First impressions: Bears training-camp breakdown

Will Justin Fields be better in Luke Getsy’s offense than he was in Matt Nagy’s? How much are the Bears missing Roquan Smith? A player of intrigue, a key red flag and the best newcomer. Mark Potash analyzes the first week of training camp under Matt Eberflus.

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A handoff to the tight end? The Bears offense could be unpredictable under first-year offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.

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1. First impressions of Matt Eberflus …

He looks like he’s done this before, even though he hasn’t. Compared to Matt Nagy, Eberflus comes from a greater position of authority as the Colts’ former defensive coordinator and it shows. That he handed the reins of his defense to Alan Williams already is paying dividends. His paranoia about injury information is off-putting, but regardless of that, his fate likely will be tied to one factor: getting the quarterback right. 

2. Justin Fields looks …

Like a young quarterback learning a new offense with a supporting cast learning a new offense. Fields eventually will have to make players around him better than they’ve been, but Luke Getsy has to make Fields better first. Better footwork is a very small first step in that direction, but he has a long way to go.

3. Most impressive development of camp …

The Bears’ defense doesn’t look like it’s missing Roquan Smith. Maybe it’s because the offense is in such a developmental stage; maybe it’s because hustle and aggressiveness provide false-positives in training camp, but Williams’ defense already looks like it can hit the ground running in Week 1.

4. Biggest red flag …

The offensive line is as unsettled as ever. The addition of veteran offensive linemen Riley Reiff and Michael Schofield signaled a bit of desperation. And the demise of Teven Jenkins to establish himself as a foundation piece and Lucas Patrick’s broken thumb have the offensive line mixing-and-matching more in the second week of camp than the first. 

5. 2021 player the Bears miss already ...

Guard James Daniels, who signed a relatively cap-efficient contract in free agency (three years, $26 million with the Steelers), would give the Bears some needed stability on the offensive line. 

6. Best newcomer ...

Though cornerback Kyler Gordon has been impressive, safety Jaquan Brisker still looks like the rookie who will make the biggest immediate impact. Still have to see him against another team, but he already shows signs of being a great fit for Eberflus’ defense. 

7. I’m intrigued by …

Equanimeous St. Brown was given an excuse by offensive coordinator Luke Getsy for his inability to make a bigger impact with the Packers — too much talent ahead of him — and didn’t take it. “No. They gave good opportunities … you’ve got to make the most of them,” he said. That’s a player taking responsibility for his own failure and it looks like it’s been a good motivator for St. Brown. 

8. The Bears win total is 6.5 — over or under?

Under. The Bears’ defense already looks like it’ll be competent and keep them in games. But projecting any Bears offense to be better than it looks in training camp is a fool’s errand — and that group has a long, long way to go at this point. 

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