For Saturday’s fourth practice at Halas Hall, the defense (particularly the front seven) made plays in the backfield throughout the day.
But more on that in a bit …
Quote of the Day
Today’s quote goes to … Mason West — former Chicago Audible podcaster and Physical Therapist at Team Rehabilitation.
Age is just a number. Velus (Jones Jr.) is out here cooking people.Mason West
Here are Nick’s observations in all three phases from the Chicago Bears’ fourth practice of 2022 training camp on Saturday, July 30.
Reminder: This was a non-padded practice. Pads will come on … potentially Monday.
- Justin Fields had to evade the rush for a large portion of practice. But towards the end of practice in team period, he connected with Velus Jones Jr. along the left sideline. Fellow rookie Kyler Gordon was in coverage, but the pass was perfectly placed and Jones made a diving catch and appeared to get both feet in bounds on the play. This was easily the best throw and catch of the day.
- Veteran offensive linemen Riley Reiff and Michael Schofield both were in the starting lineup in today’s practice. Reiff at left tackle and Schofield at right guard. However, they did split time with Braxton Jones (LT) and Sam Mustipher (RG) throughout the day.
- N’Keal Harry made a nice catch along the right sideline. Lamar Jackson was in coverage, but Harry dove to make the catch in bounds.
- In team period, Fields and David Montgomery had some miscommunication on a handoff that led to the ball falling to the ground.
- Chris Finke showcased his route running ability against Tavon Young in 1-on-1 coverage. Finke created a lot of separation from Young, made the catch and then turned up field.
- Fields found a wide open Byron Pringle during the team portion of practice. Pringle did a good job of finding the open spot in the zone defense.
- Equanimeous St. Brown started off the 1-on-1s today by getting a open on a slant route. Since OTAs, Brown has been creating enough separation and using his 6-foot-5 frame to get open when running slants.
- Nicholas Morrow nearly made the play of the day in 11-on-11s. Eddie Jackson came on a blitz and that forced Justin Fields to find his “Hot” route, which was David Montgomery out of the backfield. Morrow read the play and had his hands on what could’ve been a pick-6.
- During the 1-on-1 portions of practice, Jaylon Johnson had nearly perfect coverage on Byron Pringle. Johnson kept Pringle in front of him, undercut the route and got his hands on the football. He couldn’t, however, make the interception. In the crowd, one man can be heard saying, “That’s 20!” — meaning Johnson has to do 20 push-ups. It was one of Johnson’s older brothers.
- Justin Jones got through the interior of the offensive line a few times in Saturday’s practice. On one of the plays, Jones forced Fields out of the pocket, which resulted in Fields’ pass being thrown out of bounds.
- Duke Shelley made several good plays on Saturday. In 1-on-1s against Darnell Mooney, Shelley didn’t give up on the route, despite Mooney coming back for the football and getting his hands on the ball. Shelley knocked the football out of Mooney’s hands to force an incompletion. Shelley also closed the space on a reception by tight end Jake Tonges, preventing him from getting a first down.
- Kindle Vildor also made a nice play against Mooney. Fields threw a high ball to the flat and Vildor closed the gap and knocked the ball out of Mooney’s hands.
- Dominique Robinson showed some good pursuit from the backend on an end around.
- Al-Quadin Muhammad beat the block by one of the Bears’ tight ends in 11-on-11s and drew a clear holding penalty. Muhammad would’ve made the tackle on the running back in the backfield.
- The Bears practiced a lot of kickoff return in today’s practice. Trenton Gill showed off his leg during kickoffs. And kicker Cairo Santos nailed a 52-yard field goal towards the end of practice.