Chicago Bears

Kush and tushes, picking up the energy: Six takeaways from Monday Bears camp

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USA TODAY

Kush and tushes, picking up the energy: Six takeaways from Monday Bears camp

1. From Kush to Tush: Bad news on the injury front, as swing guard/center Eric Kush has been lost for the season after surgery to repair a torn hamstring. While Kyle Long still isn't full-go in his recovery from ankle surgery, center Cody Whitehair played a handful of snaps back at the position he was drafted for, guard, and replaced by Hroniss Grasu. That led to Mike Glennon being asked about adjusting to a new center. The first points that came to mind: snap speed, and "butt placement."  Ask a question, and Glennon answers.

2. Not-so-funny Glennon: At one point early in Monday's practice, Glennon called the offense around him. "I just felt we weren't off to a good start. Coming off an off-day., sometimes it takes a little while to get going and I just thought it would be a good idea to group everyone together and kind of pick up that energy because we weren't really good the first period. I thought we responded well after that."

3. One on one: As Adam Shaheen continues working on his blocking skills and strengthening his base, he was directly isolated in drills where tight ends are matched up versus outside linebackers. The 6'6, 270-lb. rookie was pushed steadily backwards by 6'4, 251-lb. Leonard Floyd, also a testament to how last year's top pick has increased his strength.

4. Passing games: On a day several defensive backs came oh-so-close to interceptions, including a drop by Prince Amukamara with an open field in front of him, quarterbacks threaded the needle just out of defenders' reach. Marcus Cooper was inches away twice versus Cam Meredith. But the latter held on after a good pop over the middle from Eddie Jackson. Mitch Trubisky fumbled a snap, and on the next play, rolled right under pressure and dropped a perfect in-the-bucket pass into the outstretched hands of a diving Ben Braunecker. Later in red zone drills, he stepped up in the pocket under pressure, found Ka`Deem Carey open in the end zone. The pass deflected off Carey into the arms of Rueben Randle. Mark Sanchez had the prettiest throw of the day, 40-plus yards down the sideline to Tanner Gentry, who got behind Kyle Fuller.

5. Punt return games: It's a fun "concentration" drill to watch for the returners: catch, then hold on to each football caught while another comes your way, until you can't. Rookies Tarik Cohen and Eddie Jackson both collected four, but couldn't quite hang on to a fifth, as both tried to estimate where the fifth would come down, plant themselves, and stick one football between their knees in hopes of getting that fifth. I dunno - under the jersey instead next time?

6. Cutty Love: From John Fox, to Glennon, to Zach Miller, all the Bears who were asked about Jay Cutler were happy for him as he came out of retirement this weekend to come to the Dolphins' rescue. Miller said he remained in contact with his former quarterback throughout the decision-making process, finalized when he texted Miller "I'm doing it."  And think of this: while the Bears open versus Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Green Bay, the Dolphins' early schedule has the makings for a strong start. They open by hosting the Buccaneers, then have road games versus the Chargers and Jets before facing the Saints in London.

What you need to know from Bears practice: Kyle Long gets ankle checked out, expresses remorse for Monday fights

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USA TODAY

What you need to know from Bears practice: Kyle Long gets ankle checked out, expresses remorse for Monday fights

Coach John Fox said Kyle Long expressed “remorse” and was “embarrassed” after being kicked out of Monday’s final training camp practice in Bourbonnais for sparking a pair of skirmishes with teammates.

Long hasn’t been available to the media since his pair of physical outbursts on Monday, and wasn’t at practice Wednesday. Fox said Long was at a doctor’s appointment to get his surgically-repaired ankle checked out, but is expected to be back at practice on Thursday.

Long’s father, NFL on Fox analyst Howie Long, addressed his son’s practice ejection on the Rich Eisen Show on Tuesday.

“He’s gotta get it under control,” Long said. “It’s one of those things where you’re coming back from injury and you’re switching positions, maybe you’re not where you want to be right now.”

Fox said “everything’s fine” with Long after talking with him, and understood where he could be frustrated by slowly being eased back into full team activities during practice (and possibly not playing in any preseason games).

“I think any time a player's injured, they get something that they love taken away from them,” Fox said. “It's been a minute, there's some pain and suffering that goes along with it and I'm sure those are things. But we have a lot of resources here, Kyle knows he's loved here, by his teammates and by everyone in the building. He'll get through it and we talked about that and I think he feels confident in that.”

From the sick bay

Cornerback Prince Amukamara didn’t participate in practice Wednesday due to a strained hamstring and is day-to-day, Fox said. Wide receiver Markus Wheaton had surgery on his fractured pinkie, too, Fox said.

There was some good news for the Bears on Wednesday, though, with Jeremy Langford and Mark Sanchez both participating in practice. Langford isn’t quite back to full health after spraining his ankle during a walkthrough in July, but sounded confident he can get back to that level.

“I think my main thing is getting back to 100 percent and being the player that I am and can be, and the rest will take care of itself,” Langford said.

Mitch Trubisky isn't buying (or paying attention to) the hype around him

Mitch Trubisky isn't buying (or paying attention to) the hype around him

Mitch Trubisky has to at least be aware of the hype he created with his standout preseason debut last week, right? 

“I don’t know what hype you’re taking about,” Trubisky said. “I don’t pay attention to it.”

This is coming from a guy who earlier during training camp said he’s “so good” at tuning out the outside noise, whether it’s coming from social media or traditional media. But even if Trubisky was playing coy and is aware of what’s being said and debated about him, he didn’t sound like someone willing to buy into that hype.

“I think it’s just a small step in the right direction,” Trubisky said of his first preseason game. “I still got a lot of work to do. I was pleased with how I played, but plenty more mistakes are going on during practice for me that I need to work on and continue to improve in my game and make sure when I go out there that I’m doing my job to help other people do their job.”

The mistakes Trubisky identified he made in the Denver game are about what you’d expect from a rookie quarterback making the transition from a college spread offense to the NFL (like taking the wrong drop). The Broncos second/third/fourth-string defenses didn’t throw much at him, either, so a lot of his work on identifying blitzes and setting protections is having to happen in practice. 

So there is plenty on which for Trubisky to work during practices and the Bears’ remaining three preseason games. Like coach John Fox — who said after Thursday’s game he wouldn’t blow up the depth chart for one preseason game — Trubisky wasn’t putting a whole lot of emphasis on what he did against Denver, as good as it may have been. 

“I think it just showed me that I’m making progress, that I could go out there and lead and do my job like I wanted to show,” Trubisky said. “But it was just a small sample. It was the first game, and you just gotta continue to be consistent in reproducing it. that’s why we’re out here working and practicing.”