Chicago Bears Training Camp: What we learned on move-in day

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears ended their hiatus and addressed the media on their first day of training camp. Let’s take a look at what we learned from the press conferences.

The 2018 NFL season is almost here. The hiring of Matt Nagy, free agency additions and the draft have all ultimately led us to one of the fans’ favorite times of the year. There is certainly a buzz around the team that we haven’t seen in years. I can say that this the best I’ve felt about a Chicago Bears team since the 2013 season.

Ironically, the Bears are supposed to open training camp without any players on the PUP list for the first time in five years. Maybe this is a sign that the fortunes are finally changing for the Bears, who have been among the league’s leaders in injuries over the last few years. Nagy spoke to that on Thursday,

"“You want to come out healthy. That’s a big one there, so you have to know where you’re at with that and there’s some luck involved with that. There’s some unfortunate injuries and then there’s some that happen for certain reasons. So, health is the biggest concern for us.”"

That means that wide receiver Allen Robinson is ready to play, which is obviously huge for the offense. Robinson could lead the NFL in targets this season, especially considering that he will be able to build a rapport with Trubisky from the start.

Akiem Hicks knows how much having a guy like Robinson on offense can help the defense. Now, the offense will be able to sustain drives and give the players on defense some rest during the game. Also, when you are able to score points on offense and grab a lead, it allows the defensive line to be able to pin their ears back and go after the quarterback. Hicks said,

"“That was something in the off-season that upstairs they decided to really work hard towards building, so I’m happy that we’ve got guys on the offense that are going to be able to make some plays and our offense is going to go in the right direction. As far as our defense is concerned, I think we need to go back out there and fix the little things that we did wrong last year and make it into the top five.”"

The guy throwing footballs to Robinson, Mitch Trubisky, also spoke on Thursday. One of the biggest differences that I notice in Trubisky is his killer confidence. He knows that this is his team, now. Last season, he opened as the third quarterback on the depth chart behind Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez. Trubisky said,

"“It’s good to be back and ready to get to work. For me, it’s just get better everyday, mesh with the offense, be good with my footwork, continue to take care of my body and continue to lead this offense like I know how and like I need to do.”"

But Trubisky is trying to not look back at the past and instead focus more on the present.

"“I feel a lot more comfortable  than last year I know my role, I know exactly what I need to do, I know the offense I’m heading to. I can just go out there and be myself. I know everyone on the team, and I know I’ve earned their respect and their trust and will continue to do so through my work ethic and how much I care about this team and this game. I’m just excited about this season and the opportunity we have in front of us, so we’re definitely not going to take a single day for granted.”"

That statement right there is going to get that man a captain patch stitched on the front off his jersey for week one. Right before our very eyes, we have the alpha-leader at quarterback that this franchise has been lacking for years.

While the quarterback position is set, the quarterback of the defense, Roquan Smith, remains absent from camp. General manager Ryan Pace addressed situation surrounding the unsigned first round draft pick,

"“There’s a lot of details that go into those things. We’re optimistic that he’s [Smith] here soon. It’s really part of the process. Meanwhile, we’re rolling forward with the guys that are here and that chemistry and continuity is important. There’s not a set time, it’s a process.”"

While many fans of Chicago Bears’ nation will begin to panic, I’m here to tell you to believe the words coming out of Pace’s mouth. Trubisky did not sign his contract until July 19th last year. Also, eight of the top ten draft picks from the 2018 draft pick remain unsigned.

While the salaries are basically slotted based on draft position, it’s the offset language that is likely holding up the contract. Smith’s agent is Todd France, who also happens to be the agent for Los Angeles Chargers’ defensive lineman Joey Bosa until August 29th, 2016. Bosa still managed to put up 10.5 sacks his rookie season, despite the long contract negotiations.

Next: Chicago Bears: Experts are dead wrong about Jordan Howard

While I don’t foresee Smith’s contract negotiations lasting that long, just remember it’s not the end of the world if Smith misses a couple weeks of training camp or even the Hall of Fame game. A deal will get done and Smith will still be a force to be reckoned with in the middle of the Chicago Bears defense in 2018.