After taking a day off on Sunday, the defense continued to make things difficult for the offense in Monday’s practice. The defensive line and secondary made a handful of plays throughout the day
But more on that in a bit …
Quote of the Day
Today’s quote goes to … TE Ryan Griffin.
Question: Do the next two days in pads bring out something in you?
Oh yeah, oh yeah. This is where we get to see what we are made of as a team, as a offense really. I know Coach Flus is going to have the defense ready to go. I take personal responsibility in setting the tone offensively. It’s always a fun day. It’s a heated day. It’s testy but it’s fun. Hopefully, it’s going to be nice and hot and we will see what we are made of.”.Bears TE Ryan Griffin
Here are Nick’s observations in all three phases from the Chicago Bears’ fifth practice of 2022 training camp on Monday, August 1.
- For the second practice in a row, Justin Fields had to deal with a lot of pass rushers in the backfield. But when he did have time to throw, some of his passes appeared to be late. On a throw to Darnell Mooney along the left sideline, Fields’ pass was broken up by Jaylon Johnson, the ball deflected in the air and was intercepted by linebacker Joe Thomas. On another play in team drills, Fields missed a wide open Ryan Griffin along the left sideline. Safety Jaquan Brisker lost sight of Griffin, but Fields was unable to complete the pass.
- It wasn’t all bad for Fields. He rifled a pass to Nsimba Webster over the middle of the field in team drills. Kyler Gordon was just a second late, but Fields’ velocity on the pass made the completion happen. Fields also hit Mooney several times throughout the practice on routes heading toward the sidelines.
- Khari Blasingame made the catch of the day. The fullback ran a vertical route down the field and created separation on the defender. Fields didn’t throw the ball initially, which allowed the gap to close. Still, Blasingame dove for the pass and came down with the reception.
- Tight end Ryan Griffin had a nice day. He won a majority of his 1-on-1s. He beat Brisker on one of the reps in the period with Fields as his quarterback. Then he beat defensive back A.J. Thomas and finished the rep by throwing the ball towards the bleachers.
- The offensive line is still moving players in and out of the starting unit. Here is who lined up first: Riley Reiff (LT), Cody Whitehair (LG), Sam Mustipher (C), Ja’Tyre Carter (RG) and Larry Borom (RT). The second wave of starters featured Braxton Jones at left tackle and Michael Schofield at right guard.
- On the first play in team period, the offensive line made a nice running lane for David Montgomery. Later in practice, Khalil Herbert also had a decent run. Again, this was with no pads, but both plays appeared to create positive runs.
- The situational period to end practice was … not good. The offense had to score a touchdown with 1:30 remining in the game, having just one timeout and being down 27-24 from their own 30-yard line. To start, Fields would’ve been sacked on a handful of plays. Velus Jones Jr. also committed a false start penalty. And on one of the plays, Fields appeared to run past the line of scrimmage, then move behind it to throw the ball, which would have be illegal.
- Free-agent acquisition Al-Quadin Muhammad made a ton of plays in the backfield in Monday’s practice. During the situational period to end the day, Muhammed said he would’ve had “a couple” of sacks on the drive. For someone who has had a relatively quiet start in Chicago, especially since he had offseason surgery, it was a positive to see him making an impact on the defense.
- During the 1-on-1 portions of practice, the defensive backs did a good job of not giving up on plays even after the receiver caught the ball. Dante Pettis made a reception against Tavon Young, but Young finished the rep by punching the ball out. Rookie safety Elijah Hicks also had a similar play. Tight end Rysen John caught the ball in the flat but Hicks knocked the ball out, which made the defensive players cheer on the sideline.
- Jaylon Johnson had perfect coverage against Darnell Mooney during a rep in 1-on-1s. Fields tried to thread the ball to Mooney, but there simply wasn’t anywhere to go with the ball. Johnson and Mooney both ended up on the ground on the rep, but gave each other a fist bump as they were getting up.
- During team period, the safeties made some good plays, breaking on passes over the middle of the field. Hicks got himself a PBU against Velus Jones Jr. Eddie Jackson broke up a pass intended for Equanimeous St. Brown. (The ball went high up in the air and Dazz Newsome caught the ball.)
- Kindle Vildor played primarily on the outside opposite of Johnson in Monday’s practice. Kyler Gordon lined up mostly as the nickel cornerback.
- Justin Jones, for the second consecutive practice, applied pressure against the interior offensive line. He beat Cody Whitehair on a rep in 11-on-11s and forced Fields out of the pocket.
- During the final situational period to end practice, Eddie Jackson would’ve delivered a huge hit on Byron Pringle. Jackson read the play towards the right sideline. Fields made the throw to Pringle, but if the pads were on, man, that would’ve been a loud pop in front of the media.
- The Bears practiced a lot of kickoff return in Monday’s practice. David Montgomery appeared on the return unit, lining up at the “rattlesnake” position, which would be in front of the returners.
- Noah Dawkins recovered what looked to be a surprise onside kick from Trenton Gill.