The offense resumed on Wednesday with an improved performance during the second of three mandatory Veterans Minicamp practices, with quarterback Justin Fields throwing some quick and avoiding the turnovers that plagued him the day before.
Here are three things I learned at Halas Hall.
1. Tight end Ryan Griffin envisions the Bears to be a ‘cold-weather’ team.
The 10-year veteran, who signed a one-year contract worth $2.25 million in April, described the kind of offensive system that would depend on good tight ends.
“You can see in our roster makeup that we’re a small team,” said Griffin, 32. “Too many hungry people. hard working people. And I think our vision is to be a hardworking, hardworking, cold-weather football team, and I’m proud to be part of some of those teams. I’m happy to be here and trying to fix this thing.”
How is crime going to shape up?
“It’s like we’re going to be physical, we’re going to run, we’re going to be well conditioned and we’re going to pound,” he said. “And we’re going to run from sideline to sideline and hopefully we can get some balls over the top. In the meantime, we have to score. To win in this league you have to put points on the board. We have people in this room to do it, we just have to fix the execution, and that’s part of the year. This is the reason we are here. were working.”
Griffin and James O’Shaughnessy, an eight-year veteran of Naperville North and Illinois State, are the only experienced tight ends on the roster behind Cole Kemmett. Perhaps it signals that offensive coordinator Luke Getsy will lean more on 12 personnel (one running back, two wide receivers, two tight ends) this season. Getsy comes from Green Bay, and the Packers were number 2 in the league, using only 12 personnel behind the Miami Dolphins the previous season (29% of the time).
This can be a good idea for teams that don’t have the depth on the wide receiver and can help with the ongoing game. But not every team that uses an out-zone running scheme uses as many as 12 personnel. The San Francisco 49ers, for example, last season were in 12 personnel only 10% of the time.
2. Travis Gipson says playing with your hand in the dirt will help.
The defensive end had a slightly slow adjustment as a rookie in 2020, when he moved from a defensive end to play as an outside linebacker in Tulsa. He adapted well into 2021, finishing with seven sacks, but is happy with the change in plan in which he doesn’t need to worry about responsibilities in coverage.
“They’re just turning us loose,” Gipson said. “Honestly, allow us to play the ball, play fast, play smart, with tremendous effort. So it’s something that’s going to pay off for the whole defense, the whole team, and I think we’ll have good results.”
,I think overall, especially in this defense… it’s going to be overwhelming. I have to come out three-points, (fast) get out of the ball fast and little things like that get lost in different situations. ,
Gipson said he was impressed by rookie Dominic Robinson, a situational pass rush drafted from Miami-Ohio.
“In a way that honestly reminds me of me,” Gipson said. “Fifth round pick, chip on his shoulder, dominating practice every day and still looking to get better anywhere.
“He’s really athletic. Dude is slim, can walk, very versatile. He can sprint at passer by speed and slay passer by power, and I think that makes him a great player.” I’d say he’s better than me, honestly. He has a lot more pass-rush qualities than I can come up with. He has more experience on the edge than me. We take a similar approach to the game of learning, but total All in all, he’s a great student, a great athlete, and I think he’s going to help us a lot.”
3. At one point, there were 3 rookies in the first team’s offensive line for three days.
Left guard Cody Whitehair had an excused absence and veteran Lucas Patrick was pretty much limited to individual practice, so the Bears moved some parts around. At one point Braxton Jones was on the left with Zach Thomas at left guard and Doug Kramer at center. Sam Mustifer was on right guard and Larry Borom was on right tackle. Veteran Dakota Dossier was not seen Tuesday’s practice after he was left on a cart, injuring his left leg.
At first glance, coach Matt Eberfluss said that he thought Thomas performed well and made no mental mistake.
Line is going to explain how the first and second teams are deployed at the start of the training camp next month. The coaching staff can plan legitimate competitions in one or two positions, but the depth chart has to start somewhere. A decision on who will be where will be taken soon, even if one has to wait till the end of July.
“We will have a big meeting (Thursday) with all the coaches, with (GM) Ryan (Poles) and his staff to reevaluate the entire roster before the players and coaches go on a break,” Eberfluss said.
Taven Jenkins, the 2021 second-round pick, has not been an option at guard, with Eberfluss saying he wants him to focus on the right tackle.