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Hoge's Bears Things: How three key rookies performed on the first day of pads

Kevin Kaduk Avatar
August 2, 2023

Good morning! It was great watching a real football practice with pads on Tuesday.

Here’s what I saw from three key rookies:

DT Gervon Dexter Sr. — We’ve heard all the right things about Dexter since he was drafted in the second round in April, but Tuesday he backed it up with a strong performance. On one particular rep, he won with a quick get-off and a swim move to easily get the win.

After practice, Bears head coach Matt Eberflus admitted Dexter has to relearn how to execute a quick get-off and “he’s got to be more consistent with it.” Remember, Dexter was asked to read and react at Florida instead of firing off the ball at the snap.

DT Zacch Pickens — There’s been less buzz on the third-round pick, but I think Pickens showed a strong bull rush and put a couple backup interior linemen on skates during 1-on-1s Tuesday. Dexter probably has the better chance to make a huge difference as a rookie, but don’t be surprised if Pickens flashes when rotated in. I’m excited to see him in preseason games.

RT Darnell Wright — Wright’s first NFL padded practice wasn’t as impressive, but I thought he held his own in 1-on-1s. It was later in team drills that he let up some pressure. There’s going to be a learning curve for the young right tackle and I think he’s going through that right now (similar to second-round cornerback Tyrique Stevenson). Stevenson bounced back the last couple days after a wake up call in his first week of training camp, and we’ll see if Wright can do that this morning in his second padded practice.

Up Next: Eberflus said there will be significantly more reps in today’s practice at Halas Hall, so there’s a chance it’s the most grueling (and hopefully most entertaining) practice of camp so far. Whatever happens, we’ll recap it for you live at 3 p.m. CT on the CHGO Bears Podcast. Talk to you then!

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