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10 takeaways from third padded practice at Bears training camp

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The Chicago Bears returned to Halas Hall for their third soft training camp session on the Friday after the weekend – and it was a pretty intense workout.

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The offense remains unfinished as they struggled in the red zone – even without the involvement of rookie Kyler Gordon. Things on the offensive line also seem to be taking shape, although we still have a lot of room to go.

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There was plenty of practice and press conferences with offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, tight end Cole Kmet, defenseman Eddie Jackson, offensive lineman Michael Schofield and wide receiver Darnell Mooney.

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After Friday’s workout, here’s what we learned from the third soft workout at the Bears training camp:

The Bears turned up the intensity during Friday’s workout.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The Bears returned to the training field on Friday for their eighth practice session after the day off. It was the team’s third consecutive training session and was particularly grueling in terms of pace, speed and fitness.

Tight end Cole Kmet, who was once spotted with his hands on his knees, said it was the hardest workout he had ever experienced.

“This is not a joke,” he said. “It was a tough workout, but it’s good for us to get in shape and see how we perform when we’re tired.”

Wide receiver Darnell Mooney agreed. “Today was the day,” he said. “…After today, they put me in the locker room.”

Safety Eddie Jackson has been a part of this team for six years and he said it was especially tough.

“You can do two things – knock, stop, cry and complain, or you can step up,” he said.

Jackson said no one was disconnected.

Luke Getsy says they’re not close to reinforcing offensive line

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The offensive line was in the spotlight throughout the summer. But with eight workouts in training camp, it’s hard not to feel like the Bears know what their starting group will be.

It’s not that offensive coordinator Luke Getsy is willing to forgo it. On Friday, he told reporters that the team is not close to finding their starting combination.

“You’re going to see different combinations in preseason until we feel really good about where we are,” Getsy said.

There was a bit of a shuffle on Friday when Sam Mustifer started center again after being looked down on by rookie Doug Kramer on Wednesday. Lucas Patrick is sidelined with a right hand injury, but it is hoped he will be ready for the first week.

Michael Schofield once again got his first glimpse of the starting XI at right back during his shift with Ja’Tire Carter. Riley Reiff started with a proper tackle for the third consecutive practice, where he alternated with Larry Bohr. Rookie Braxton Jones again won all reps for the first team with a left tackle.

While Getsy said the shuffling will continue, right now it looks like Braxton Jones (LT), Cody Whitehair (LG), Lucas Patrick (C), Michael Schofield (RG) and Riley Reiff (RT).

Ghetsy says Teven Jenkins is still very interested in starting work

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Teven Jenkins has been out for his seventh straight practice as he continues to heal from an undisclosed injury.

But there’s a lot more to discuss at this point than just the injury. Whether it’s a message about Jenkins breaking ties with the coaches, or two messages about the Bears actively buying Jenkins.

After one week of training in the books, the offensive line is starting to take shape. And it became clear that Jenkins didn’t have a good chance of beating guys like Riley Reiff, Braxton Jones or Larry Borom.

However, Ghetsy insists that Jenkins will continue to fight for a spot in the starting lineup when he recovers. Despite not training, Getsy said that Jenkins was an active participant in team meetings.

“Teven was great. He was attentive, he is fully prepared, ”Getsy said. “Once he completes that deal, he’ll be ready to rock and roll again.”

But the work of the left grip seems to lose out to Braxton Jones.

Michael Reeves/Getty Images

While Getsy insists that the offensive line is far from settled in the first week, it’s hard not to look at the trends so far and jump to conclusions about what the starting line will look like.

And right now, it certainly looks like rookie Braxton Jones is on track to be the starting left tackle in week one. In the third workout in a row—all padded workouts—Jones took every starting rep with a left tackle. The Bears moved Riley Reiff, who looked like he could be a left tackle, to a right tackle where he was doing better.

This summer, Jones has kept to the left flank, where he has had to face the likes of Al-Quadin Muhammad and Travis Gipson as Robert Quinn picks up the pace.

