL record. The Ravens haven’t lost an exhibition bout since 2016. What a run!
  • For better or worse, Antonio Brown is 1 of 1:
  • Deshaun Watson is set to start tonight in the Browns’ preseason game. How many regular-season starts he’ll make is up-in-the-air right now. Perhaps we’ll gain clarity on that soon. Especially with a report that Watson would accept an eight-game suspension and $5 million fine. It would represent a meeting in the middle between two sides as it would increase the number of games he misses from 6 to 8 and come with a hefty fine, but also allow Watson to sidestep an indefinite suspension that would come with a minimum of missing at least one season:
  • Chicago remains undefeated in Iowa at the Field of Dreams! One year after Chicago’s South Side team pulled through with late-game heroics, the North Side Nine came out the gate swinging it:
  • And now, I’m wondering what the football equivalent of this would be? Where can the NFL play a game that provides a unique experience while honoring an iconic movie. Hmmm.
  • Imagine having someone on your fantasy team who does THIS:
  • OK, this has the potential to be fun:

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Author: Luis Medina

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