Analyzing the biggest Bears questions

The Chicago Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley breaks down the Bears’ most pressing questions as they head into summer break.

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Bears coach Matt Eberflus talks with tight end Cole Kmet.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus talks with tight end Cole Kmet.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Chicago Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley breaks down the Bears’ most pressing questions as they head into summer break:

How did Justin Fields look during OTAs and the mandatory minicamp?

There were times during passing drills where the ball just didn’t come out on time — but others when he seemed to have a mastery of Luke Getsy’s offense. Receivers coach Tyke Tolbert claims Fields’ timing “is so much better this year than it has been,” but I won’t believe that until I see it more consistently in practice. The Bears must pass better. But making grand declarations about Fields based solely on passing drills in which he can’t use his athleticism misses the point.

What does GM Ryan Poles need to address before Day 1 of training camp?

The Bears need to sign a situational pass rusher — Yannick Ngakoue, who has totaled 19 ½ sacks over the past two seasons, would be my first choice — and a veteran swing tackle before the start of training camp. The edge rusher need is no secret; Thursday, Eberflus said the Bears “have to figure out” who will be the team’s backup tackle. Larry Borom is there now.

The most promising part of offseason practices was …

The return of safety Eddie Jackson from a scary Lisfranc injury to his left foot. Jackson, who had four interceptions in 12 games last season, will be the veteran leader in a defensive backfield that has a chance to be special.

This concerned me the most about offseason practices …

Right guard Nate Davis, fresh off signing a three-year $30 million deal, missing much of voluntary OTAs. Four out of the Bears’ five starting offensive linemen this season will either be brand-new or playing a new position. They need as much time together as possible.

The position battle I’m most excited to see during training camp is…

Dominique Robinson had 1 ½ sacks in the season opener last year — and then none the rest of the season. Trevis Gipson had two in Week 2 — and one the rest of the way. Amazingly, one of the two will start this season. Both need to prove themselves.

What player has the most to gain between now and Week 1?

Tight end Cole Kmet and cornerback Jaylon Johnson could get long-term extensions before the start of the season — if not before the start of camp.

Who rules the NFC North now that Aaron Rodgers is gone?

The Packers. Jordan Love isn’t the answer at quarterback, but the last 31 years have taught me not to bury the Packers until I know for sure that they’re dead. Like a horror movie villain, they always come back to life. The Lions are the inverse; I refuse to give the NFL’s most star-crossed team the benefit of any doubt — even if they’re the most talented NFC North squad.

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