Here are some Bears players to keep an eye on at training camp

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This is our weekly staff discussion, where Bears Wire writers share their opinions about a variety of topics involving the Bears. Subscribe to get the latest Bears news delivered to your mailbox every day.

The Chicago Bears are gearing up for the start of training camp, where there will be plenty of storylines to monitor, including competition for starting jobs and roster spots.

Our Bears Wire staff is sharing the players that you should keep an eye out for at training camp, ranging from the obvious stars to some under-the-radar guys with something to prove.

Alyssa Barbieri: CB Kindle Vildor

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

While Justin Fields is the obvious answer here, I wanted to look at an under-the-radar player who could be a big contributor for the Bears this season. With the release of Kyle Fuller, Jaylon Johnson has been thrust into the CB1 role. But the big question is who will line up opposite him, and it just might be his fellow 2020 draftee Kindle Vildor. Vildor saw some playing time in relief of an injured Johnson late last season, where he was solid. Now, Vildor appears the favorite to win the starting job opposite Johnson, as he was working with the first-team defense during minicamp last month, and he was one of the standout players throughout the offseason program. But Vildor will have to hold off the likes of veterans Desmond Trufant and Artie Burns, who will certainly challenge him. But if Vildor continues his upward trajectory, we’ll likely see two second-year pros starting at cornerback for Chicago.

Bryan Perez: OT Teven Jenkins

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

While quarterback will undoubtedly draw all of the attention during training camp, the play of the Bears’ offensive tackles — most notably rookie Teven Jenkins — will determine much of the offense’s fate this season. Jenkins has as much pressure on him as any rookie in the league to make an immediate impact in 2021. If he fails, the Bears don’t have the offensive line talent to recover.

Brendan Sugrue: WR Anthony Miller

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The last time we saw Anthony Miller, he was walking off the field in disgust during the Bears’ playoff game against the New Orleans Saints after he was ejected for throwing a punch. The former second-round pick in 2018 has had some incredible moments, but terrible blunders as well during his first three years in the league and the latter was on display for everyone to see. After an offseason where many believed he would be traded, Miller has been able to hang on the roster and now enters training camp in a wide receiver battle with players like Demaire Byrd, Marquise Goodwin, Dazz Newsome, Riley Ridley, and Javon Wims. Will Miller see time with the first string? How will he look with new quarterbacks throwing to him? Is he truly on the bubble? Miller has an immense amount of talent but hasn’t been able to fully emerge despite showing flashes. This camp will go a long way in solidifying where he stands with the Bears and what his future will hold.

Ryan Fedrau: QB Justin Fields

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

This year’s training camp for the Bears is going to be all about Justin Fields. Every throw, every run, everything that goes down this camp will be about the future of the Bears and the future of Fields. Fans are excited, and no matter what happens each day, everyone is going to want to know what Fields has to say and how he did. Things to remember are that he’s a rookie and superstars aren’t born overnight. He will struggle, as every player does. What to keep an eye on is his accuracy, decision-making and demeanor. How will he command the huddle? How will he lead this team? We’ll have a decent idea about who Fields is just by those things.

Nate Atkins: RB David Montgomery

AP Photo/Brett Duke

In the last six games of the season, David Montgomery broke out to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark - 56% of his total yards and 87% of his total touchdowns last year occurred during that six-game stretch. The lack of Tarik Cohen, who was sidelined by an ACL injury, allowed for the increased workload for Montgomery in his second year. And while Cohen still won’t be ready to play heading into training camp, the Bears signed veteran Damien Williams, a player familiar with Matt Nagy’s offense. They also drafted Khalil Herbert, further adding depth to the running back position. While Nagy has praised Montgomery’s work ethic this offseason and even set a goal of getting him 20 carries per game (only Derrick Henry with 23.8 and Dalvin Cook with 22.3 averaged more carries in 2020), the moves by the front office are signaling a running back by committee. David Montgomery seems poised to be the bell-cow back for the Bears in 2021, but pay attention to how Nagy and Bill Lazor distribute carries throughout training camp and into the preseason. [listicle id=475679]

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