Written by: John Stocco
If the Bears held their training camp in a dome it would have been filled to the rafters this weekend. The atmosphere was incredible, and people from all over the Chicagoland area wanted to make their presence known by watching the Bears back in action after a remarkable 2018 season. Here are the notes I took after the two days of Bears training camp.
Chuck Pagano’s Approach.
After this weekend, it made people realize how much better the Bears defense can be in 2019. That is insane to think about after what we saw last year. Chuck Pagano’s approach is going to be more aggressive. You’re going to see a defense that’s going to send the house to get to the quarterback. Not only were Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks complete beasts this weekend, but we saw plays where Buster Skrine crept up to the line of scrimmage to get into the backfield. The Bears defense in 2019 will be in an all-in plan to attack. That’s frightening for offenses on their schedule.
The Bears Have Two Kickers.
Yes. You read that correctly. The jokes are over folks. Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro came to training camp competing for a job in the NFL. Fry kicked on Saturday and went 7 for 8, and hit a 60 yarder. Pineiro responded by going 7 for 8 and hitting a 63 yarder. The kicking situation is looking up right now, but Bears fans and the decision-makers for the Bears need to see these two in full equipment, kicking in a game to be convinced. It’s a competition that could go through the full four weeks of preseason.
There Might Be a Problem at Tight End.
Trey Burton isn’t back yet, and Adam Shaheen, the one player that needed a big camp, is out with a back injury. The Bears right now have Ben Braunecker, Dax Raymond, and the former offensive tackle Bradley Sowell at tight end right now. If Burton can’t stay healthy, and Adam Shaheen can’t put it all together, then the Bears might have found their biggest weakness.
Run D.M.C. is Living Up to the Hype.
I know it’s way too early to tell, but I’m going for it. Davis, Montgomery, and Cohen are going to be the best running back trio in the NFL, and this weekend made me more confident in that prediction. Mike Davis not only has the strength, but he has the quickness to go with his huge build. He put together some nice blocks on the linebacker blitzes. David Montgomery has been everything you expected him to be. Just like at Iowa State he explodes out of the backfield, slips out of tackles, shows incredible vision, and disappears when he runs between the tackles. Tarik Cohen, what else can I say? Incredible entrance to camp, and picking up right where he left off the past two seasons as a runner, a receiver, and a return man.
Flying Under The Radar.
Two players who were making plays all weekend were Taylor Gabriel and Javon Wims. Wims who in my opinion was fighting for a roster spot to begin the season was putting on a clinic. Footwork, speed, hands, route running, all of it was crisp. Wims looked determined out there. He looks like he wants to make an impact for this team, and he came ready to make his mark. Taylor Gabriel is someone who was crucial to this offense last season, and more importantly, he’s made a difference in helping make Mitch Trubisky a better quarterback. Gabriel is going nowhere, and this weekend he showed how much of a dangerous playmaker he can be for this team.