The Chicago Bears were back at Halas Hall on Tuesday for OTA’s and the media was in attendance. Victor Cruz spoke for the first time and Kevin White expressed “it’s time to turn it up” after being plagued by injuries his first two years in the league.
Other storylines have come from Lake Forest and that’s the focus point in today’s post.
Jordan Howard has lost weight and has improved his diet this offseason. Howard, who rushed for 1,313 in his rookie campaign, wants to be 225 pounds come the start of the season.
Coming out of college, we knew Howard was not a fast back. Howard is a thick, fight for extra yards type runner. His speed is not good enough to out-run secondary players but maybe it has improved with diet and weight change.
Even if the speed does not improve, it should not stop Howard from another very productive season. Howard’s patience and efficient in the zone game led to a lot of success last season. Hoping that the Bears offensive line is healthy and with Kyle Long coming back, Howard can put up even better numbers in 2017.
Kyle Fuller says his knee is healthy, which was first reported by Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Fuller, who missed all of last season after undergoing a knee scope in the preseason, is not a lock to make the roster. The Bears declined his fifth-year option, which did not come as a surprise to many.
After a productive rookie season, which Fuller had 4 INTs and 3 forced fumbles, his second year did not match with his first. And for his third year, missing all of the regular season hurt his development and future with the team.
“I’m really just focusing on doing my job every day, Fuller said Tuesday. It’s just an opportunity for you to compete every day. So I’m looking forward to the opportunity I have right now.”
Fuller is going to have to work hard to stay on the roster. Bears GM Ryan Pace signed two cornerbacks this offseason in Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper. And with Cre’Von LeBlanc having a impact in his rookie year, Fuller may have become an afterthought. And after defensive coordinator Vic Fangio went after Fuller in a press conference last season, many thought he would be gone by now.
Fuller really needs to impress the staff or he could be cleaning out his locker. Still only 25, Fuller could bounce back and win the starting job. If there is one thing about the NFL is that anything can happen. I think Marcus Cooper will win one cornerback spot but the other one is up for grabs. LeBlanc would be a better fit as the nickel corner, so Amukamara and Fuller will be teammates but enemies at the same time.
Mark Sanchez hurt his knee Tuesday at Halas Hall but is expected to be back in time for training camp.
Sanchez, who was a backup in Dallas last season, was a smart sign by Pace. After being a mentor to Dak Prescott in Dallas last season, the Bears hope he can bring the same wisdom to Chicago. By the looks of it right now, Sanchez seems to be a lock to make the roster.
With plenty of experience, Sanchez adds more football IQ to the QB room. While his reps may be limited, there is no doubt Sanchez will embrace his role. As Mitch Trubisky will take the developmental route, it’s good to have multiple veterans around him.
Leonard Floyd was not at OTA’s on Tuesday and the Bears gave no reason as to why he was a no show. While the O means optional, not many players miss unless they want a new contract.
Floyd, who missed four games his rookie season, should not be missing these days. The Bears did not say he is injured so that gives off a feeling that he just did not show up. These days are very crucial for development and team chemistry. With no media allowed on Thursday, one would hope Floyd is back at Halas Hall.
The next time the media is allowed at Halas Hall is on June 6th.
Bears remaining OTA schedule: June 1-2, June 5-6, June 8-9.