3 things we learned at Chicago Bears training camp, including defensive coordinator Alan Williams’ level of trust in his cornerbacks – Reading Eagle

The Chicago Bears held their final practice of training camp Sunday morning at Halas Hall with a large group of military and first responders.

Quarterback Justin Fields had two big connections with wide receiver Equanimeus St. Brown, finding him in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown in a red-zone drill and then hitting him for a 23-yard gain down the sideline, allowing St. Brown to go out of bounds and stop the clock in the two-minute drill.

Here are three things we learned on Sunday.

1. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams said he’s undecided about who will be at quarterback.

Rookie Kyler Gordon returned to practice last week After missing a significant portion of the preseason, the second-round pick played Thursday as the top nickel against the Seattle Seahawks. Gordon also worked on the outside on Sunday and is apparently ready to start alongside Jaylon Johnson.

Injuries have created a lot of moving parts this summer. Thomas Graham Jr. sat out the first day of camp with a hamstring injury. Veteran Tavon Young is out almost as much, though coach Matt Eberfluss has yet to say anything about his absence. Both were considered as possible options for the role of nickel.

In their absence, undrafted rookie Jaylon Jones, who was injured against the Seahawks, has been getting a close look at the nickel. Likewise, depth issues have given Lamar Jackson plenty of time with the rookies, though Kindle Vildor is now back in the mix.

Having to juggle so many players forced the coaching staff to take a closer look at players they didn’t know much about.

“I’m not sure yet,” Williams said when asked which quarterbacks have earned his trust. “In your mind, I think I know where you’re going. You say, “Well, is that Jaylon Johnson?” Did he earn it?” None of our guys played the whole game. Until you play the entire ballgame through the system, you’re looking at, “Can a guy play 60 or 70 reps and be consistent?”

“Because on defense, you can play a knockout game for three quarters and then, as you saw last night, it can go like this in a flash and the offense can score two touchdowns, three touchdowns, and it’s over. Now we are still looking, we will see who can get there and earn trust.

“I know our guys are working. I don’t want it to seem like they don’t work. … I always say it’s a bank account. Can you fill that bank account with confidence in how you play and be consistent? And then we’ll go from there.”

2. Running back David Montgomery is eager to see Taven Jenkins prove the naysayers wrong.

Jenkins continues to get reps at right guard.

“I love Tev,” Montgomery said. “He is unpleasant. He has controlled chaos. You can see it when he’s playing, so it’s definitely a good thing to see, especially from the guys up front who are going to help you run the ball.

“When he’s off the field, he’s very good. His glasses never fog up. He speaks with possessive pronouns. He’s just a super smart guy. But when he’s on the field, it looks like he’s still super smart, but he’s kind of – yeah, he’s not. You can definitely tell a screw is loose when you can go from super nice to not so nice.”

Veteran Michael Schofield was short with the starters on Sunday, but Jenkins got the bulk of the reps with the first team.

3. Dazz Newsome dropped a perfect pass to Trevor Siemian.

Newsome had plenty of separation from the defensive back covering him and was free to run downfield when he dropped a pass from the Bears’ backup quarterback. The second-year receiver can’t afford to miss opportunities like this while competing for a roster spot with the new regime.

Veteran Riley Reif continued to work with the second unit at left tackle.

The Bears have signed quarterback Jake Vargas, who was released by the Minnesota Vikings last week. To free up space, placed wide receiver David Moore is on injured reserve.

Absent from practice were: N’Keel Harry (ankle), Byron Pringle (quadriceps), Nsimba Webster and Tajae Sharp; defensive backs Jaquan Brisker (right arm), Graham, Young and Jones; running back Treston Ebner; center Lucas Patrick (right thumb); and linebacker Caleb Johnson (knee).

The Bears have to trim their roster from 85 to 80 players by 3:00 p.m. Tuesday.


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