Bears News: Edwards looking forward to hosting Bengals in joint practice

Bears News: Edwards looking forward to hosting Bengals in joint practice


by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - Chemistry is essential in any team-oriented sport, but particularly football. It was clear on the field last season that Chicago’s defense struggled to find their chemistry in the early part of the season.

Now, linebacker TJ Edwards says that the Bears defense is building their chemistry more following mandatory minicamp.

“Chemistry in football is such a big thing, knowing how certain guys are going to play and certain guys are going to fit and even just how they are in terms of how you communicate with one another,” Edwards said. “So, all those things, they really help us a lot and as you say in the NFL, you continue to add pieces and we’ll sure continue to do that and see what happens. But, I’m excited for where we’re at for sure.”

In both the organized team activities (OTAs) and mandatory minicamp, the defense gave it their all going against rookie quarterback Caleb Williams, including a lot of trash talk on the field.

Particularly in mandatory minicamp where the defense was at full strength with edge rusher Montez Sweat, they were going after Williams and the offense with their energetic personality on full display.

“We’re definitely pretty annoying for sure, especially to the offense. But, I think we just like having fun. We’re out there, finally got everyone together this week and stuff like that, and even just with (Montez) coming back. He’s going to talk as soon as he gets there,” Edwards said. “So, we (are) just (having) a lot of fun and love to compete. But, they were giving it back too. So, it was a good time.”

Williams has made an impact for sure. While the defense recognizes he is still trying to find his voice with the cadence, they have also witnessed him making impressive throws in OTAs and minicamp.

“From day one, I felt like he’s been himself and before every seven on (seven) period, we’re over there talking crap to him, seeing how the period’s going to go and stuff like that and he’s responded,” Edwards said. “So, that’s kind of all you want. You want someone who’s confident and someone who also plays within themself and acts within themself and I think that’s what he is for sure.”

Chicago will be playing in the Hall of Fame game on Thurs. Aug. 1 (7 p.m./ABC). So, that additional preseason game surely benefits Williams, the rest of the offense and Chicago’s defense. Prior to their only home preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sat. Aug. 17 (Noon / NFL Network), the Bears will be hosting the Bengals for a joint practice on Fri. Aug. 15 (1 p.m.) at Halas Hall.

Edwards sees this as an opportunity to test themselves against a dynamic team that also has elite receivers including Ja’Marr Chase.

“Those are always good tests, especially those joint practices. They feel like games,” Edwards said. “It’s like you’re kind of trying to see where you’re at and stack up and that’s obviously (a) really good football team for sure. So, we’re excited about it. It’s nice not having to travel too now that it’s here … But, it’ll be good. All that work (is) beneficial for the year, truly.”

Going into his sixth year, Edwards has some goals for his NFL legacy.

Playing with a team like the Bears who have a historic history on defense but especially at the linebacker position, Edwards is going into this season focusing on consistently performing.

“I think takeaways in this league is everything. So, continuing to do that. But, I think all my personal goals are just related to what we do as a team. I want to get back to that big one. I want to win, first and foremost,” Edwards said. “But, I do know the linebacker position. The good ones, the ones who are there year in and year out, do it consistently. They have great years consistently. So, I think I’ve put a couple together, but I’m ready to keep stacking and try to add on to that for sure.”

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