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Training Camp Diary: Preseason Opens, Fields Electrifies, Now What?

| August 16th, 2021

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE FIRST LADY OF DBB, SARAH K. SCULLY. 

I have never approached any preseason game with anticipation. That changed Saturday. Here are notes on what could prove to be an important weekend in Chicago Bears history. (Side note: They should knock off one more of these preseason games. Get that schedule to two games, one home and one away.)


The Story is Fields

Penalties and drops around him. Losing track of the play clock. Spin move in the open field, taking unnecessary contact, fumbling the football. It was the definition of a slow start.

But what did Fields say in his post-game presser? “So after that, I think I’m going to officially retire the spin move.” 

None of the struggles bothered him. Fields maintained his composure, displayed his command of the offense and let his athleticism take over the football game. Yes, he was playing with backups. Yes, he was playing against backups. But Fields did what he is supposed to do in that scenario: he was clearly the best player on the field.

  • Two quotes from Adam Hoge’s excellent game story:
    • On the 8-yard touchdown run: “They were playing man coverage. My man Jesse got tripped up. I was looking to go to him,” Fields said. “Of course, I knew my routes were coming my way backside, but I knew they were in man coverage so I knew nobody really had me so I just went to the left.” Does anyone think this kid isn’t ready for regular season action?
    • “Keep stacking days like he had today and understanding that in this whole process and this plan, as we go, what’s the ultimate goal for us as an offense? Scoring touchdowns, right? So keep leading the team down, keep getting first downs, keep getting touchdowns,” Nagy said when asked what Fields needs to do to be named the starter.” This is Nagy leaving the door open for Fields to be the Week One starter. This is the first time he’s done that, to my recollection.

Bears have no choice. Fields should be throwing to Robinson and Mooney today. He’s got to be given a chance to win this job with the folks who will actually be on the roster.

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Training Camp Diary: Feisty Practice, Ferocious Defense, Forecasting the Preseason Opener

| August 13th, 2021


Thursday was apparently a feisty practice throughout, which is actually nice to see. I don’t know why every team in the league doesn’t orchestra more of these joint practices. They are so much more valuable than in-house scrimmages.


Another day, another Fields gem. Why would any team leave a talent like this on the bench?


Bears corners have been good so far this summer, and the defense is playing healthy and fast across the board.


Is There Anything to Watch Tomorrow?

The truth is, who knows?

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Training Camp Diary: Montgomery Gains Speed, Mooney Gains Confidence, Ogletree Gains.

| August 9th, 2021


The Bears practiced Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Here are a collection of thoughts and ruminations.

  • David Montgomery has been a good running back. But what’s kept him from being a great running back is his lack of breakaway speed. Too often Montgomery gains 15-20 yards on runs that should be 70-yard touchdowns. Adam Jahns (in The Athletic, of course) discusses Montgomery’s clear speed gains this summer: “It was also a run where Montgomery’s speed training from the offseason appeared to factor in. The surprising thing wasn’t that Montgomery broke tackles; it continues to be how fast he’s eating up yardage when he is in the open field.”
  • The NFL will not allow us to embed their YouTube content on our websites – a decision that literally makes zero digital sense. So if you want to see Jimbo Covert’s Hall of Fame speech, go over there and see it.
  • Cairo Santos saved his NFL career in 2020 with the Chicago Bears. Adam Hoge profiled that season quite nicely for NBC Sports.
  • Take everything you hear in training camp with a grain of salt, but the praise being poured out for Darnell Mooney is coming from everywhere. One reason for the excitement is Mooney actually fits what Nagy wants to do offensively better than a player like Allen Robinson. (Another reason the Bears are reluctant to throw top five money at Robinson.) Won’t surprise me if Mooney’s numbers exceed ARob’s this season.
    • From Wikipedia: “Hypotheses of the phrase’s origin include Pliny the Elder‘s Naturalis Historia, regarding the discovery of a recipe for an antidote to a poison.[2] In the antidote, one of the ingredients was a grain of salt. Threats involving the poison were thus to be taken “with a grain of salt”, and therefore less seriously. The phrase cum grano salis (“with a grain of salt”) is not what Pliny wrote. It is constructed according to the grammar of modern European languages rather than Classical Latin. Pliny’s actual words were addito salis grano (“after having added a grain of salt”).”
  • Matt Nagy said he “feels better than worse” about Roquan’s injury. Here’s my question: why speak like this? The whole league does it and it makes no sense. Here’s how coaches should talk about injuries. Player X has a problem with his Y and we expect him to return in around Z days. What other details are required? Why do we need a non-medical professional’s feel for the situation?

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