The Chicago Bears this afternoon conducted the final practice of the 2016 season that will be open to the media. Practices going forward through the regular season will be closed to the media.
The Bears will travel to Cleveland tomorrow before taking on the Browns on Thursday night in the preseason finale. Then we'll be on to Week 1 and the Houston Texans.
Weather in Lake Forest was overcast to start practice, although temperatures soared after the sun came out midway through the session.
Practice today was in shells, not full pads.
-G Kyle Long (shoulder), CB Tracy Porter (concussion), ILB Danny Trevathan (hamstring) and CB Kyle Fuller (knee) did not practice.
-S Harold Jones-Quartey was not present due to illness.
-OLB Pernell McPhee (knee) and WR Marquess Wilson (foot) remain out. Both appear unlikely to be ready for the start of the regular season.
-Also not practicing were WR Deonte Thompson, CB Bryce Callahan and S Deon Bush.
-OL Ted Larsen, who was sick yesterday, returned to practice today.
-The Bears have already settled into their regular-season game-week routine. As such, practices are very bland, with almost no hitting and a lot of scout team work.
-During positional drills, WR Kevin White ran a crossing route and made a lazy effort at the catch. The ball went through his hands, which drew the ire of receivers coach Curtis Johnson, who made White run the route again.
On two separate occasions I've heard Johnson call White "lazy." Johnson is a tough coach who is hard on his players and pushes them verbally throughout each practice. As such, I don't put too much into the lazy moniker but I do believe White has lapses in concentration, which happen too frequently.
-WR Josh Bellamy dropped a pass in positional drills, then another pass early in 11-on-11 drills. Both were easily catchable, which has been Bellamy's biggest issue the past two years.
Later, he beat CB Deiondre Hall on a fly route. QB Jay Cutler threw a 60-yard bomb that dropped right in over the top, hitting Bellamy in stride for the touchdown.
Bellamy has playmaking potential, and the Bears like him on special teams, which is why he'll likely make the team. His problem is consistency, an area in which he's shown no improvement. Even if Bellamy makes the 53-man roster, he could be on a short leash.
-With Kyle Fuller and Tracy Porter on the shelf, the starting cornerbacks today were Jacoby Glenn and fourth-round rookie Deiondre Hall.
With Danny Trevathan sidelined, Jonathan Anderson and Christian Jones rotated at inside linebacker with the first team.
With Hardold Jones-Quartey and Deon Bush out, Chris Pronsinski started at safety.
-During team drills, QB David Fales made a nice throw to TE Ben Braunecker on a deep out. The pass was perfect but went right through Braunecker's hands.
Braunecker has been injured since the start of training camp and hasn't had many opportunities to make a case for himself during the preseason. Plays like these won't help either.
If Braunecker has any shot of making the practice squad, he needs to shine against the Browns.
-During 11-on-11s, Fales threw a pass over the deep middle to WR Cameron Meredith running a crossing route. S Adrian Amos read the play and broke forward on the pass, jumping in front of Meredith to make the interception.
Later, WR Alshon Jeffery ran an intermediate crossing route. Amos was in Jeffery's inside hip and broke quickly on the ball, nearly intercepting his second pass of practice.
Two plays later, Jeffery beat Glenn on a fly route down the left sideline. Amos covered a lot of ground and reached Jeffery before the ball, knocking the pass away.
Amos struggled last season in coverage, particularly on deep balls. He hasn't stood out during the preseason but Amos has improved his awareness in coverage, which should help limit big plays from opposing offenses.
-One of the prettiest plays of the day came from CB Deiondre Hall. On a deep post from Cutler to Jeffery, Hall stayed a half step behind the receiver throughout the route. The pass hung in the air slightly and Hall came over the top of Jeffery to knock the pass away.
This play highlighted Hall's combination of height and length, making the 6-3 Jeffery look small as he climbed the ladder on this PBU.
-During red-zone drills, LB Nick Kwiatkoski had a nice pass breakup against Braunecker, reaching around the tight end on a shallow drag.
Kwiatkoski returned to practice last week after sitting out since OTAs because of a hamstring injury. This is the first positive play I've seen from Kwiatkoski all off-season. He has athletic ability but he's too far behind at this point to be trusted. Look for Kwiatkoski to be game-day inactive early in the regular season while he catches up to speed.
1-on-1 Red-Zone Drills
Cornerbacks and wide receivers squared off in 1-on-1 drills from the 5-yard line. Here are some highlights:
-WR Daniel Braverman beats CB Kevin Peterson on a double move and is open on a crossing route along the goal line. The pass is perfect but Braverman drops it.
-WR Kevin White stems to five yards, stutter steps up three yards deeper and then breaks bake toward the front pylon. CB De'Vante Bausby breaks on the pass but White reaches over the defender and snatches the ball out of the air.
-WR Alshon Jeffery goes up and over CB Jacoby Glenn on a jump ball along the right edge of the end zone. It was an effortless play by Jeffery, who is just far too big for Glenn to handle.
-WR Marc Mariani uses a head fake and easily beats CB Sherrick McManis on a quick out.
-White goes up and over Bausby on a 50/50 ball in the back corner of the end zone for the touchdown.
-WR Eddie Royal uses a quick head fake before breaking outside, leaving CB Deiondre Hall in his wake. Hall had no chance on the quick cut.null