Chicago Bears June Scouting Report
It's been a month of good vibes for the Bears. They recently held their Bears100 Celebration Weekend in Rosemont, IL, and it was quite a sight to see Hall of Famers and fan favorites mingle with current players and fans. Optimism about the offense continued to abound as the team wrapped up its minicamp last Thursday, but not all of the recent news has been positive. Let's recap the past few weeks:
QB Mitch Trubisky, his teammates and coaches have all talked about how he has a much better grasp of head coach Matt Nagy's offense now that he has a full season of it under his belt. "We're way ahead as far as timing, operation, getting to the line of scrimmage, getting in and out, adjustment on all of our plays and just knowing where to go with the football, especially against all of these different looks that the defense is throwing at us," Trubisky recently told the Chicago Tribune. WR Taylor Gabriel added, "He's not just trying to figure out what the play is. Now he gets to look up and look at the coverage. It's just a drastic change from last year." Now of course, we tend to hear this sort of optimism quite often during/after minicamps. It will be intriguing to see how much better Trubisky looks once training camp kicks off next month.
RB David Montgomery, who signed his four-year rookie contract last Friday, has impressed coaches with his competitiveness, sure hands and precise route running. The attributes he's mainly known for (contact balance, vision, elusiveness) won't truly be evident until the pads go on next month, but so far Montgomery looks every bit the versatile weapon that Nagy and GM Ryan Pace were looking for at this position.
Nagy is optimistic that WR Anthony Miller (offseason shoulder surgery) will be ready in time for training camp late next month. He was able to participate in individual drills during minicamp. Rookie WR Riley Ridley has impressed coaches with his route running, hands and attention to detail. Undrafted free agent WR Emanuel Hall recently underwent sports hernia surgery, and Nagy is hoping that he will be ready for training camp. Hall was oft-injured in college, so it's going to be an uphill battle for him to get healthy and make a good impression on the coaches in camp/preseason.
Nagy announced late last month that TE Trey Burton also had sports hernia surgery in the offseason, taking many people by surprise. Nagy is optimistic (there's that word again) that Burton will be ready to go for training camp. As evidenced by their struggles without him in their playoff loss to the Eagles, the Bears really need a healthy Burton to give Trubisky another reliable short-to-intermediate target.
OLB Leonard Floyd is reportedly bigger, stronger, and ready to have a breakout season now that he is healthy. If he can stay on the field and increase his sack total from past seasons, he can take some attention away from OLB Khalil Mack and take the defense up another notch. Rookie CB Duke Shelley has been impressive, showing the ability to play nickel or on the outside. Meanwhile, new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano continued to install his version of the 3-4 defense at minicamp. OLB Aaron Lynch told the Chicago Tribune that it's similar to the 3-4 the Bears ran last year, but with different terminology, some new calls, and "an intensity to get after the quarterback."
PK Chris Blewitt was waived during last week's minicamp, leaving the Bears with two kickers on the roster, PK Elliott Fry and PK Eddy Pineiro. None of them really stood out in minicamp.
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