The Chicago Bears are still major work in progress while training camp rings. On Saturday, the team held their fourth practice at Halas Hall, continuing to sort roster fights and moving forward toward next week when the stands will begin.
Here are three things we learned from Saturday’s event in Lake Forest.
Gordon was the Bears’ top pick in April, and was selected 39th in the second round. And it was clear from the start that the Bears were impressed by his feelings for the game, his ability to change direction and his playmaking skills. After four rehearsals in camp, Gordon appears to be preparing himself for a role he might play outside in the Bears’ primary defense as he slips to play Nickelback in the sub-packs.
The novice not only accepted the challenge of playing in the slot, but raised his hand to do so.
“This is a big deal when players want to do what you’re asking them to do,” Bears defense coordinator Alan Williams said on Saturday. “Some guys just comply. They say, ‘Hey, Coach, I’ll do whatever you ask me to do.’
Gordon confirmed this week that he thoroughly enjoys playing in the hole and appreciates his experience playing within the University of Washington, learning how to hone his vision and develop reaction skills that helped him.
He said, “I love nickels, and I love what I can do there.”
Williams said he already feels Gordon is ready to be the top corner of the Bears, and has been impressed by his quick athletic style, size and intelligence.
“There’s going to be a learning curve because it’s the NFL,” Williams said. “But we feel good about the direction he’s going in terms of lining up (correctly), where his eyes are and then he’s just making plays.”
Williams also called Gordon “the ball magnet.” “For some reason it is always about football,” he said. “And when he is, he flips it over.”
St. Brown spent four seasons with the Green Bay Packers, including three while Jitsi was quarterback coach and passing coordinator. Getsy contacted St. Brown right away when the free agency started, and St. Brown joined in. Brown to the Bears on a one-year contract.
This familiarity gave St. Brown a foot in a spacious reception room crowded early in the camp. St. Brown said that while Getsy has put some new wrinkles on the attack to make it unique, it’s similar enough that he feels so comfortable with it, that he even gave advice to his teammates.
“There are a few times the coaches miss, the coach might miss the reception, and I’m going to go in or give my two cents on what happened in a match or what might happen when you’re actually there,” Saint Brown said. “Sometimes I step in and help.”
St. Brown had 37 catches for 543 yards and touchdowns over three seasons with the Packers and missed 2019 with an ankle injury. But St Browne said he believed he was back on the right track and was “ready to showcase my talent and take my game to the next level”.
Getsy said the best football in St.
“I’ve seen a guy transform into a pro, his mentality, his toughness and his attacking style every single day, I’ve been so impressed with the way he handled that,” Jitsi said. “I’ve always liked emotional intelligence and thought he was a good player and then I saw him go through this ordeal and the way he handled all of these things, that’s what all these guys depend on. That leadership and the experience he’s had, that’s great for us.”
Over the past decade, Reiff has been a household name for the Bears due to his nine seasons and 127 starts in the NFC North with the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings.
Reiff joined the Bears on a one-year contract to open a training camp that is likely to be the start of the left-footed tackle, and Whitehair, the player who lines up next to him, would love to add.
“Riley is great,” Whitehair said. “Since Riley entered second, I’ve felt like we have a bond. I don’t know if it’s because we’re both NFC North streaks or what. But Riley has the same mindset that I have. A man who will work hard, a man who will study and do the right thing.”
Because he fell late, Reiff was raising the bar for full participation in practices. He took over two reps in the first team’s left tackle on Saturday, along with new veteran Michael Scofield, who was in the right-handguard for some reps. Offensive Intervention Teven Jenkins remained ill with an undisclosed illness.
“Anytime we can get into a competition here, that’s a good thing, especially guys who have a lot of experience like these guys,” Whitehair said of Reeve and Schofield. “He will only continue to improve our room and help us grow as an offensive line.”