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Chicago Bears Training Camp Observations: Justin Fields displays accuracy in intense practice

The intensity picked up a notch on Thursday for the first open (public) practice of Chicago Bears training camp. Although the offense had some miscues, there were a handful of explosive plays throughout the day and some nice throws from quarterback Justin Fields to note.

But more on that in a bit …

Quote of the Day

Today’s quote goes to … Darnell Mooney.

Question: How curious are you to see the wide receiver room come together with so many unknowns?

I feel like everybody, if they just work, extremely workー I’m going to take another, not risk, but task to help everybody out. I know I can’t just do everything on my own. I have to be able to have help around the field. I need guy that I can trust, that Justin can trust, and they can help out in the offense as a whole. So if everybody is working, working, we can do anything but get better.

Chicago Bears WR Darnell Mooney

Here are Will and Nick’s observations in all three phases from the Chicago Bears’ second practice of 2022 training camp on Thursday, July 28.

Reminder: This was a non-padded practice. Pads will come on next Tuesday, August 2.

Offense

  • Justin Fields’ best throw of the day came in the 7-on-7 period. Fields connected with Cole Kmet on a seam route in the middle of the field. Kmet made a back-shoulder catch in between two defenders for at least a 30-yard completion. 
  • The biggest play of the day happened when Fields found Darnell Mooney in the middle of the defense. Mooney had to extend to make the catch, but he kept his balance and outran the secondary for a 78-yard touchdown. 
  • Fields completed a nice side-arm pass to Mooney in the team period of practice. Jaylon Johnson had good coverage, but Mooney dove for the ball and made the catch. 
  • Center Lucas Patrick had to leave practice due to injury. He was seen being able to walk under his own power. Rookie Doug Kramer took over in his place.
  • Second-year tackle Teven Jenkins was not present at practice.
  • In 1-on-1s, second-year wide receiver Dazz Newsome made a contested catch against BoPete Keyes. Newsome showed the ability to get in and out of his breaks, which gave him just enough space to complete the play.
  • Also in the 1-on-1 period, Velus Jones Jr. matched up with Kyler Gordon. Jones ran a double move, faking the post and finishing with a corner route, and made the catch against Gordon. That is two days in a row where Jones got the best of his fellow rookie.
  • Byron Pringle came away with a 30-yard catch after creating good separation at the top of the route against Kindle Vildor in 1-on-1s. The move to create space generated an audible reaction from the crowd.
  • Kmet had a good catch along the sidelines with Eddie Jackson in coverage. The tight end had to extend his arms and was able to catch it with his fingertips. 
  • There were several drops throughout the practice: Pringle dropped an accurately thrown ball from Fields along the left sideline. N’Keal Harry had a ball go off his hands over the middle of the field. Also, Khari Blasingame dropped a pass in the flat.
Jul 28, 2022; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears tight end James O’Shaughnessy (80) and Ryan Griffin (84) during training camp at PNC Center at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Defense

  • The defense had to redo a drill three times today because they did not run full speed. On the whistle, the unit had to run to a specific corner in the end zone from their own 35-yard line. Coach Eberflus was not satisfied with their effort and you could hear Coach yell, “You can’t fake it” to his players.
  • Rookie cornerback Kyler Gordon had more reps at nickel today. He mentioned after practice that he enjoys playing the position and that it allows him to use his complete skill set as he likes to play the run and be physical. 
  • Gordon may have played more in the slot today because Thomas Graham Jr. was not present at practice.
  • Jaquan Brisker had another play on the ball with a pass break up. He was also seen lining up outside at corner at times, an interesting wrinkle on defense.
  • Eddie Jackson had an interception on a ball that went off Harry’s hands. 
  • Newcomer Lamar Jackson made a few solid plays in coverage. He had a pass break up against Velus Jones Jr. with physical coverage. He also made an impressive interception on a Trevor Siemian throw where he had to lay out for it. 
  • The Bears sent defensive backs on blitzes today. Eddie Jackson and Gordon both were found in the backfield on different plays.
  • Duke Shelley made a nice play in the backfield, closing in on Mooney in a hurry and making the tackle, but he still got yelled at by his coaches for not trying to knock out the football. 
  • Jack Sanborn looked very strong in a drill against a blocking sled, making a serious “pop” that stood out compared to his teammates.

Special Teams

  • The primary focus on special teams today was installing kickoff and kick return packages. 
  • The Bears had four different players field kickoffs today: Velus Jones Jr., Byron Pringle, Khalil Herbert and Trestan Ebner.
  • In addition to Cairo Santos, rookie punter Trenton Gill also took some reps kicking the ball off. Gill was a kickoff specialist in college and could end up with the job.

Podcast: Full Practice Recap

YouTube Replay

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