Adam L. Jahns: What I learned from Bears’ offseason program

SHARE Adam L. Jahns: What I learned from Bears’ offseason program

Bears receivers Kevin White and Alshon Jeffery. (AP)

The Bears stretched Thursday before John Fox brought them into a huddle.

Like that, the Bears’ last mandatory minicamp practice was over.

“They’ve earned it,” Fox said. “I don’t just do that because I feel like it. They worked real hard.”

Summer began early, and will end July 27 when they check into training camp in Bourbonnais.

Here’s what I learned during the Bears’ offseason program (read Patrick Finley’s thoughts here and Mark Potash’s here):

Impressions of the Bears’ offense under Dowell Loggains:

Loggains has some fire and bite. It was obvious during the open practices that Loggains is more animated than Adam Gase, at least on the field. Several players commented on Loggains’ ways in a positive fashion.

“He’s not quiet at all,” running back Jeremy Langford said, “and that’s a good thing. You like to hear your OC out there.”

There also was an uptick in banter between defensive and offensive coaches during team drills. Fox seems fine with it, too.

“This game’s a lot of hard work, and you like to do it enthusiastically,” a smiling Fox said when asked about the banter. “A lot of times your players are a mirror of their coach, so it keeps it competitive, interesting, fun.”

How does the defense seem different?

It starts with inside linebackers Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman. They’re everything that Shea McClellin and Christian Jones weren’t at this point last year.

Their experience is obvious, but they’ve also enhanced the defense’s bravado, adding to the same edge that outside linebacker Pernell McPhee brings.

How does Kevin White look?

Like a work in progress. His physical gifts are apparent. He’s fast and imposing. But his drops stood out, especially when Jeffery was out of town. White is under pressure to be a difference-maker and is clearly learning the finer points of being an NFL receiver. But I’ll say this: when Jeffery did return for minicamp, White’s play seemingly improved.

Most buzzworthy newcomer:

White is the headliner, but rookie outside linebacker Leonard Floyd isn’t bad for a second act. In glimpses, he showed that his speed and quickness could be a valuable part of Fangio’s defense. More experienced offensive linemen had trouble with him.

The Bears’ most glaring weakness:

Tight end. Zach Miller gave Trevathan and Freeman problems at practice, but after Miller, the concerns about the position’s depth are real. Ben Braunecker, an undrafted free agent from Harvard, has a good chance to make the team. Will new addition Tony Moeaki make a difference?

Attitude after minicamp, in one phrase:

Better equipped – particularly on defense. Fangio fielded a surprisingly capable group last season, minus ideal talent. Signing Trevathan, Freeman and defensive end Akiem Hicks makes them more formidable.

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