The “U” tight end is a critical position in Bears HC Matt Nagy‘s offense and he’s taken a lot of shots at trying to fill it since coming to Chicago. The latest and most promising option is 2020 second-round TE Cole Kmet, who worked behind Jimmy Graham as a rookie last year and caught 28 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns. He’ll still have to compete with Graham for playing time and touches, as Chicago somewhat surprisingly has held on to the veteran and made other cuts to free up cap space, but the Bears are bullish on Kmet.
“The more reps he got, the better he got with just playing football, a lot of it with his run blocking, his pass protection, his route running, knowing how to run certain routes vs. man and vs. zone and things like that,” Bears TE coach Clancy Barone said via the Athletic’s Adam Jahns. “The big thing for him moving forward is going to be taking the next step in that progression, and a lot of it is understanding pre-snap vs. post-snap how to adjust things on the run.”
- Jahns notes the Bears didn’t really find any takers after dangling WR Anthony Miller on the trade block and for now they plan to see how he responds in training camp to being on the hot seat.
- In order to get more out of their pass rush, the Bears plan to put OLB Robert Quinn on more of a snap count in 2021. They’ll spell him with Jeremiah Attaochu and Trevis Gipson, the latter of whom they’re counting on taking a big step forward in his development.
- Per Over The Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald, the Bears will add $9 million in cap space after June 1 for the release of LT Charles Leno. He will still count for $2.8 million in dead money in 2022.
Lions DC Aaron Glenn said he is looking forward to coaching LB Jamie Collins.
“Man I’m excited about that player,” Glenn said via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News. “I go back and watch him when he was in New England and the different spots that he can play in. When you sit there and talk to Jamie, you realize how intelligent he is as a football player. So I have a number of ideas I want to do with him — put him as a stack backer, put him on the edge, maybe put him at the at zero technique and let him beat some of these centers that are slow-footed. Again, it goes back to the philosophy; versatility, versatility. So now, I can dictate, and that’s my plan.”
Glenn added that senior defensive assistant Dom Capers is going to be a big asset to the team.
“Me, playing with Dom, and I think I’ve said this before, one of the most organized men I’ve ever been around,” Glenn said. “Listen, he has like an array of knowledge, as far as his 3-4 defense, something I’ve always wanted to do. And man, it’s a no-brainer to get a guy that has a lot of success in this area with Dom.”