Bears Training Camp Takeaways from Day 5
Moore and Fields talking to NFL Network at camp

Bears Training Camp Takeaways from Day 5


by - Senior Writer -

Now that Chicago Bears training camp is about a week in and the first preseason game is a week away, it would be nice to look at some of the things going on in Training camp thus far. Unlike the past few seasons, there is a ton of excitement building at Halas Hall as the Bears offseason has brought a sense of optimism to a team that could desperately use it.

Coming off the worst record in franchise history and riding an 11-game losing streak (the longest in the NFL) once the season begins, Ryan Poles did a fantastic job addressing many of this team's needs. There is a reason why some experts think the Bears could go from worst to first this season or, at the very least, make the postseason.

A lot of things need to fall into place for that to happen, but to have that much excitement early this early in camp is a breath of fresh air. You can see how much of a different vibe things are just five days in as the players and coaches are eagerly awaiting the day when they can finally hit someone that is not their own.

Here are some things that stood out during day five of camp:

1. The defense has been better than the offense

While this may bother some fans when you look at the addition of DJ Moore, this is by far the biggest storyline of the camp. This defense was horrible last season, as they ranked near the bottom in nearly every statistical category.

There is a reason why this team struggled so much last season, and a large part of that was having a defense that not only couldn't get to the QB but couldn't stop teams from scoring. That was one of the main focuses for Poles in free agency, and he did a great job addressing that area.

Granted, there are still some holes he needs to fix on the defensive end, but one thing that seems destined to happen is an improved defensive unit to keep the pressure off the offense. Should they generate even moderate pressure this season, look for the Bear's young secondary to make tons of plays, as that group has a chance to do something special.

2. Chase Claypool had his best day of practice

Lost in the shuffle of what was a rough day for the offense was Chase Claypool having his best day of camp. This was a player the Bears traded for last season with the hopes of him coming in to help the passing game. Not only did Claypool struggle to find a rhythm, but he then went on to have a rough offseason where he was placed on the PUP list before camp.

Claypool is now off that list and starting to settle into a nice groove at camp. With Darnell Mooney getting close to 100% and Moore becoming the team's new No. 1 option, Claypool has a chance to be the No. 2 this season and a great secondary option for Justin Fields in the passing game.

Granted, he has a long way to go to earn the trust of Matt Eberflus, Luke Getsy, and the rest of the Bears coaching staff, but the early signs from training camp show you that he is starting to gain some of that trust. Now becomes a matter of consistency and trying to be as consistent as possible.

3. Bralen Trahan stood out on defense

While most of the attention will be put on the Bears free agent and draft classes, there are also several undrafted free agents turning heads in camp, and Bralen Trahan is one of them. The former Louisiana DB has been putting on quite a show during training camp and could be one of those diamond-in-the-rough signings that teams find similar to Jack Sanborn a year ago.

Trahan impressed in a big way with not one but two interceptions — from two different quarterbacks, no less. Trahan’s first interception came against P.J. Walker during the 11-on-11 period. He later picked off Justin Fields on a deep pass into double coverage intended for rookie Tyler Scott during the two-minute drill.

Trahan is leaving his mark on the coaching staff for a young and inexperienced player trying to make this roster or, at worst, land on the practice squad. He has had a great camp and has been one of the more consistent rookies all summer long.

4. Justin Fields utilizing check-downs

The final takeaway that many fans will notice comes from the offensive side, or, should I say, from Justin Fields. Known for his game-breaking ability with his legs, Getsy wants Fields to hone down on that this season to preserve his body better.

No one is asking him to stop running in general, but they would like him to limit his carries to avoid consistent punishment on his body. One way to do that is by using the check-downs the defense gives you. With guys like Cole Kmet, Khalil Herbert, and Roschon Johnson, Fields has plenty of options to keep possessions alive while also picking up yards.

He has been doing that much more in the early stages of camp, and for the most part, it has been working well for him. The next step would be for him to carry this over to game action, as an added element to his game would make him that much more dangerous as a player.

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