Getsy has been impressed with what he has seen from Jones so far.

“You hit the stocks and there was no intimidation,” Gatsy said. “Going out against Robert Quinn is your very first one-on-one, right? This is a frightening thing. He got up and did a great job. He answered the call.

Jones told reporters last week that he’s not overreacting to the fact that the majority of starting reps are on the left tackle. He is still trying to get better every day. The preseason should give him some valuable reps. When all is said and done, we could look back on the fifth-round tackle as one of Ryan Poles’ top picks.

The Bears believe Cole Kmet is “on the verge of taking his game to the next level.”

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Bearish tight end Cole Kmet has had a strong training camp so far, which is certainly reassuring considering he looks to finally have that breakout season, which the team is looking forward to.

“He’s on the verge of taking his game to the next level,” Getsy said, explaining that the team needed him to be a “rock star.”

Ghetsy said Kmet has “all the tools in the toolbox” and we’re finally starting to see Kmet use his skill set in different ways. The coaching staff helped him try different things, including working on different releases and techniques.

So far this translates into some solid third year tight end practices. And that’s what Kmet’s teammates are also noticing.

“He makes a lot of noise, like, ‘I’m here,'” receiver Darnell Mooney said. “…He definitely turns it on.

The Bears played against the defense of the scout team

Michael Reeves/Getty Images

The Bears brought a new twist to Friday’s practice when they worked against a 3-4 scout team defense during 11-on-11 practice. With the Packers and Vikings playing 3-4, Getsy said the coaches want the offense to give them the opportunity to practice against that front.

The offense started well during an 11-on-11, including quarterback Justin Fields connecting with Velus Jones Jr. and Kmet for big wins. They also ran a narrow shield to Kmet, which gained a solid footage. But there were some mistakes, including Fields toppling Equanimus St. Brown because it would have been a long touchdown or throwing an interception in favor of AJ Thomas.

Chicago also had long periods of practice using cards, which is essentially a run done in preparation for an opponent. The Bears will face the Chiefs in their first pre-season game next Saturday, so it may have been a step forward.

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune detailed this card period:

Rookie Trestan Abner FAST

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Rookie running back Trestan Abner was one of the top performers in the first week of training camp, where he showed off his speed and playability.

This continued on Friday as Abner showed off his elusiveness on several big runs during 11v11 practice sessions.

Abner’s stock continues to rally and it certainly looks like he could find a good offensive role for himself. Abner was used in several roles, whether it was a running game or catching passes off the field.

The Bears seem to have two of the best running backs in David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert. But it looks like Abner can compete for attacking reps as a rookie.

Michael Schofield says attack will take some time to click

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears offense has struggled visibly in training camp so far. But according to offensive lineman Michael Schofield, it’s not surprising when it comes to understanding this offense.

Schofield has experience in the Bears’ new offense. It’s the exact same one he ran during his time in Denver, and he noted that “it doesn’t immediately click.”

Schofield recalled his time in Denver, where the offense struggled even into weeks 2 and 3 of the regular season. But somewhere between the 4th and 6th weeks, “it just clicked.”

“I feel like it’s a big thing with this crime. It will take time,” Schofield said. “The backs need to see it, the O-line needs to see it. And once we see it, everything will be special.”

Some shake-up on the quarterback due to Kyler Gordon not working out.

Vincent Carcietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears were missing several cornerbacks in Friday practice, including, most notably, top rookie Kyler Gordon. Kindle Wildor, who saw quite a few starters when Gordon played in the slot, and Duke Shelley were also absent.

Without these guys in the first team, along with Jaylon Johnson, Lamar Jackson and Tavon Young ran. While you might think the absence of Gordon would be a huge advantage for the offense, they still had problems in the red zone.

Attendance report

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears had a long list of players who didn’t practice on Friday, including several cornerbacks. Rookie Kyler Gordon, Kindle Wildor and Duke Shelley did not participate, joining the comrades…


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