Why Bears look forward to joint practice with Bengals this summer

Why Bears look forward to joint practice with Bengals this summer originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Bears will participate in joint practices again this summer, but this time they’ll play host. Head coach Matt Eberflus announced on Thursday that the Bears will welcome in the Bengals for one day of practice ahead of their preseason game this August.

Eberflus said Bengals head coach Zac Taylor approached him with the idea to do just one day of joint practice, and that the two have already hammered out the details and logistics of the day.

“We are hitting all the situations that day,” Eberflus said. “So I think it will be really good. It’s going to be interesting to work like the special teams aspect of it with the kick games changing, you know, in the kickoff, kickoff return and all that.”

Coaches and players alike typically enjoy the opportunity to compete against a real opponent in joint practices, after repping against the same teammates over and over again throughout minicamp and training camp.

Joint practices also provide the team a different type of measuring stick. It’s one thing to see how your offense performs against your defense and vice versa. It’s another thing to see how your offense performs against another team’s defense. When you’re playing a team that has a Super Bowl berth and another conference title game appearance over the last three years, like the Bengals have had, it’s an even better measuring stick.

“Those are always good tests,” said linebacker T.J. Edwards. “Those joint practices, man, they feel like games. It's like you're kind of trying to see where you're at and stack up. And that's obviously a really good football team for sure. So we're excited about it.”

This is the third time in the last four years that the Bears have held joint practices. They went to Indianapolis to practice with the Colts last year and hosted the Dolphins at Halas Hall in 2021.

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