Sunday, September 24, 2023

Bears Mailbag: Training Camp Edition


The Bears play their first preseason game in nine days against the Kansas City Chiefs. This means the Bears mailbag will officially be back every week starting today. I will be aiming to have it out either the day of or the following morning depending on when the team is slated to play. However, in today’s piece, we are going to cover a lot regarding the Bears’ first week or so of training camp. Let’s go.

Thoughts on Bears rush defense this year? A lot of unknowns with interior D-line and LBs other then Roquan Smith

I believe overall, this defense is going to be very strong. Obviously, there isn’t a lot of star power inside like we’ve grown accustomed to with the likes of Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, etc., but this unit will still pack a punch and be a handful for opposing offenses. Don’t sleep on Justin Jones either. He will play the 3-tech in Eberflus’s defense and has played very well so far in camp. This defense is going to surprise a lot of people.

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What position group is more concerning, offensive line or wide receiver?

Given the Teven Jenkins drama, easily the offensive line. There has been a trend in camp where you find Fields constantly under pressure. The new coaching staff is still trying to find the best five to put out there so that can be a reason as to why this keeps happening. Lucas Patrick going down isn’t helping either. As far as the receivers go, still a lot of work to do as well. Darnell Mooney is the clear cut number one. He’s gotten even better from last year which is exciting. I know Kmet is a tight end but the chemistry between him and Fields has improved greatly. Velus Jones Jr. has flashed here and there but he’s still a rookie. One of the more fascinating developments is how good of a camp Equanimeous St. Brown is having. His connection with Fields is real.

Would you trade Justin Fields and Roquan Smith for Lamar Jackson?


Do you expect the defense to be better or worse than last year?

Losing Khalil Mack hurt my heart. I’ll always be thankful for 2018 and wish him the best in L.A. I think he’ll tear it up there too if he stays healthy. And the leads me to my next point. Mack has been dealing with injuries ever since that magical year. Outside losing 52, this defense has gotten A LOT better this off-season. They used their first two picks in this year’s draft to improve what was a very poor secondary in 2021. Robert Quinn is back. Flus is a defensive wizard and you can see it already at camp. The players are buying in. Their playing fast. Swarming the ball. So to answer your question, this year’s defense will be better in my opinion. More turnovers.

Will the Bears offense score over or under 20 PPG?

Stay with me here. I’m going to take the over. Call it blind optimism I don’t care. But I believe they will be able to run the ball well. Throw in Luke Getsy’s offense along with Fields taking that next step, I think (and hope) it’s doable.

Jaylon Johnson’s interception total prediction this year?

JJ logged his first career interception last season and it ended up being his only one of the year. That changes in 2022. I have him down with 4 picks. He was close on a few last season and I think he even dropped a couple. Big season coming for Jaylon, I can feel it.

When does the Teven Jenkins trade happen?

I don’t think it does. At least not anytime soon. He’s too talented and where things stand the team wouldn’t get much back for such an unproven player who is also injury prone. Best case scenario, the two sides figure it out and Jenkins makes it onto the field this year and shows he’s able to stay there while also playing up to his draft selection.

What do you think the Bears floor and ceiling is in 2022?

Floor: 6 wins.

Ceiling: 10 wins.

This new coaching staff alone should get this team to 6 wins. Depending on how well the offense and quarterback play, I think this team could sneak out a few “surprising” wins considering the schedule they play this year. It’s no where near as brutal as last season.

Appreciate all the questions this week. Football is back. It feels good.




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sherman todd
sherman todd
Aug 4, 2022 8:24 pm

Do you think it makes since for the Bears to pursue Jaylon Smith? Does he fit their defense?

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