Bears turn to pair of DEs with Robert Quinn out
Quinn’s continued absence from mandatory minicamp has given the Bears even more reason to watch two defensive ends: third-year player Trevis Gipson and rookie Dominique Robinson.
Robert Quinn’s continued absence from mandatory minicamp has given the Bears even more reason to watch two defensive ends: third-year player Trevis Gipson and rookie Dominique Robinson.
“Both those guys are getting great reps right now, and they’re exciting to watch,” coach Matt Eberflus said after practice Wednesday. “Both are going to be good pass rushers and will continue to grow. We’re excited about both those guys, and with opportunity, you’ve got to really step up. We’ll see what happens in training camp.”
Both are fifth-round picks who switched from different positions. Gipson played defensive end at Tulsa before switching to outside linebacker in the pros. Robinson spent his first three seasons at Miami (Ohio) playing receiver.
“Sort of reminds me of me, honestly,” Gipson said of Robinson. “Fifth-round pick, chip on his shoulder, dominating practice every day and still looking to get better anywhere he can.”
Gipson had seven sacks last season and likely would start if the Bears decide to trade Quinn. He said Robinson is further along than he was at the same point.
“I think he has a lot more pass-rush attributes than I did coming in,” he said. “He has more experience on the edge than I did. I think we take the same approach to learning the game. But, overall, he’s a great student, great athlete, and I think he’s going to help us a lot.”
Jenkins stays at tackle — for now
Guard Cody Whitehair was excused from practice for what Eberflus said, with a smile, was a “good reason.” He and his wife are expecting a baby this month.
Eberflus reiterated that second-string tackle Teven Jenkins, a second-round pick last year, wasn’t an immediate candidate to move to guard even after Dakota Dozier was carted off the field Tuesday.
“Teven right now [is] at right tackle, and that’s what he’s focusing on,” he said.
Eberflus left himself some wiggle room, saying that “there could be switches” after the coaches meet with general manager Ryan Poles on Thursday afternoon to assess the team before breaking for the summer.
“That will be a real good meeting for us, and we’ll see where he is from there,” he said.
Rookie Zach Thomas, who played tackle at San Diego State but moved inside last month, took reps at left guard.
“I thought he did nice in terms of functioning in there,” Eberflus said. “I didn’t see a lot of mental errors. I’m sure he was excited to be in there.”
This and that
A day after the offense struggled, Eberflus said quarterback Justin Fields “made a lot of nice passes in all parts of the field.’’
“His timing was really good, and it was a good day for him,” he said.
u For a second consecutive day, the Bears cut practice about 25 minutes short because of the heat advisory in Lake Forest.
u Former Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s speech to the team lasted about 20 minutes and focused on “life skills” and “how to maximize yourself physically and mentally,” Eberflus said.
Marinelli is one of Eberflus’ mentors.