6 takeaways from the Bears’ final training camp practice

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·7 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Chicago Bears returned to the practice field Thursday for their final training camp practice at Halas Hall ahead of Saturday’s preseason finale against the Tennessee Titans.

While their final padded practice was half speed, there was plenty to digest from what head coach Matt Nagy, linebacker Danny Trevathan and tight ends Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham had to say.

Following Thursday’s practice, here’s a look at what we learned from Day 21 of training camp:

Preseason finale will make or break roster spots

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

With the final training camp practice in the books, it all comes down to preseason as a handful of players vie for roster spots and starting jobs. While a good chunk of the roster is already set, there are still some roster spots to be won. According to head coach Matt Nagy, this final preseason game will go a long way in making an impression. It's also where roster spots will be lost or won. “I always look forward to this one because sometimes you get that one player that maybe there might be, from coaches, a little doubt in, and then all of a sudden they prove you wrong in this game,” Matt Nagy said. “Whether sometimes that’s a practice squad player that catches your eye. That to me is something that’s important as well. I know we have a lot of talk about Justin and the quarterback position, but there are other guys that are fighting for depth and fighting to make this roster. This is a really huge game.” Some of the competitions that will be under watchful eyes include wide receiver, outside cornerback, offensive line and slot corner.

Bears prepared for rotation at left tackle if needed

AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski

Jason Peters is expected to serve as the Bears' starting left tackle this season. But it's hard to ignore that, right now, there are concerns about his conditioning, specifically whether he can play an entire game right now. “We'll get a good feeling of where he's at when he's out there,” Nagy said. “And we're going to rely on him. You know he's a guy that's played a lot of games and he can tell us ‘Ok, percent-wise, this is where I'm at.’” Nagy didn't rule out a potential rotation at left tackle to start the season as Peters gets his legs under him, which would give rookie Larry Borom some reps at left tackle. "We're going to see where he's at to give us a gauge," Nagy said. Peters isn't expected to play in Saturday's preseason finale against the Titans, which means we're going to get to see a lot of Borom in that starting left tackle role.

Rodney Adams' path to the roster becomes clearer following Javon Wims' release

AP Photo/David Banks

With final roster cuts looming, one player who has made a strong case for a roster spot is wide receiver Rodney Adams. His path to the 53-man roster became clearer when the Bears parted ways with former seventh-round wideout Javon Wims. There are essentially two roster spots left to fill at receiver, where it'll come down to Adams, Dazz Newsome, Riley Ridley, Chris Lacy and Jon'Vea Johnson. It's hard to argue against Adams getting the nod, given he's done what most others haven't done: Make plays. Nagy spoke specifically to the importance of some making positive plays that stand out on tape and how that can help secure a roster spot. Adams already has a couple of those, including a deep ball from Andy Dalton that he broke free for a 73-yard touchdown. “It could be a play or two when someone really jumps out at you,” Nagy said. “That is a difference, if it’s close.” Adams has an opportunity to put an exclamation mark on the preseason with another strong performance. But at this point, it already feels like he's earned a roster spot.

Danny Trevathan motivated by competition, doubters

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Last offseason, the Bears had to make a decision to either re-sign Danny Trevathan or Nick Kwiatkoski to an extension. Chicago chose the former, but it's been far from a smooth ride. Trevathan has been limited during training camp due to a knee issue, which has allowed veteran Alec Ogletree to see some valuable starting reps -- and make plays in the process. Earlier this week, Nagy explained that Ogletree had impressed enough this summer to push Trevathan for playing time. When Trevathan was asked about Ogletree pushing him, he welcomed the competition. “It’s always great to have guys that can play linebacker with me,” Trevathan said Thursday when asked about Ogletree pushing him. “I’m always competing, so it doesn’t matter who’s out there or whatever. I’m trying to make the best of each situation while I’m out there.” Perhaps the biggest concern surrounding Trevathan is how his age (31) appears to be catching up with him. Last year, he played under 80% of snaps in 11 of 16 games. But Trevathan isn't concerned about his age impacting his play. He likes that people are counting him out. "I work very hard right now," he said. "I’m not thinking about the age situation. I feel great. ... I like when people don’t think that I can do something. It motivates me more."

Cole Kmet eager to show what Bears offense can do

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, Nagy explained why he believes this is the year when the Bears offense will finally click. But given the disappointing start in the preseason, where the starting offense has scored six points and totaled 144 yards on eight possessions -- 73 of those yards coming on Adams' deep touchdown, it's hard to have much confidence things will suddenly change. Despite a slow go of it in preseason, second-year tight end Cole Kmet believes the offense is ready to show what this offense can accomplish. "I think we're all eager and ready to show what we can do as an offense," Kmet said. "We feel really good about where we're at. Haven't really had it in the games necessarily, whether guys have been out or things like that. But we've been feeling good about what we've been putting together in practice and where we think our strengths and our weaknesses are. Kind of tighten up those things as we lead up to Week 1. We're just excited to get out there and show everyone what we can do." When looking at how this offense has grown between last year and now, Kmet pointed specifically to quarterback Andy Dalton, who has been good at communicating his expectations, which the players respect. "I think there's a lot more communication this year between players and Andy (Dalton). He's been great at communicating things to the receivers, tight ends and running backs. As players, I think we've taken that to -- not only get to know one another off the field...but just on the field knowing our talks, our calls and things like that have been really helpful."

Jimmy Graham believes Jason Peters is key to Bears' growth as offense

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Before a couple of weeks ago, Jimmy Graham was the oldest player on the Bears. Now, it's Jason Peters, who has been brought in to serve as reinforcements at left tackle. Graham has watched Peters over the years, and he believes he's someone who will serve as a key contributor on Chicago's offense. “We got a big add to our offensive line. He’s an unbelievable pro. It’s been unbelievable to see how quick he is. [It’s] a true blessing to have a big old vet in there to add with Cody Whitehair and a lot of experience.” There are concerns about whether Peters still has some left in the tank, especially as it's taking him some time to get back in game shape. Given Graham's first impression of Peters during this week in practice, does Peters still have it? “A hundred percent,” Graham said. “He’s a beast.” [listicle id=479063] [vertical-gallery id=478997] [listicle id=479053]

1

1

1

1