The Chicago Bears: What We've Learned in Training Camp So Far
The Bears are essentially through just a little over a week of training camp, but many things have been learned in that short amount of time. Let’s take a look at some of the most important things that have been happening in training camp so far this preseason.
The Bears, like any other team so far this preseason, has suffered injuries that are affecting the continuity of the team in terms of putting things together on both sides of the ball.
Perhaps the two biggest injuries suffered so far in training camp have been to their two potential starting safeties, Chris Harris (back) and Major Wright (groin). Losing these two has been a detriment to the Bears plans on defense.
Harris and Wright (as mentioned possible starters) are losing vital reps with the defense. Not only does it hurt Harris and Wright, but it also hurts the rest of the team. They aren’t getting to practice with these guys and learn their tendencies, as well as building camaraderie. This is definitely a situation worth keeping an eye on.
Wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias has also had some problems staying healthy although he is starting to come back from his injury. His time on the side has really affected his development and he may not be on pace with some of the other wide receivers on the roster. He has a lot to make up during the remainder of training camp. Other players have suffered some minor injuries during training camp, but most everyone is back and practicing again.
Running back Harvey Unga was placed on injured reserve after suffering a severe hamstring injury during training camp. It looks like he will get his shot to make the roster next season, but this bodes very well for both Kahlil Bell and Garrett Wolfe, who were battling for that third and fourth starting spot.
Offensive Line Makeup
Many people felt that the Bears had things pretty much locked in on the offensive line heading into training camp. It was though that the starting tackles would be Chris Williams and Frank Omiyale, the starting guards Roberto Garza and Josh Beekman and the longtime center Olin Kreutz, but things may be changing.
Center and right tackle (Williams) are pretty much locked up, but the other positions appear to possible see some shifting. Right tackle (Omiyale) may be a certainty, but he’s kind of in a bit of a battle himself.
The guard position is where the changes may up being most significant. The Bears really like the play of last year’s draft pick Lance Louis (and he’s looked pretty good in camp so far) and have him in Garza’s old spot and moved Garza over to the other side.
At any rate, the Bears need to hurry up and start setting their offensive line because it’s important that the quarterback, running backs, and tight ends work with the same group to build chemistry between one another and make things work. This needs to happen soon.
Defensive Odds and Ends
The Bears and their fans seem to really like what they are seeing out of the Bears defense, especially the defensive line and it appears as Julius Peppers is everything that he was made out to be, at least in practice.
He has helped to make everyone look better on the line and should do the same during the regular season.
But the biggest knock on Peppers during his career has been that he will take plays and sometimes entire games off. Since the Bears need him to be 100% all of the time, any “time off” he takes could be detrimental to the team. They paid him to play 100% all of the time and he has to do so.
The Bears released their depth chart on Monday and had the position of H-back listed on it. Their starting H-back, at least for now, is Desmond Clark.
Why was it so strange to see the position listed on the depth chart?
Mostly because the Bears haven’t used an H-back since I have been a fan so it’s interesting to see how this is going to work for the Bears. I think that Clark could be a good H-back so we will see what happens with him in this offense as training camp goes forward.
Offensive Woes Gone?
Ask anyone who has seen the Bears practice and they will tell you that the offense has been looking pretty good lately. However, we must keep in mind that this offense is only going against it’s own defense and this offense knows how this defense operates so they have a little bit better time of it in training camp.
Preseason games will give us an inside look into how the Bears offense will operate against opposing defenses, but it should be known that the Bears do everything in the preseason that they will do in the regular season. They aren’t going to reveal everything that they plan to do, of course and will focus more on players than on plays.
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