Keenan Allen says Bears defense looks like a ‘top 5’ unit

New Bears wide receiver Keenan Allen practiced for the first time at Halas Hall on Tuesday to kick off mandatory minicamp, where he got his first glimpse of this Chicago defense.

As evidenced by last year’s training camp practices, the Bears defense — which returns most of its key starters from a year ago — is a vocal, boisterous group. And Allen experienced it firsthand.

The offense had its ups and downs during Tuesday’s practice, where they were solid during 11-on-11 and 7-on-7. But the defense dominated during both two-minute drills, forcing two three-and-outs. They definitely left an impression on Allen.

“They look like a top 5 defense,” he said. “They sound like a top 5 defense, too. Defenses are annoying, especially at practice. You just hear them every time they make a play. It’s hooray celebration. These guys are running up and down the sideline. So it’s annoying.

“Offense we get a first down. One guy just trots around. He comes back to the huddle. Everybody is like, ‘OK, what’s the next play?’ You don’t really see too much: ‘YEAHHHHHH!’ You don’t really get all that just because somebody did a rip-through and got back to the quarterback. So it is what it is. Their energy, the way they communicate, the way they get lined up,  definitely high-class.”

While the spotlight has been on rookie Caleb Williams and the offense this offseason, the defense is positioning itself to be a top unit in the NFL this season.

Despite a rough start to the 2023 season, Chicago finished the year as a top five defense. They return cornerstones cornerback Jaylon Johnson and defensive end Montez Sweat, one of the best linebacker groups with Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards and have a young secondary that could emerge as a top group in the league.

The offense is talented in its own right — with one of the league’s best receiver trios, a highly-touted rookie quarterback and other weapons — which should make for some entertaining battles this summer. In the end, iron sharpens iron.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire