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Chicago Bears Training Camp Observations: Justin Fields elevates the wide receivers in Wednesday's practice
The Bears returned to Halas Hall for their 12th training camp practice. Despite the number of pass catchers continuing to be sidelined, Justin Fields is still making plays and efficiently operating the offense.
But more on that in a bit …
Quote of the Day
Today’s quote goes to … Cairo Santos.
Cairo Santos was asked about the field conditions at Soldier Field.
Especially Week 1, our first game of the season. I’ve seen better. It’s just what we have to deal with. Less of a problem you make it in your mind it just kind of helps you overcome it and just go.Bears K Cairo Santos
Here are Nick’s and Will’s observations in all three phases from the Chicago Bears’ 12th practice of 2022 training camp on Wednesday, August 10.
- Overall, it was a much better day for the Bears’ offense than Tuesday’s Family Fest at Soldier Field. Multiple receivers stepped up (more on that in a moment) and the quarterbacks delivered on multiple big plays. After a day where the offense could hardly complete a pass downfield, they responded well.
- Justin Fields really delivered today, making multiple big throws despite mostly throwing to the reserves. He carved up the defense with deep throws over the middle and along the sidelines. His ball placement was impressive with multiple passes threading the needle. He made some anticipatory throws, where he released the ball before the receiver got out of their breaks.
- Dazz Newsome made a couple standout plays – but his best one was hauling in a deep ball from Nathan Peterman in team drills between multiple defenders. He almost came down with a “Hail Mary” type ball in the end zone going up over multiple defenders, but could not hang on to the ball on his way down to the grass.
- Isaiah Coulter came down with a ball over the middle, beating Jaylon Johnson in coverage. He also made a good grab along the sideline on a perfectly placed ball from Fields near the end of practice. Darnell Mooney revealed in his post-practice press conference that the play was designed for him, but Coulter lined up in his spot. Coulter took advantage and made a highlight catch in team drills.
- Kevin Shaa made the biggest catch of the day on a touchdown throw from Trevor Siemian. Shaa beat the defense over the top, and Siemian placed the ball perfectly as Shaa was able to catch it in stride, scoring from over 50 yards out. Shaa also caught a ball on a shallow cross, turning it into a big gain by running away from the defense.
- In team drills, the Bears rotated offensive linemen throughout the practice. The starting unit stayed as normal: Braxton Jones (LT), Cody Whitehair (LG), Sam Mustipher (C), Michael Schofield (RG) and Riley Reiff (RT). As the afternoon progressed, the entire unit changed during team drills. Shon Coleman played left tackle, Lachavious Simmons filled in at left guard, Doug Kramer at center, Ja’Tyre Carter filled in at right guard and Larry Borom moved over to right tackle.
- Teven Jenkins did practice – making this his third consecutive day – and primarily played with the third unit, but he did see some playing time with the second team. Jenkins still appears to be in the ramp up period.
- In 1-on-1s, Jenkins went up against rookie Dominique Robinson and the rookie easily got by Jenkins by swiping his hands away. However, on the next rep, Jenkins prevented Trevis Gipson from collapsing the pocket.
- Also in 1-on-1s, Borom had two back-to-back reps where he won. Against Carson Taylor for the first rep Borom walled him off, forcing Taylor to take a wide angle. Then against Charles Snowden the second-year player held his ground and made a solid block.
- David Montgomery did not practice. This does not appear to be injury related. Khalil Herbert and Trestan Ebner rotated in the backfield with the starters. Herbert had a couple chunk plays thanks to his patience and vision, allowing the lanes to open up – all while continuing to gain yards upfield.
- There was a surprise play where running back Darrynton Evans caught everybody off guard with a pass out of the backfield.
- With multiple cornerbacks not participating in practice, Lamar Jackson made his presence felt today. He had multiple good plays on the ball during 1-on-1s, getting a PBU while covering Equanimeous St. Brown. He followed that up with an interception a few minutes later. Jackson also took reps with the first team.
- On a similar note, Jaylon Jones was playing at nickel with the first team. Reminder: Kyler Gordon, Thomas Graham Jr., Kindle Vildor, and Tavon Young all did not practice today.
- Linebackers Matthew Adams and Nicholas Morrow made multiple good plays against the run. They were flowing to the football well throughout practice, stopping multiple runs for minimal gains. On some of those run stops, you could hear the hitting be delivered by both players.
- Eddie Jackson made some aggressive plays – both on the ball and on receivers. The most notable play was on a deep ball from Fields to Tajae Sharpe over the middle. The ball was on the money to Sharpe, but Eddie Jackson dished out a good hit and forced the incompletion. Also on that play, Justin Jones got through the interior of the offensive line and would’ve sacked Justin Fields on the rep.
- As noted by the Bears unofficial depth chart, Khalil Herbert got the first reps at kick returner. Dazz Newsome got the first opportunity at punt returner.
There were A LOT of players who didn’t practice on Wednesday. The Bears will play their first preseason game on Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Quick Training Camp Takeaways
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