Today marks the last practice of training camp before Saturday’s preseason game against the Chiefs. How exciting is that? Football is coming. football is almost here.
Alright I understand. Pre-season football is not for everyone. But it is comforting to see that first snap and hear the shock of the pads worn by players from opposing teams. Two more nights of sleep until we get that feeling back.
- Boot camp workouts aren’t always highly anticipated, but this one is different when you wake up. That’s because this is the first practice star linebacker Roquan Smith can practice with his Bears teammates. Smith started camp on the roster physically unable to perform. Not because anything was wrong, notice. But because he planned to sit down anyway as he awaited a resolution to his contract dispute. The 25-year-old linebacker is entering the final year of his contract and wants an extension. But with negotiations stalled, Smith publicly made a trade request through NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. And a day after doing so, the Bears removed him from the PUP list. Drama!
- Everything can be so simple, sometimes: activating Smith from the PUP list exposes him to fines ($40,000 per day, via Tribe’s Colleen Kane) if he does not practice. I don’t believe the Bears *SHOULD* fine him. The team may choose not to. But after being trolled publicly after playing nice by putting Smith on the PUP list while his contract issue was unresolved, I think the time to handle things carefully is over. This thing could get ugly.
- Ah, well, at least that counts as good news:
- Smith’s teammates are hoping for a quick resolution, wrote 670 Chris Emma from The Score. I can’t say I blame them. Keep in mind that Smith is a stallion advocate. Though he’s yet to earn any Pro Bowl appearances, Smith has two second-team All-Pro nominations and has been a tackle machine since coming onto the scene. And if Shaquille (formerly Darius) Leonard is a shining example of the value of an elite talent in this position in defense of Matt Eberflus, then perhaps Smith has only scratched the surface of his potential. . So… yes, I would also like to see it in the lineup. If I was a neutral party, I would have minimal interest in looking at the Bears defense after going through the linebacker depth chart. It’s not pretty.
- An interesting quote from Darnell Mooney on the Smith saga, via Emma’s article linked above: “You see this all the time with players trying to put pressure on the organization just to try and get a deal done. It’s nothing I can do or anything, so I just watch from afar. It’s probably worth noting that Mooney is watching from afar, seeing that he’s eligible for an extension from him at the end of the season. And if he achieves a second straight 1,000-yard season as he establishes himself as this team’s leading receiver, Mooney could be up for a contract similar to Diontae Johnson or Terry McLaurin. With that in mind, I watch from afar as Mooney watches from afar.
- One of Smith’s former teammates, Cordarrelle Patterson, changed his Twitter profile picture in solidarity with Smith. Dude, I’ll tell ya, watching Patterson recruit online is a lot more fun when he’s on your favorite team than when he’s on another team trying to poach one of your favorite players.
- SI.com’s Albert Breer steps in to give his thoughts on which teams he sees as possible adjustments. A team Breer thinks he’ll make because it’s the Broncos, who he says could be considered “a heart and soul player” for defense the same way Russell Wilson is for offense. Also on the list are the Chargers, who have a winning window now, a potential need if Kenneth Murray’s health is an issue, and the Bears are linked with Brandon Staley and Khalil Mack. The Cowboys appear like an adjustment in Breer’s eyes because it could allow the team to be more creative with linebacker Micah Parsons, the most dynamic defenseman on the defense. So let’s keep an eye on these teams to see if there are any sniffles.
- Among the good news from camp, here are some updates from Justin Fields:
Watching this offensive practice has been spotty at best. But it wasn’t ALL bad:
- One thing that I think some people may lose sight of when watching summer workouts is that the whole point of training is to work on things. This all it is practice makes perfect cliché is a thing for a reason. Clichés become a thing because they contain a grain of truth. And the reality is that the Bears offense is on the ground floor of a building process. I’m not here to make excuses for this team, nor do I want to. But the truth is this: There will be tough times for a unit featuring a freshman play caller installing a new scheme for a sophomore quarterback after an offseason in which the front office didn’t failed to address offensive concerns by making significant upgrades. in the trenches or at the play posts.
- In other words: the Bears’ main concern right now, at this point in training camp, should be to keep racking up progress days. Let’s see if they have another one today.
- An example of stacking days and progression:
- Sun-Times reporter Jason Lieser drilled it with this tease:
- What’s really annoying about this whole situation is that – in 2018 – it looked like the Bears/Chicago City had finally gotten their act together. The Bears switched to turf from a renowned New Jersey turf farm that specializes in professional sports stadium grass. That problems are already arising is a problem. The City of Chicago, which owns and operates Soldier Field, should do better with its major tenants.
- If you’re the kind of fan who laughs at your team’s weaknesses, then this is for you:
- For your listening pleasure:
- The Tigers should use the above logo more often. It’s funny!
- Laugh all you want, but Trader Lu Handbook rule #2 is that you can’t get what you don’t ask for in trade negotiations: