UA-59049186-1 Chicago Bears 2020: Training Camp Preview - Offense - Good if it Goes

Chicago Bears 2020: Training Camp Preview – Offense

(Photo credit: Stacy Revere, Getty Images)

So here we are. Everything that could go wrong for the Bears last season did and then the world followed suit shortly after. We’re still not out of the woods, but we’re going to play football. The stands may not be full. It’ll look a little different. But we’re playing football. Also different – there won’t be fans at training camp this year. I loved the annual trips to Bourbonnais. Even when the state of Illinois took forever to fix I-57. Even when Nagy was hired and decided practice should be at 8:30 A.M. And it’ll suck not being at camp this year, but since they’re moving camp to Halas Hall anyway and had no idea pre-pandemic of who or how many would be let in, I can file this under “could be worse” and hope they use the year to figure the logistics out. We’re still playing football.

Being that there won’t be fans in attendance at camp, I will obviously have no firsthand reports for you. Being that we’re not sure who among the media will be let in, I have no idea at this point how accurate secondhand reports will be. If the papers can still cover practice, we’ll only need to use a grain of salt and decipher some reporter-speak. If Larry Mayer’s the only one covering camp, we’ll need a little more salt.

That oughta cover it.

But we’re still playing football, so I’m still previewing football. And that starts by going over the things I want to hear coming out of camp. We’ll start on offense.

Quarterback

Thing I want to hear: Foles looks like Philly Foles. 2013 Foles is probably a pipe dream, but even if he’s the guy from the second stint, the Bears are in great shape. There was a sizable chunk of the Eagles fanbase that wanted to keep him over Carson Wentz, and honestly, there was an argument to be made there. If he’s that guy and wins the job, the Bears have B+ QB play. If Trubisky beats that guy out, it’s even better.

Thing I don’t want to hear: Anyone struggling to grasp the offense. The whole point of bringing in Foles is that he’s familiar with the offense and should be ready to go even without a pre-season. If Trubisky still can’t grasp the offense in year 3 and with multiple QB specialists in the room, he’s never going to.

Thing I will dismiss entirely: Anything to do with Cam Newton. First of all, team activities were limited to Zoom calls due to the pandemic, and now there’s no pre-season for him to learn the offense. Also due to the pandemic, the Bears couldn’t get him in for a physical. Does he have a higher ceiling than Foles? Absolutely. But so does Trubisky. They need a guy with a high floor. That’s where Foles comes in.

Running Back

Thing I want to hear: The team finds some quality depth. It should be decided once and for all that Tarik Cohen is a flex player. Give him some carries, sure, but move him around the field, take advantage of his speed and receiving ability, and screw with opposing defenses. That being decided, the Bears need another running back. Your author predicts that Artavis Pierce is not the answer here and Pace should find a veteran to ease the burden on Montgomery and provide some injury insurance. Tampa Bay already snatched up LeSean McCoy and the Chiefs will likely be active in the free agent market after Damien Williams opted out of the season, so Pace should get a move on here.

Thing I don’t want to hear: Montgomery is struggling. RBs tend to adapt to the NFL quickest of anyone on offense. We need real proof this year that Montgomery is more than just a guy.

Thing I will dismiss entirely: Anything to do with Ryan Nall. It’s not happening. There was an opening last year and Pace opted to sign Mike Davis.

Wide Receiver

Thing I want to hear: A legitimate WR2 has emerged. Doesn’t matter if it’s Miller or Ridley, but one of those guys needs to stake a definitive claim to the spot.

Thing I don’t want to hear: Bad blood forming between the Bears and Allen Robinson. Robinson’s due for a contract extension, but the Bears need to make sure they can make it work cap-wise. The pandemic didn’t help matters, because thanks to a projected shortfall in revenue, the cap is expected to go down next year. Hopefully, the Bears make it clear Robinson’s a priority and Robinson understands the business aspect of all of this.

Thing I will dismiss entirely: Darnell Mooney hype. Watching his tape, I see why people are excited. And, I talked about this in the draft class recap, but I’ll say it again here: were it not for the fact that this class was super deep at receiver, he probably goes a round or two higher. The fact remains, though, that he is a rookie at a position that usually takes a little time to adjust to the NFL.

Tight End

Thing I want to hear: There’s still something left in Jimmy Graham. Hopefully, his mediocre run in Green Bay was just a result of the Packers not knowing how to use tight ends and he can give the Bears a quality year or two.

Thing I don’t want to hear: Cole Kmet struggling with NFL defenders. His tape shows a fundamentally sound player and I’m not worried about him learning the offense. I am concerned that he’s just not athletic enough to be a great TE in this league.

Thing I will dismiss entirely: Anything to do with Jesper Horsted. Again, not happening. They don’t bring in an aging Jimmy Graham AND use a 2nd-round pick on a TE if they think they’ve got a gem here.

Offensive Line

Thing I want to hear: The coaching change is paying dividends. Leno flat-out disappointed last year and I’m hoping this is the year we see Daniels be the lineman he can be.

Thing I don’t want to hear: Germain Ifedi struggling at guard. a) Kelechi Osemele was out there. b) If Ifedi can’t hack it, the options are…uh…kick Massie inside and play Jason Spriggs at RT? Vice versa? Trust a 7th-rounder? Hope Coward improved a ton? Not ideal.

Thing I will dismiss entirely: Arlington Hambright hype. Given his athleticism, he’s bound to have one day of practice that impresses whatever media is there. Don’t get carried away about that. He may be a decent depth piece, but I don’t think we can expect any more than that.

 

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

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