Keenan Allen Calls Bears' Defense 'Annoying' After First Minicamp Practice

The Bears began their mandatory minicamp on Monday and veteran WR Keenan Allen made one observation: Chicago's defense is annoying to face.
WR Keenan Allen had a lot of praise for the Bears' defense on Tuesday.
WR Keenan Allen had a lot of praise for the Bears' defense on Tuesday. / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

With voluntary offseason workouts (OTAs) in the rearview, the Chicago Bears finally began their mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. The next step of the offseason gave the media and fans a chance to glimpses of the Bears' new arrivals and returning players in a more competitive environment.

Keenan Allen is one player who Bears fans were dying to see after Chicago sent a 2024 fourth-round pick to the Los Angeles Chargers to acquire him back in March. The 32-year-old didn't make a single OTA appearance, though, meaning Tuesday's minicamp session was his first time being with the team.

Allen spoke with reporters after practice about his initial thoughts, including what he thinks of the Bears' ruthless defense.

Bears News: Keenan Allen Calls Defense 'Annoying'

According to the Chicago Tribune's Colleen Kane, Allen told reporters that facing Chicago's defenders was "annoying" and that the franchise likely has a "top five defense" on its hands. He added that another thing that got under his skin was how the Bears defenders would talk a lot whenever they came up with a play.

According to WGN9's Eli Ong, Allen saw a lot of All-Pro cornerback Jaylon Johnson and two-time Pro Bowl safety Kevin Byard throughout Tuesday's practice. It's never easy to face a corner as good as Johnson while Byard demonstrated his elite defensive potential with a Pick-6 during one of the drills.

With how much talent Chicago boasts in the secondary, it's no wonder that Allen was frustrated. It also didn't help that the six-time 1,000-yard receiver was away from Chicago throughout the last two weeks as he visited his family who's still back in Los Angeles.

Between practicing against a relentless Bears defense this summer and dealing with his family's absence, Allen knows that he's in the middle of an adjustment period.

"It’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment. I haven’t lived without [my family] my whole time in the NFL. Just going to have to figure it out, being by myself for a little while."

Keenan Allen

Hopefully, the defense arrives as Allen is advertising once the 2024 NFL season begins. Chicago had one of the worst defenses to begin the 2023 campaign, but things quickly improved after defensive end Montez Sweat was acquired from the Las Vegas Raiders. The Bears went from allowing an average of 23.5 points through their first eight games to a 17.8 PPG clip following Sweat's arrival.

The Bears will also heavily rely on Allen to play to his potential as he enters the final year of his current contract. Despite already having 11 NFL seasons under his belt, the ex-Cal product registered a career-high 108 receptions for 1,243 yards and seven touchdowns in his final campaign in Los Angeles.

Strong performances from both the defense and Allen this fall could go a long way in helping Chicago return to the playoffs. The Bears are currently projected to be right on the playoff bubble with FanDuel Sportsbook giving them equal odds (-110) to make or miss the 2024-25 NFL postseason.

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