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Chicago Bears Training Camp Practice No. 12 notes: Justin Fields and the offense still working on cadences

Nicholas Moreano Avatar
August 10, 2023

LAKE FOREST — Darnell Wright played in an offense at Tennessee that rarely huddled. The tempo was fast and points went up on the score board frequently.

In the NFL, that isn’t exactly how things work. The Bears in Wednesday’s practice showed how different the pro game is to college. One distinct difference is the cadence and the different variations of them.

During the first team period, Wright was called for a false start. Later on in team drills, Braxton Jones was also flagged for a false start penalty on third down.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus said he would have to go back and look at each penalty to determine what caused them, but he did mention when you use so many different cadences and change them up, those pre-snap penalties are “gonna happen.”

“I would just say right now we’re working our cadences as an offense, so you’re working all different types of cadences,” Eberflus said. “We’re changing them up every single day and we’re doing that on purpose because that can be a weapon as an offense. We’ve gotta do a really good job with that and we’re gonna continue to grow that and the guys are working hard at it.”

Fields used his cadence as a weapon in the practice to identify Kyler Gordon creeping up to the line of scrimmage and capitalized on the tell from the defense.

“Yeah, I mean that’s the whole point of having the cadence, right?,” Eberflus said. “So you can see the tells of the defense. So it’s important that we’re able to do that. And also slow the d-line down, because they’re not sure what the cadence is. They’re always trying to jump the snap count, all those types of things. That’s why you use it as a weapon and we’re gonna continue to do that. That was a great example when he did see the pressure coming he was able to sight off of it and it was a good play.”

Fields and the rest of the offensive line will get an opportunity to continue working on their different cadences in Thursday’s practice and also on Saturday against the Tennessee Titans.

But before that happens, here is a recap of some of the notable plays from Wednesday’s padded practice at Halas Hall.

1 on 1s

  • Justin Fields had an overthrow to DJ Moore down the left sideline, who was being covered by Jaylon Johnson on the play.
  • Darnell Mooney caught a pass against Kyler Gordon despite Gordon being called for a penalty. Nice post route by Mooney.
  • Gordon and Mooney went up against each other again, and this time Gordon played tight coverage on a corner route and didn’t give Fields much space to work with. The pass fell incomplete.
  • Johnson lined up against against Moore again, and had good coverage on an in-breaking route. Johnson batted the ball out of Moore’s hands.
  • Chase Claypool lined up against Tyrique Stevenson on the right side. Stevenson tried to jam Claypool at the line of scrimmage, and Claypool tried to counter Stevenson’s jam buy pulling on his jersey and throwing him to the ground. Claypool ran his route and then couldn’t hang on to make the catch. When Claypool was walking back, he and Stevenson had some words that I cannot repeat. Cornerbacks coach Jon Hoke took Stevenson and tried to coach him up. Claypool and Stevenson continued to go back and forth with each other. The heated words kept going after Claypool attempted to run a route against Jaylon Jones, but the wide receiver grabbed at his hamstring and stopped his route. Claypool again said something to Stevenson and still had words to say for the rest of practice. The injury kept Claypool out for the remainder of practice, but he was still on the sidelines.
  • Velus Jones beat Kindle Vildor on his rep, but P.J. Walker’s pass was off the mark.
  • Daurice Fountain had a bad drop after he got open deep on his rep against Greg Stroman Jr.
  • Aron Cruickshank ran a nice post route and got open against Macon Clark for a touchdown.
  • Stevenson had good coverage on Isaiah Ford downfield and got his hand on the ball for a PBU.
  • Cole Kmet created good separation against Andrian Colbert in the middle of the field for a completion.

11 on 11s

  • The Bears worked on a lot of third down situations during team period.
  • Fields had a completion to Kmet to the right side. Then he completed a short pass to Mooney on the left. Fields also connected with Equanimeous St. Brown and Moore.
  • Noah Sewell had a nice play on Brown in the middle of the field. Fields had what appeared to be a competition, but Sewell punched the ball out of Brown’s hands and picked up the ball and returned it to the opposite end zone. The play would’ve been an incomplete pass.
  • Fields saw an opening in the defense and ran the ball to his right. It would’ve been a good gain, but there was a holding penalty.
  • Fields connect with Moore on a short pass to the left. Sewell was right there to stop the play near the sideline.
  • On a third-and-long play, Fields was forced to run because Dominique Robinson applied pressure off the left side. The defense ran an effective stunt on the play.
  • Josh Blackwell had a nice tackle on Roschon Johnson in a middle of a pile of players.
  • Khalil Herbert had a good run up the middle. Elijah Hicks was right there to make the tackle.
  • Andrew Billings created some good pressure up the middle.
  • On third-and-2, Roschon Johnson got a handoff with the first-team unit and got the first down.
  • Walker found Khari Blasingame in the flat to the right for a big gain. Trevis Gipson was the nearest defender and finally got Blasingame after 15+ yards.
  • Walker was able to get the left defensive end to jump offside, but Doug Kramer had a bad snap to Walker. The quarterback had to run back to get the football. Eberflus had to move out of the way.
  • Stevenson nearly had an interception on Fields. Moore was running a route of the middle of the field to the right. Fields tried to sidearm the throw, but it was behind the receiver and Stevenson almost made a big-time play.
  • The Bears did a situational drill from their own 30-yard line tied at 0 with 1:40 remaining on the clock. Robinson got himself a sack against Braxton Jones on the first play. On the next play, Fields found Moore down the left sideline for a big completion. Stevenson and Colbert were in coverage, but the throw and catch beat the coverage. Fields then had a run to the right and connected with Mooney on the left side on the next play. Fields then hit Herbert on two straight passes before clocking the ball with 16.5 seconds left. Fields found Herbert again for a short gain. Then Fields had an incomplete pass to Moore in the end zone. Gordon had tight coverage on the play. On fourth down, Fields threw the ball to Herbert who was short of the line to gain.
  • Micah Baskerville intercepted Walker in the middle of the field and returned it back for a touchdown. Later on in two-minute drills, Baskerville got himself another interception.

7 on 7s

  • During the first period on 7 on 7s, Fields completed passes to Moore, Blasingame, Brown, Roschon Johnson and Herbert.
  • In the second attempt, Trestan Ebner dropped a pass. Hicks was in coverage on the short route. Fields completed a pass to Moore even though the pass was behind him. Great hands by Moore on the play. Fields found Moore again on the right side, and also completed a pass to Nsimba Webster.

Other Observations

  • During special teams drills, Claypool talked to one of the refs about his rep against Stevenson. Claypool tried to plead his case to the ref. Then immediately after, Claypool went over to wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert and also discussed with him how his rep with Stevenson went.

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