Jerrell Freeman: Focused on small details in Year 2 of Bears defense

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Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman retired last week. (AP)

BOURBONNAIS — Jerrell Freeman spent last training camp learning coordinator Vic Fangio’s defense. Now he’s in his second season — and so are fellow inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd and defensive end Akiem Hicks.

That bodes well for a Bears front seven that could carry the team.

‘‘I was still trying to figure some stuff out [last year]; it was a new defense for me,’’ Freeman said Monday. ‘‘You can kind of tell Vic is moving along pretty fast. Things we’re paying attention to are a little different, minute details instead of big-picture things.’’

That might enable Fangio to call more elaborate pass-rush packages than he did in the previous two seasons.

‘‘Just trying to have Vic’s trust to run some stuff,’’ Freeman said. ‘‘It’s good because the defense is able to play fast and show things, give a little here and bring a little there. There’s a lot of things that go on with it. That progression from Year 1 to Year 2 is pretty good.’’

Freeman has been impressed by Floyd’s first step on the pass rush and by his ability to drop into coverage — ‘‘Leonard’s going to be pretty good for a while,’’ he said — and is eager to see Trevathan in team drills and games. The former Broncos star is working his way back from patellar-tendon surgery with the goal of playing in the regular-season opener.

‘‘He’s champing at the bit to be out there,’’ Freeman said of Trevathan. ‘‘I can’t wait to have him out there full strength.’’

Amukamara leaves

Just when the Bears thought they might be able to leave camp with relatively few injury issues, cornerback Prince Amukamara left practice early, coach John Fox said.

Fox didn’t specify Amukamara’s injury, but the Bears likely will update his status Wednesday.

Fox has praised Amukamara, whom the Bears signed to a one-year, $7 million deal, throughout camp.

This and that

Punter Pat O’Donnell and kicker Connor Barth made the best entrance of camp three weeks ago, driving onto campus at Olivet Nazarene University in a pricy McLaren, which Barth admitted the two returned to a Chicago dealership.

Barth said he tried to talk O’Donnell into buying it but joked he should wait until he gets a contract extension.

‘‘If he signs the big deal next year, we’ll up the pressure,’’ Barth said. ‘‘Four years, $18 million? I’m not his agent or anything, but . . . ’’

• Quarterback Mark Sanchez (bruised ankle) remained out during the abbreviated practice, which was closed to the public. Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (concussion) also missed practice.

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.



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