The final weekday practice is in the books down in Bourbonnais. Today was not a padded practice. It was more of an installment day and preparation for the first preseason game against the Panthers on Thursday night. The following players did not practice today: Trey Burton, Emanuel Hall, Jesper Horsted, and Tanner Gentry. There were some lineups for the offense and defense today. We will have to see how that plays out in the preseason. Also, right before camp, the unofficial depth chart was made public for the first time.
Cordarrelle Patterson had a handful of attempts out of the backfield today. That should be expected a few times this season. The best offensive look was a two-running back set with Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis. This is a formation that the team needs to have on the field more often. It was a play that should have happened more last season. It could become more common this season with the young, talented running backs at the Bears disposal. The battle between Javon Wims and Marvin Hall is still going strong. Both players had decent days again. It seemed to be more of a down day for Hall, who had a few drops. However, he makes up for it is in his ability to play on special teams. Another offensive player who had himself a solid day was rookie wide receiver Riley Ridley. He made several catches and showcased all-around solid route running.
The defense continued to cause issues all day. Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd both got to the quarterback quickly in the scrimmages. A defensive formation that will be fun to watch is the single-high safety. There was an instance today when Eddie Jackson came down for a blitz and he was right behind Mack. That play certainly would have resulted in a sack for Mack in a normal game. It was good to see some different types of pressure coming from the defense. Prince Amukamara had a few interceptions during scrimmages, one of which was gifted to him from Adam Shaheen who knocked his own pass away. There was an interception that was lateraled over to Eddie Goldman, who ran it back for the touchdown. That play took place at the end of the scrimmage for the first team players. As I mentioned in yesterday’s recap, keep an eye out for Clifton Duck. He continued to hover around the ball, which resulted in another interception and a pass breakup.
It was mentioned after practice today that the kickers had a day off from attempting field goals. Instead, we got to see some work on kickoff coverages, which needs to be further addressed due to below-average results last season. After the true kickoff portion, the kickers attempted some onside kick scenarios. The goal was to place the ball in certain areas, and both kickers ended up with one good and one bad attempt each. The battle for the kicker is still open. At this point, it does not seem like either candidate is in the lead for the job. It will be very interesting to see what Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace have up their sleeves come preseason games.
One name that stood on offense today was Ellis Richardson. He made several big-time catches and displayed his ability to get open. Taquan Mizzell Sr. was all over the field today making catches as well. During the screen plays featuring the tight ends and wide receivers, the biggest takeaway was the blocking ability displayed by most of these players. They definitely take pride in that area of the game. The most impressive feat was Bradley Sowell moving quickly to throw down a stiff block. This team is different in all the right ways. You can tell that all the players will do whatever it takes to win. It’s not a solo game; it’s all about about the team.
Should we expect to see any starters on Thursday? Which undrafted player could make this roster?
Featured Photo: Chicago Bears