The Chicago Bears are a major work in progress, along with training camp. On Saturday, the team held its fourth camp practice at Halas Hall, continuing to sort through the roster’s battles and move on to the next week when the Pads arrived.
We learned three things from Saturday’s action in Lake Forest.
1. Rookie Kyler Gordon is looking forward to taking the lead as the top slot corner of the defence.
Gordon was the Bears’ top draft pick in April, being selected at No. 39 in Round 2. And it has been clear from the start that the Bears have been impressed by his passion for the game, ability to change direction and play skills. After four camp drills, Gordon is setting himself up for a role in which he can play outside in the Bears’ base defense while slipping into play nickelbacks in sub packages.
This rookie has not only accepted the challenge of playing in the slot but has also raised his hand to do so.
“It’s a big deal when players want to do what you tell them to do,” Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams said on Saturday. “Some people are just obedient. They go, ‘Hey, Coach, I’ll do whatever you tell me to do.’ But when you have a guy who wants to do what you’re asking him to do, you’re getting that guy a little extra edge in terms of performance.”
Gordon was emphasizing this week that he enjoys playing slots and values his experience playing at the University of Washington, learning to sharpen his vision and developing reaction skills helped him Is.
“I like nickels,” he said, “and I like what I can do there.”
Williams said he already senses that Gordon is set to become the Bears’ top slot corner, impressed by his quick-twitch athleticism, size and intelligence.
“There’s going to be a learning curve because this is the NFL,” Williams said. “But we feel good about the direction he’s lined up (correctly), where his eyes are and then just pretending.”
Williams also called Gordon “a ball magnet”. “For some reason he’s always around football,” he said. “And when he is, he turns it over.”
2. Wide receiver Equinemius St. Brown is trying to use his familiarity with Luke Gatsey’s offense to help his teammates.
St. Brown spent four seasons with the Green Bay Packers, including three, while Getty was the quarterback coach and passing game coordinator. Gatsey immediately contacted St. Brown when free agency began, and St. Browne joined the Bears on a one-year contract.
That familiarity has given St. Brown a leg up in the crowded wide receiver room in the early days of camp. St. Brown said that while Getsy has added a few new wrinkles to make it unique, it’s similar enough that he feels very comfortable in it, even mentoring teammates.
St. Brown said, “There are very few times where the coach misses, the receiver coach can miss, and I would intervene on what happened in a game or what can happen when you’re actually out.” Or give me your two cents.” “Sometimes I intervene and help.”
St. Brown made 37 catches for 543 yards and touchdowns in three seasons with the Packers and missed 2019 with an ankle injury. But St. Brown said he believes he is back on track and “ready to show his talent and take his game to the next level.”
Getsy said St. Brown’s best football is ahead of him since maturing last season after the Packers roster was not kicked out of training camp.
“I saw a guy turn into a pro, and I was very impressed by his mindset, brutality and the way he attacked every day, how he handled it,” Getsy said. “I’ve always loved EQ and thought he was a good player and then I saw him go through that adversity and it’s all leaning on the way he handled everything. That leadership and the experience that he got.” He passed, he’s too good for us.”
3. Left guard Cody Whitehair feels connected with the new offensive tackle Riley Reef.
Over the past decade, the Reefs were a well-known name for the Bears due to their nine seasons and 127 NFC North starts with the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings.
Reif joined the Bears on a one-year contract, opening training camp to possibly tackle the starting left, and Whitehair, the player standing next to him, preferred extra.
“Riley is great,” Whitehair said. “Coming from the second relay, I felt like we had a bond. I don’t know if it’s because we’re both NFC north linesmen or what. But Riley has the same mindset as mine. A guy who works hard It’s a boy who is about to study and do the right thing.”
Because he signed off late, the reef is getting ready for full participation in practices. He took the rep on Saturday in a first-team left tackle with another new veteran, Michael Scofield, who was on right guard a few reps. Offensive tackle Teven Jenkins stayed out of an undisclosed illness.
“Any time we can compete here, it’s a good thing, especially with people who have a lot of experience,” Whitehare said of Reef and Scofield. “It’s only going to improve our room and help us grow as an offensive line.”