Though it’s been with the second team, Bears first-round QB Justin Fields‘ arm talent has been apparent throughout training camp as a distinguishing factor from the other quarterbacks on the roster.
“When you see a quarterback throw the ball, it’s a lot of different, obviously, throws that (Fields) can make and (it’s) a lot of different throwing angles he can throw from and things like that,” Bears WR Allen Robinson said via the Athletic’s Adam Jahns. “As a receiver, you definitely notice those things. Again, he’s a very natural thrower. He can get the ball out of his hands. He has a big arm and things like that. You definitely notice it for a receiver.”
It’s the mental side of things that Chicago is asking Fields to improve upon more now. So far, Bears HC Matt Nagy is happy with the progress Fields has shown, though not enough to dissuade him from starting QB Andy Dalton yet.
“I know there’s a lot of praise in regards to where he’s at right now with the mental side of it. But there (are) still times we all got to be real in this thing, and I think the learning curve of where he’s at, he’s at a great place, but are there still mistakes? Yeah, of course,” Nagy said. “There (are) still times where Andy and Nick (Foles) are making mistakes. But (Fields) learns from them, and I think that’s where it’s valuable at night time and throughout the day when we’re watching tape, is to let him see it, so now he can take that and use it the next time he’s out there. But he’s very talented. He knows that.”
- Nagy mentioned Bears LB Roquan Smith will be held out of practice due to a groin injury: “I feel better than worse with that.” (Brad Biggs)
Lions HC Dan Campbell said CB Jeff Okudah is “really starting to come on” with his development.
“Like Okudah, I think he’s really starting to come on,” Campbell said, via Kevin Patra of Around the NFL. “He’s playing like, ‘Alright, man. I am a bad dude. I dare you to throw it over here.’ Which is what we want.”
- Packers GM Brian Gutekunst says the team hopes to reach a deal with WR Davante Adams prior to the season like they did with LT David Bakhtiari: “We’re always open to the conversation. We don’t shut things down for the season.” (Ryan Wood)
- Packers LB coach Mike Smith says OLB Preston Smith is going to have “a heck of a year” after coming to training camp in tremendous shape: “He’s looking a little bit leaner, and he looks a little bit stronger. His arms have more definition to them… He looks like he did the first year when he got here.” (Ryan Wood)
- Smith also mentioned how good OLB Rashan Gary looks in camp: “That’s been the biggest difference with ‘Shan in training camp is he’s talking. He’s going to be a leader in this defense for a long time.” (Wes Hodkiewicz)
- Packers ST coordinator Maurice Drayton says they’re leaning towards third-round WR Amari Rodgers as a punt returner and are trying seventh-round RB Kylin Hill as a kick returner. (Wes Hodkiewicz)
- Packers HC Matt LaFleur said G Ben Braden is competing for a starting spot: “He’s a massive guy that has really good athleticism for his size. He’s got good ownership of what we’re asking him to do, and he’s done a nice job.” (Ryan Wood)
- Packers RB Aaron Jones sat out practice with a hamstring injury. (Tom Silverstein)
- Packers K Mason Crosby isn’t thinking about playing as long as K Adam Vinatieri did, instead just focusing on the end of his current contract in 2022: “Yeah, you know, 48 would be pretty cool. That’s a whole other career, to think that far out.” (Ryan Wood)
- The Athletic’s Chad Graff and Arif Hasan updated their 53-man roster projection, with WR K.J. Osborn, fifth-round TE Zach Davidson, DE Jalyn Holmes, DT Hercules Mata’afa, LB Nick Vigil, LB Cameron Smith and S Myles Dorn improving their standing.
- Conversely, others like DL James Lynch, CB Kris Boyd, S Josh Metellus and TE Brandon Dillon now look like they have longer odds to make the team.
- Vikings HC Mike Zimmer says fifth-round WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette needs to make his mark on special teams to make the team: “If he wants to make the team, that’s part of his job description.” (Chris Tomasson)