Bears rookie edge rusher Kylie Fitts making a good first impression
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BOURBONNAIS — The early indications are that Kylie Fitts fits.
The outside linebacker, a sixth-round pick from Utah, has made an impact since rookie minicamp with his obvious speed off the edge. And he has continued to stand out in padded practices during training camp. Preseason games against real opponents are the next step. But coach Matt Nagy likes what he sees.
Asked about filling a void at outside linebacker with Aaron Lynch missing the last four days with a hamstring injury — after the Bears let Pernell McPhee, Willie Young and Lamarr Houston go in the offseason — Nagy mentioned the 6-4, 260-pound Fitts as a player who has stepped up.
“It’s obviously great to have Sam [Acho] here,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘Sam’s a consistent guy that you know is going to get the job done. And Kylie is having a really good camp. He plays extremely hard.
“I have to sometimes remind him to make sure to stay away from the quarterback and the throwing motion, and he actually came up to me [Monday] and apologized for it. But you can’t fault a kid for trying to play hard, trying to get to the quarterback. So I told him, ‘When we get to the preseason, do it as much as you want.’ ’’
Bears defenders already have noticed the difference in the offense under Nagy, but cornerback Prince Amukamara’s recognition of Mitch Trubisky’s “stage presence” might be the most noteworthy endorsement.
“This offense looks explosive,” Amukamara said. “They have a lot of huge pieces, a lot of weapons, especially Mitch. He looks like a veteran. I’m just looking at his stage presence, just how he coordinates everybody, how he calls plays, his presence in the pocket. They’ve been looking good so far.”
Kush vs. Daniels
While rookie James Daniels, a second-round pick, learns Nagy’s offense with second- and third-team reps, veteran Eric Kush is starting at left guard. Kush’s familiarity with Nagy’s offense might give him the edge, unless Daniels forces the issue.
Kush has started five games in four seasons in the NFL, including his first start with the Chiefs in 2013, when Nagy was the quarterbacks coach.
“He’s doing a good job because he knows this offense,” Nagy said. “He’s bigger and stronger. Mentally, the game has slowed down for him. And Kush is never going to shy away from competition, and that’s the best part I like about him. He’s like, ‘Bring it on.’
‘‘And competition is great. Once we get going in the preseason, there is going to be some competition among the whole team with each other, and that’s how we get better.”
Want your Bears training camp update without delay? Each day of summer practice, Sun-Times beat writers Patrick Finley, Adam Jahns and Mark Potash will share exclusive insights on the practices and interviews live at 1 p.m. daily through August 12. Catch their live analysis and ask questions on Twitter: @suntimes_sports or follow Sun-Times Sports on Periscope to be notified of each live report.