Bears fans and the media got their first taste of rookie Head Coach Matt Nagy. Feedback after practices and the players first impressions of the new head coach this week at Halas Hall were positive overall. Nagy and his staff ran a three day voluntary veteran minicamp, a few weeks into the offseason program.
We learned a lot this week from the players, the new offensive scheme, the buzz around the building, and a insightful head coach who spends a good amount of time with the media. It’s good to hear fresh ideas and overall a new voice for the Bears at the podium. Nagy is putting his best foot forward, but in the end, the number of wins on the season will dictate his popularity in Chicago.
In other news Mitch Trubisky met the media Thursday following a shortened practice. It was the first time the media heard from Trubisky since the end of last season.
Trubisky spoke for about 12 minutes, discussing his first impressions on Nagy and the offensive installment. The one memorable quote, ” I feel like these last few days I’ve been coached more than I ever have.” Bold words if one thinks Trubisky is calling out former staff. However, if you read the transcript, Mitch goes onto to explain that the influence of Mark Helfrich and Dave Ragone, Nagy and the other quarterbacks gives him a “bunch of brilliant offensive minds around me.” Lesson learned : don’t be so quick to take quotes out of context.
Nagy was quick to mention on Tuesday his excitement for Trubisky’s first day of practice. Going so far as to pull Mitch aside and congratulate him on a great day. On Wednesday, Trubisky was not so sharp, throwing a pick six to Prince Amukamara. It’s important to take these practices with a grain of salt because it’s April in helmets. Plus, Trubisky is learning a new offense versus a defense that is in year 4 of the system.
All the weight and attention will be on Trubisky when the Bears hit the field. He seemed confident and relaxed at the podium today and showed poise last season on the field. There is room to improve his development, but the Bears seem to have the right support system in place. They upgraded the wide receiver position tremendously in the offseason and will probably add another one in the draft. This entire offseason is about Trubisky and the draft may be too. The Bears have not made the playoffs since 2010 and the fan base is eager and they are leaning on Trubisky to lead them there.
After participating in minicamp as a tryout, Marlon Brown has signed a contract with the Chicago Bears, his agency has reported. Brown is returning to the field after sitting out the 2017.
The former Baltimore Raven will be 27. Brown scored 7 touchdowns during his rookie season and none since then.
There is no guarantee Brown is a lock for the 53-man roster but he will get a shot. This move will also not keep the Bears from drafting a WR. It is highly unlikely the Bears draft a wide-out in Round one. The Bears have a pick early on Day 2 along with two fourth round picks. The class is fairly deep and the Bears will have plenty of options. Anthony Miller, Simmie Cobbs, Auden Tate could all be possibility on Day 3.
After these three days of camp, an obvious need for the Bears has to be the linebacker position. The depth at the position is minimal, and the Bears should be able to grab on at eight overall if they decided to go that route.
With the departure of Pernell McPhee, Willie Young, and Jerell Freeman, big holes were created. Currently on the roster, the Bears only have three inside linebackers: Danny Trevathan, John Timu, and Nick Kwitkoski. On the outside, Leonard Floyd, Aaron Lynch, Sam Acho, Howard Jones, Isaiah Irving, and Johnathan Anderson -not the best looking group. Given the Bears draft position, they could have a chance to grab a Roquan Smith or Tremaine Edmunds. Smith would be a plug and play starter from game one. Edmunds has a lot of potential and is only 19 years old. He would be more of a project for Vic Fangio and the staff.
In terms of adding a pass rusher, Bradley Chubb is the best one in this class, but he will not fall to eight. If the Bears really want him, which is something I would not be opposed to, they would have to go up and get him. That is not going to be a cheap climb. Depending who is still on the board, especially QBs, I could see it costing the Bears a lot of draft capital. The 8th overall pick, their second round pick, a 4th round pick, and a future 2/3 would probably do the trick. Can the Bears afford to wait until Day 3 to make another selection? I really don”t think so. The Bears need to continue to stack draft classes together. While nailing Chubb would be a huge victory, I do not see the Bears selling the farm. The Bears can land a stud at the top of the second round. Arden Key, Lorenzo Carter, and Harold Landry are a few names that should be available.
Participation in minicamp was close to 100%. Floyd and Kyle Long did not participate due to them recovering from injury. Trevathan was not present the first two days due to a personal matter. Lynch left Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury but Nagy said it’s nothing they are worried about. Allen Robinson was not on the field but Nagy and thr staff are pleased with his progression during rehab. Outside of that, everyone else was present.
One familiar name visited Halas Hall yesterday, Alabama WR Calvin Ridley. Early in the draft process, draft analysts put Ridley to the Bears at eight. But once reality set in, Ridley has moved down the draft boards.
The NFL released the 2018-2019 schedule tonight and the Bears open to the season in Green Bay on Sunday night football. It is one of two primetime games, the other being week 2 at home vs. Seattle. Trubisky and company will also play on turkey day in Detroit.