10 things we learned about the Bears this off-season
Last Thursday marked the final day of veteran minicamp and the end of the Bears' summer programme. Before reporting to training camp in late July, players will have approximately a month off. Despite the break, there are many things that transpired during the off season. From building connections to welcoming new swaggers in the team. Lets delve into the top ten things we have learned about the bears off-season.
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1. The connection between Justin Fields-DJ Moore
From the moment DJ Moore stepped into the field, he has been Fields go to person. This is also one of the main contributor to the Bears' offence improving significantly from 32nd and last in the NFL to 23rd in scoring. Furthermore, overly hopeful stories start during offseason practices as their chemistry has developed much faster than the teams have expected.. However, it appears like Moore's plan to strengthen all of his weapons and give Fields a reliable number one receiver has a higher chance of succeeding.
2. Bears in need of edge rush help
On the edge, the Bears still lack star power. DeMarcus Walker, a defensive end who is coming off a season with seven sacks, was added in free agency, but other defensive end changes were minor. Moreover, Terrell Lewis, a free agent addition, displayed some potential during minicamp, but the fourth-year pro has never recorded more than three sacks in a season. The Bears should undoubtedly be interested in any remaining pass rushers available in free agency as they still have $33 million in salary cap room for this season.
3. Progress in offensive line
Following a practice session where all five starters were present, the offensive line of the Chicago Bears is beginning to click. Nate Davis, a right guard, missed the first two weeks of OTAs but participated in the last week and the required minicamp. Furthermore, a fresh-look offensive line with new players and guys switching positions includes Davis. With Davis and rookie right tackle Darnell Wright, Chicago has two new starters.
Along the line, Teven Jenkins switched to left guard and Cody Whitehair to centre, among other changes. At left tackle, Braxton Jones is still there. It's critical that the Bears' core starting five are in place, unlike last summer when they didn't know how their starting offensive line would look going into training camp.
4. Leadership under Field
This offseason, Fields has improved in a number of areas, including processing and decision-making. He's also beginning to assert himself as a Bears leader. Besides, Eberflus expressed his admiration for Fields' ability to unite the offence and defence and go beyond setting a good example by working hard.
5. Passing game is starting to gel
Last season, the Bears' passing offence, which averaged 130.5 yards per game, was the poorest in the league. However, this offseason has been focused on enhancing Fields' support cast and positioning him for success. This contains some fresh weapons like Moore, Tyler Scott, a rookie, and Robert Tonyan.
This offseason, the team's focus has been on improving the passing game. Eberflus thinks the passing game is "on track" ahead of the 2023 season, despite the fact that it is still a work in progress, now that the offseason programme is in the books.
6. Rise up of Setevenson’s
Tyrique Stevenson, a cornerback, is one of many Bears rookies who can have an immediate impact this year. Stevenson finished the offseason training with the rookie defence after moving up the depth chart. Stevenson will concentrate on the outside, where he's anticipated to start opposite Jaylon Johnson, with Kyler Gordon set to play exclusively in the slot. Eberflus thinks Stevenson will perform even better in training camp once the pads are on, despite the fact that he has impressed this offseason.
7. Dexter making an impression
Speaking of impact rookies, defensive tackle Gervon Dexter has gained attention this offseason. All credit to the different stance he takes in Chicago's defence, which gives him greater explosiveness. Dexter defeated Jenkins and centre Cody Whitehair on a few occasions during minicamp. For instance, defeating Jenkins for a sack during a two-minute drill. In addition, he still has a ways to go in his growth. But his teammates can already see how important he may be to the defensive line.
8. The field is set for rivalry
It is clear from the offseason program that there is a lot of competition. At many positions heading into training camp. Even though the starting offense seems almost set, the running back battle will be interesting to watch. Especially, when the pads come on. Khalil Herbert is favored to start in Chicago's committee approach. But rookie Roschon Johnson and newcomer D'Onta Foreman will try to compete with him for reps.
There will be some competition for the SAM linebacker position elsewhere. Noah Sewell, a rookie, will try to take over for Jack Sanborn, who will start the season as the starter. The Bears' top four receivers are set, but there will be competition for the final two spots.
9. Recovery from injuries
Several important Bears players missed the team's obligatory minicamp while they recovered from injuries. Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool, two of the best receivers who are entering contract years, are a good place to start.bBarring any delays, according to Eberflus, Mooney and Claypool ought to be prepared for training camp. The fact that Fields already has a good relationship with those guys, especially Mooney, is advantageous.
10. Fresh Mentality
DeMarcus Walker, a defensive lineman, is one of the new senior players on the Bears squad. He has made a positive contribution to the team's culture. Walker shut the door on 2022 when asked if he was aware of the team's problems last year, which included losing their final 10 games. Lager he stated “This is the Chicago Bears in 2023,". We have a brand-new identity, a brand-new offence, a brand-new defense, and a brand-new group of talented NFL players.