Chicago Bears: Highlights from joint practice with Broncos

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears wrapped up their joint practice with the Denver Broncos and we’ve got the full run-down.

On Wednesday, the Chicago Bears opened up the first of two days worth of joint practices with the Denver Broncos at the UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. After a somewhat lackluster performance by the starters in last week’s preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals, fans were eager to see them back on the field against another team.

Another reason fans were excited about these practices, was that it was the first for Roquan Smith who signed his contract and ended his holdout this week. While the Bears will ease him into practice at first, it is good to see him out there getting reps.

The first of these practices are in the books, and there is a lot to unpack, so let’s dive right in.

The Good

As I alluded to earlier, the offensive starters did not look great in limited action against the Bengals. So everyone was looking on with much anticipation at how Mitch Trubisky and the offense were going to look today. Reports out of practice are that they looked fantastic.

Again, it’s never a good idea to put too much stock in a good or bad performance in training camp, but it was good to see the offense bounce back, if only for their confidence.

Trubisky looked sharp, going 4-4 in a full team drill against the Broncos first-team defense and was clicking with his tight ends all practice. In fact, the tight ends on balance had a terrific day, exploiting the middle of the Denver defense.

The other very positive takeaway from practice was a report that Allen Robinson is expected to get some playing time on Saturday in the Bears’ game against the Broncos. This is not only positive, but much needed news, as Trubisky and Robinson appeared to be out of sync a bit today, likely a result of their limited work together.

The Bad

Unfortunately, this category belongs solely to Kevin White. I have been one of White’s biggest cheerleaders since the start of camp, hoping beyond hope that he is finally able to stay healthy and reach his potential.

Unfortunately, training camp has not gone very well for him, as he has suffered his fair share of drops. He has also allegedly routinely drawn the ire of some of his coaches, who have been imploring him to finish plays.

The Bears seem to be giving White every chance to succeed. Unfortunately, he does not appear to be making the most of his opportunity — at least not yet. There is still a lot of time left in camp, and the hope is White starts to shine. We know the talent is there, and the effort is there, but what appears to be lacking at the moment is his confidence, but that can change in a hurry. Stay tuned.

The Ugly

Unsurprisingly, the ugly from today’s practice is no surprise and a recurring theme. Cody Whitehair cannot snap a football on target, out of the shotgun formation, with any regularity. While he may perform very well at other aspects of the center position, snapping the football is a biggy — especially out of the shotgun which the Bears expect to feature a lot this year.

We saw it in the Bengals game on a third and long play from deep inside Bears’ territory in the first quarter. Whitehair was off target on his shotgun snap and it disrupted the entire rhythm of the play. That happened again today at practice.

Although Trubisky was able to successfully recover and complete the pass, this is not what you want in an offense built on precision route running and timing. The snap needs to come out clean — period. If Whitehair can’t consistently do that, then the Bears must consider starting James Daniels at center and put their best offensive line on the field.

Next. Takeaways from Roquan Smith interview. dark

Bottom Line

Overall, today’s practice has to be considered a success. Even Smith looked pretty good considering it was his first time out on the field with his teammates. The team will be back at it again tomorrow where they hope to build on the momentum from today.