© 2023 BSN LIVE, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
LAKE FOREST — The Bears are getting healthy at the right time.
Jaquan Brisker and Dylan Cole were the only two players that did not participate during the period of practice open to the media Thursday at Halas Hall. In uniform were the recent new additions: Offensive lineman Dan Feeney, punt returner Trent Taylor and defensive lineman Khalid Kareem.
Here’s what the newest Bears had to say during their introductory press conferences.
If you were to build what a Chicago Bears offensive lineman could look like, it would probably look like Dan Feeney. The 6-foot-4, 310-pound interior lineman sports a mullet and a mustache and likes to drink beer.
This “Super Fans” look started for Feeney during the COVID-19 pandemic. Feeney couldn’t get to the barbershop, like everyone else, and his hair kept growing. When he finally got an opportunity to get a haircut, he asked for the mullet.
The Orland Park native grew up a Bears fan, which meant he also grew up hating the Packers. His grandmother would play the Super Bowl Shuffle on VHS while she babysat him.
“Yeah, it’s cool,” Feeney said. “It’s really cool. I’ve played them a couple of times. Played the Bears twice already in the NFL. So it’s just really cool, having it come full circle, you know, for me is a kid growing up in Chicago, growing up as a Bears fan.”
Feeney adds seven years of NFL experience and versatility to an offensive line room that will be without Teven Jenkins for at least the first four weeks. Right now, Feeney’s focus will be learning the playbook and doing whatever he can to help maximize the potential of the younger players.
When and if Feeney does get an opportunity to play, he will do so with a style that Ryan Poles and Bears fans will appreciate.
“Yeah, I like getting gritty out there for sure,” Feeney said. “It’s the best part about football when you get a knockdown, a little pancake, something like that. So I definitely enjoy those moments on the field. You know they are hard to come by cause everybody at this level is a top-tier athlete but you got to love those moments where you can, you know, have a little fun with it.”
Trent Taylor played the Bears at Soldier Field during his rookie season with the 49ers in 2017. He not only left Chicago with a 15-14 victory but also had a career-high 92 receiving yards on six receptions.
His performance was obviously memorable but so was what happened before the game.
“Yeah that was a memorable one for a lot of different reasons, but I had food poisoning the night before the game so I was like throwing (up), like I never went to sleep,” Taylor said. “So I like called it the Chicago Flu game is what we joke about. But yeah, it was a fun one, it was very memorable for me. I think that’s the most yards receiving that I’ve ever had in a game was here in Chicago. So hopefully I can keep that up.”
It’s tough to say how much Taylor will play on offense, but there is no question he will make his impact felt on special teams — specifically as the punt returner. Taylor admitted it’s weird knowing that he has a job on the team despite not knowing many people in the building or knowing the offense at this point.
But his ability to successfully return punts is what landed Taylor in Chicago. For the veteran return man, he couldn’t quite pinpoint the exact art that makes a good punt returner.
“I’m not sure, honestly, I’ve just, I don’t know,” Taylor said. “I’ve had good ball skills my whole life. I kind of attribute it to playing centerfield in baseball my whole life, learning how to track down fly balls. I guess that kind of helped me be a good punt returner. Yeah, so I don’t know. I’ve just been naturally good at tracking the ball and I’m confident back there. I’m ready to take a hit if I need to. So yeah, it’s all about confidence and poise and just trusting yourself and getting it done.”
Matt Eberflus wasn’t just keeping an eye on his team during the joint practices between the Bears and Colts. Defensive lineman Khalid Kareem left an impression on Eberflus in those joint practices and now he is a member of the Bears’ organization.
“And I saw him play the run well a couple times and also saw his motor,” Eberflus said. “I really liked his motor. It runs hot. He’s a great effort player. He’s very physical. So we like that about him. And we’re excited about developing him in our system.”
Kareem came away impressed with how the Bears practiced in Westfield, Ind. The 6-foot-4, 268-pound defensive lineman noted that the Bears “brought a lot of competitive energy,” “guys were flying around,” and it was a “tough practice.”
Assistant general manager Ian Cunningham said in Wednesday’s press conference that Kareem showed he could check more of the boxes that the Bears are looking for in the defensive end position with his ability to play the run and pass while also being “more of the scheme fit” that the defensive staff covets.
Watch our latest show on YouTube!
Get Chicago's Best Sports Content In Your Inbox!
Become a smarter Chicago sports fan with the latest game recaps, analysis and exclusive content from CHGO’s writers and podcasters!
Just drop your email below!