NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Vikings

     

Bears

The quarterback competition the Bears originally envisioned holding between Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles will be anything but ordinary. Chicago hasn’t seen either player in practice yet and will have limited reps and no preseason games to make their decision. But Trubisky at least has the advantage of familiarity and has been working out with teammates on his own. Bears HC Matt Nagy acknowledged Foles will be starting from behind. 

“I think for sure it’s an absolute more of a disadvantage not having what he could’ve had, building the relationship and more specifically the timing with the wide receivers that you get in the OTAs, where you can route after route after route after route,” Nagy said via NFL Media’s Kevin Patra. “You get to see and feel how guys time up their motions. For sure that would be a disadvantage. It’s something that he could’ve had that doesn’t have. But those guys know that. He understands that.”

The responsibility falls on Nagy and the coaching staff to create situations where they’ll be able to evaluate with passer is best-suited to start Week 1 against the Lions. 

“We need to be creative within these drills and make sure that the time that’s given to us in practice, that we’re using it as much as we can with competitive periods,” Nagy said. “It’s hard to do that in walk-throughs. It’s hard to do that in meetings, even if they’re in person. When we get a chance to go out there, we’re evaluating those quarterbacks with every single play. Not just throw, but every single check that they make at the line of scrimmage, every bit of leadership that they show in and out of the huddle. We’re there watching how they react to a specific play in practice. So that got squeezed down a bit.”

The coaching staff also plans to be as transparent and open as possible with the two players as the competition plays out. 

“As we’re going through this, if one of the quarterbacks is stinking it up, and he’s playing like crap, we’re going to tell you that you’re playing like crap,” he said. “And if you’re playing really well, we’re going to tell you that in front of the other one. They’re both going to know if someone’s playing good and someone’s playing good or someone’s playing bad and someone’s playing bad. They’re going to know that.”

However, Nagy said he is going to stress to both quarterbacks not to press and just to be themselves despite the strange circumstances. 

“For both of them, it’s just gonna be… Neither one of them should go out there and try to do too much, you know? They just need to be themselves out there when they’re playing football and let the results take care of themselves. They’re both really good people, so in the room it’ll be really good there.”

Lions

  • Per Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, Lions GM Bob Quinn punted on questions about extension talks with WR Kenny Golladay and OT Taylor Decker and how they were impacted by the pandemic.
  • Quinn said the plan is to keep the roster at 90 players and go split-squad until August 16, adding they want to look at every player on the roster. (Michael Rothstein)

Vikings

  • Chad Graff and Arif Hassan of The Athletic believe rookie QB Nate Stanley is likely the odd man out for the Vikings at quarterback this season.
  • The duo can rookie WR K.J. Osborn costing RB Ameer Abdullah his roster spot due to this ability to return kicks and the fact that the team has a solid backup in RB Alexander Mattison.
  • The pair were unable to come to an agreement over whether G Pat Elflein will make the roster but both agree he is unlikely to start at left guard opposite RG Dru Samia.
  • Neither writer sees DE Anthony Zettel making the roster due to the fact that the Vikings added young linemen Kenny Willekes and D.J. Wonnum in the draft.
  • KSTP’s Darren Wolfson notes free-agent DT Timmy Jernigan is “roarin’ to go” and ready to sign. Jernigan’s verbal agreement with the Texans was not finalized this offseason. The Vikings had not reached out as of Tuesday morning. 
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