Velus Getting Better, Scott’s Got the Right Stuff, Sanborn Ramp Up, and Other Bears Bullets

I’m at Halas Hall for Bears training camp this morning. If you see me, say hi. I don’t bite.

  • Yours truly is looking forward to seeing how rookie receiver Tyler Scott performs after Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy spoke about him after Thursday’s practice. Because, on the one hand, Getsy didn’t seem shy about being willing to give Scott a chance to take an opportunity to run with it. This quote made me tingle (via The Athletic):
  • “He has come in with the right mentality. He’s a tough dude that works really hard and when you have talent and you have those two things, really good things are going to happen. So I think he’s a guy who’s putting that on display.”

    Talent and athleticism will take you only so far in the NFL. And as college football continues to churn out toolsy and skillful wideouts, the ones who can marry the hard work and skill aspects will be the ones who thrive at the next level. We’ve seen Bears young wideouts flash skill and ability, but you could tell how they were being deployed (and in some cases how they performed on game day with pre-snap penalties or hitting the wrong landmarks on routes) that not everything was clicking. There is so much that goes into being a good receiver that goes beyond being fast.

  • But there’s also this: Getsy was sounding like someone who was also wanting to pump the brakes on the speedy rookie from Cincinnati. Getsy said in his presser that he was trying to give Scott stuff that was in his wheelhouse, mentioning that there will be a development arc for a rookie coming from an offense that was stationary (compared to the Bears, who incorporate a ton of pre-snap movement). The Bears OC specifically mentioned times Scott wasn’t lined up perfectly and how that impacted his routes. Hey, pobody’s nerfect.
  • While receivers are on our mind, I find it encouraging that Jason Lieser (Sun-Times) sees second-year receiver Velus Jones Jr. is having a strong start to camp. And it brings us another great quote from Getsy:
  • “Velus has always worked really hard at it — always has. You can see it when he breaks the huddle. Last year it was like, ‘Am I even going left or right the correct way?’ He’s getting in his spot and he’s doing his assignments at a much higher rate. So all that stuff, you can see it in his game.”

    MORE: WATCH: Velus Jones Jr. Score His 1st Rushing TD

    Ahhh. Few things capture a player’s Year 2 growth like going from questioning everything to knowing what you’re doing. it’s the little things like that which show up in a big way. There is no denying Velus was riding the struggle bus last year as a rookie. It showed in his route running, return game foibles, and his playing time limitations. It wasn’t all bad, but the VJJ experience showed us that playing time was going to be merit-based under Head Coach Matt Eberflus. And I totally vibe with that.

  • Another thing I’d like to see what Bears celebs are on hand at practice. Nothing like seeing the alumni come back to campus:
  • Yo! Otis Wilson looks like he can still give the Bears a few downs on defense. Let “Mama’s Boy Otis” throw on some pads and see if he’s still got it. Go check out that Pro Football Reference page if you want a history lesson.
  • Speaking of linebackers, second-year player Jack Sanborn isn’t quite up to speed just yet. If you’ll recall, Sanborn ended the year on IR and wasn’t a full-go during offseason training activities. There was a belief that he’d be at full strength by the time training camp began. But as Alex Shapiro (NBC Sports Chicago) points out the Wisconsin product is still “ramping up” and hasn’t been in on team drills just yet. However, let’s not get too discouraged. Sanborn is still participating in individual drills. In his place, rookie Noah Sewell is handling the work load.
  • I’m not sure when “ramp up” became part of the football lexicon, but I don’t hate it. Heck, I definitely like it more than whatever it was before. Previously, I guess we’d just look as these players as still injured. And perhaps Sanborn is still feeling ill effects of that season-ending ankle injury. Or maybe the Bears are just playing it cautiously with someone they think is an important piece of their defensive puzzle. I’d rather they slow-play a player’s return and ease them back into the lineup than throw them to the wolves. We’ve seen far too many Bears coaches do that and stunt player development.
  • With all due respect to Head Coach Matt Eberflus, I hope he isn’t in charge of music the next two days when I’m there:
  • And I’m not even going to ask him to play any Taylor Swift. The guys don’t really need to be practicing while All Too Well (10 Minute Version) blares in the background. That really isn’t a practice vibe song.
  • The Bengals aren’t on the Bears’ schedule this year. But because I enjoy watching Joe Burrow (and rostering him on my fantasy team) I’ll be checking in on updates regarding his training camp injury as they become available via our pals at BN NFL.
  • The Windy City Bulls announced they are holding open tryouts in September. So if you think you can save Chicago’s basketball team, please show up. Our friends at BN Bulls have details on how to go about signing up.
  • Last night’s Cubs-Cardinals showdown was the most hilarious baseball game I’ve ever watched. And it all stemmed from a backswing:
  • And the memes did *NOT* disappoint:
  • written by

    Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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