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Patrick Finley: Analyzing the best and worst of Bears camp in Bourbonnais

Mitch Trubisky has made some unacceptable throws in practice. But it’s fair to wonder how much the Bears’ ridiculous defense affects him.

Outside linebacker Khalil Mack is introduced before the Bears’ preseason game against the Panthers.
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The Bears packed up their moving trucks after Sunday’s practice, the 12th of training camp, and moved home to a renovated Halas Hall. After playing in front of record crowds at Olivet Nazarene University, the Bears will practice in peace as they navigate their final three preseason games and prepare their 53-man roster.

Sun-Times Bears expert Patrick Finley breaks down the best and worst of the team’s stint in Bourbonnais:

The most impressive thing I saw in Bourbonnais was:

Tight end Ben Braunecker was a molecular and cellular biology major at Harvard. He’s smart.

I’ll second what he said about outside linebacker Khalil Mack.

“I consider Khalil, like, the next evolutionary step of the human athlete,” he said. “He’s a combination of size, speed and strength that I’ve never seen before. When he he puts his hands on you and goes for it, your whole body moves around.”

How much stock do you put in Mitch Trubisky’s camp struggles?

It’s certainly not insignificant. He’s made unacceptable throws. It’s fair to wonder how much the Bears’ ridiculous defense affects him. But because Trubisky won’t play consistently in preseason games, we’ll have to wait until the season opener to find out.

Should the Bears trade for a kicker before cut day?

Even though the Vikings gave up a fifth-rounder for the Ravens’ Kaare Vedvik on Sunday, I wouldn’t trade a significant pick — say, anything before Round 6 — for a kicker. But the Bears should at least think about it. One reason: the Jets are also looking for a kicker after Chandler Catanzaro retired Sunday. By virtue of last year’s records, the Jets will get third choice of waived players on cut day — while the Bears have to wait until No. 24.

Is Matt Nagy right to dismiss preseason games?

Yes. He has proof of concept. Nagy punted on preseason games last year, and the Bears finished as the third-healthiest team in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Games Lost. In 2017, they were the league’s second-most-injured team.

Believe the hype on this player:

Rookie David Montgomery will lead the Bears in carries, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns this season. On Saturday, Nagy strategically tried to downplay his preseason debut after the fact. Don’t believe him — the Bears know they have something special.

The question the Bears still must answer is:

The kicker quandary. Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro have both been good, but not special.

Did camp change your opinion about the Bears’ future?

Nope. Their defense is still the most dangerous one on the planet. Their offense is a work in progress — albeit with pieces much more befitting a Nagy scheme.