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Chicago Bears Training Camp Practice No. 5 notes: Mixed bag from Justin Fields and the offense

Nicholas Moreano Avatar
August 1, 2023

LAKE FOREST — It had been a tough go for Tyrique Stevenson through the first four practices of Chicago Bears training camp.

The rookie second-round cornerback has been targeted a lot throughout camp. DJ Moore has won most of those matchups despite Stevenson playing tight coverage on a handful of those reps. Chase Claypool has won his fair share of 1 on 1s against the rookie and so has Darnell Mooney.

It’s not like Stevenson hasn’t won a matchup in training camp, because he definitely has, but on Monday, he made a game-changing play. Justin Fields went through his progressions and saw Claypool on an over route. Fields tried to hit his receiver, but the timing and throw appeared to be late, and Stevenson was able to undercut the route and make the interception in 11 on 11s.

It was exactly the play the rookie needed to make, especially since in the last three practices, including today, Stevenson has been splitting first-team reps with fellow rookie Terell Smith.

Those turnover-creating plays are also exactly what coach Matt Eberflus and defensive coordinator Alan Williams are looking for at the position. With the pads coming on later in the week, this could be a crucial stretch of days for Stevenson to show to the coaching staff that he is ready to be a full-time starter.

Stevenson wasn’t the only defensive back who made highlight-level plays during Monday’s practice at Halas Hall.

Here are the plays that stood out from the fifth training camp practice.

1 on 1s

  • Justin Fields started the 1-on-1 portion of practice by completing a pass to Robert Tonyan. Eddie Jackson covered the tight end, but Tonyan easily won his rep by using his strength to move Jackson out of position.
  • Fields then hit Darnell Mooney on an in-breaking route. The wide receiver was guarded by Kyler Gordon. Mooney showed off his footwork and ability to create separation on the play.
  • Jaylon Johnson was called for a penalty during his first rep against Chase Claypool.
  • Equanimeous St. Brown did a good job of getting open and creating separation against Kindle Vildor.
  • Nsimba Webster had a nice diving catch with A.J. Thomas in coverage.
  • Tyler Scott showed off his ability to stop and change direction on a pivot route that had the rookie receiver break to the outside after initially breaking inside. Scott beat rookie Terell Smith on the play.
  • Fields connected with DJ Moore for a touchdown with Jaylon Jones in coverage. Moore caught the ball in the middle of the field and then kept pushing up field while creating more separation from the cornerback. Moore then extended the ball once he got close to the pylon.
  • Fields connected with Claypool over the middle of the field.

11 on 11s

  • Smith got the start with the first-team defense. On the first play, the defense played sound coverage and forced Fields to throw an incomplete pass.
  • Justin Jones took a good angle during a Khalil Herbert run and likely would’ve made the tackle for a minimum gain.
  • D’Onta Foreman showed had some “big runs” to the outside during team drills.
  • Undrafted free agent Bralen Trahan out of Louisiana-Lafayette had himself a day. First he picked off P.J. Walker during team drills. Then during a two-minute drill, Trahan intercepted Fields, who threw a deep ball into double coverage into the middle of the field.
  • Fields connected, as usual, with Moore in the middle of the field on a nice throw and catch.
  • So far throughout training camp, DeMarcus Walker and Rasheem Green have been the two starting defensive ends throughout the team periods.
  • Green showed good burst off the edge and forced Darnell Wright to grab the outside of his shoulders. It looked like a clear flag, but the ref didn’t penalize the rookie. Still, the screen play failed to Foreman since T.J. Edwards was in the perfect position to blow up the play.
  • Terrell Lewis got in the backfield and would’ve had a tackle for a loss on the running back.
  • Fields connected with Khalil Herbert in the middle of the field. The quarterback looked like he wanted to go to Moore, who ran a double move on the outside against Johnson, but the veteran corner didn’t fall for the eye candy and stayed with Moore.
  • The offense got the defense with a Fields run up the middle. As soon as the ball was snapped, Fields went up field and got himself a good chunk of yards.
  • The two-minute drill for the first-team offense at the end of practice started with a bad snap from Lucas Patrick to Fields. On the next two plays, Fields connected with Claypool. The first completion was a contested catch against Stevenson. Claypool showed great hands on the rep. Then on the second play, Claypool displayed his body control and ability to get his feet down in bounds.
  • On that same two-minute drive, Fields connected with Foreman for two straight passes, but the drive ended with the interception by Trahan

7 on 7s

  • Smith attempted to guard Moore on a slant route, but was a bit too grabby and was penalized after the pass fell incomplete.
  • During the 7-on-7 portion of practice, Fields hit a lot of check downs. He completed passes to Scott, Moore, Claypool, Trestan Ebner, Tonyan, Khari Blasingame and Mooney.
  • A.J. Thomas had a nice PBU while he was defending Cole Kmet. Fields was the quarterback on the play.

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