Bears News: Sweat excited about Booker, challenging Williams during minicamp

Bears News: Sweat excited about Booker, challenging Williams during minicamp

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO—The Chicago Bears turned heads when they acquired edge rusher Montez Sweat in a mid-season trade with the Washington Commanders. While Sweat's salary was initially surprising, as he has the largest cap hit of any Chicago Bears player, the market's changes during the offseason paid off.

Because the Bears got him during last season, this is Sweat’s first off-season with the Bears. While he did not attend the organized team activities (OTAs), which were optional, he was present during Chicago’s mandatory training camp.

After playing with the Bears defense for nine games last season, Sweat is continuing to build chemistry with the players especially because of the lack of turnover on the defensive side of the ball.

“We brought basically the same defensive staff back, and we got a lot of guys on defense back. So, it’s definitely some familiar faces, familiar calls, of course, and all that type of stuff. So, just sort of kind of pick up where you left off,” Sweat said. “We just got to keep stacking the days. I wouldn’t say it’s the same defense from last year, but it’s pretty much the same. We’re familiar with the guys that are around us. So, just stacking the days and really just creating that chemistry.”

One of the only new players on the defense is defensive lineman Austin Booker, whom Chicago traded back into the 2024 NFL Draft to acquire.

Booker has minimal college experience, having played in only 18 games. However, from what Sweat has seen, Booker promises to be a great player.

“I’m excited about him. He’s got the whole makeup from the frame to the pass-rush ability. He’s going to be a great player,” Sweat said. “I just got to be that big brother for him, be there for him when he has a question and just help him along the way just like the vets help me.”

With the quarterback turmoil with the Washington Commanders, Sweat is used to facing different quarterbacks and challenging them. That is no different with Bears’ rookie quarterback Caleb Williams.

The former Heisman has made an impression on Sweat as a humble player, but Sweat and the rest of the defense still feel it is their responsibility to ensure Williams develops into an elite NFL quarterback.

“He’s pretty humble, talented guy. But, he’s (a) pretty down to Earth guy and he has those leadership qualities,” Sweat said. “Anybody I’m going up against, I want to make better. I would hope they would want to do the same to me. So, we just taking that approach as we go along.”

During Sweat’s time with Washington, the team was never featured on Hard Knocks. Therefore, this training camp, when the Chicago Bears are on Hard Knocks, will be Sweat’s first experience with the show.

While it shows the excitement surrounding the Bears this offseason, Sweat emphasizes the importance of executing on the field.

“It’s definitely exciting, but we really can’t get caught up on what’s on paper. Football is played on the field and you got to go out there and execute the Xs and Os,” Sweat said. “So, we can’t get caught up in any of that stuff that’s going on outside of here, but just stick to what we know and that’s playing football.”

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