The Chicago Bears open training camp on July 20 at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Here’s a closer look at the Bears’ camp:
Top storyline: The offense. Chicago’s offense looked dreadful under former coach John Fox, whom the team fired after a 14-34 three-year stretch. The Bears hired 40-year-old Matt Nagy to improve the club’s sagging morale and to install the offensive system that veteran head coach Andy Reid used in Kansas City. Chicago’s fortunes in 2018 hinge on Nagy and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s ability to get the offense up to speed.
QB depth chart: There’s no quarterback controversy in Chicago this summer. Trubisky, the second overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft, is the unquestioned starter. He appeared in 12 games as a rookie to mixed reviews. The Bears paid veteran Chase Daniel, who played under Nagy in Kansas City, $7 million guaranteed to serve as Trubisky’s primary backup. Another former Nagy quarterback, veteran Tyler Bray, is the Bears’ third quarterback.
Bubble watch: The Bears don’t have many compelling training-camp battles, but it’ll be interesting to see how many wide receivers make the 53-man roster. High-profile free-agent pickups Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel are locks to make the team. Same with 2018 second-round pick Anthony Miller out of Memphis. The Bears were pleased with how Kevin White, the seventh overall choice in 2015, looked during the offseason program, so that could leave veterans Joshua Bellamy (valuable on special teams), Bennie Fowler and Marlon Brown, and seventh-rounder Javon Wims fighting it out for the final couple of spots.
This rookie could start: Linebacker Roquan Smith, whom the Bears took eighth overall out of Georgia. The plan is for Smith to start immediately alongside Danny Trevathan at inside linebacker. Given Smith’s speed, he figures to be an every-down player on Chicago’s defense -- the strength of the team. Former Iowa center James Daniels – drafted in round two -- figures to be in the mix for a starting job at left guard. Miller is expected to work as a slot receiver on offense.
Ready or not: The Bears report to training camp early this summer because of their participation in the Hall of Fame game versus the Baltimore Ravens on Aug. 2. Chicago hasn’t played in five exhibition games in a single preseason since 2005. The Bears were scheduled to be in the Hall of Fame Game in 2011, but it was canceled due to the NFL lockout.
Road to recovery: Two of the Bears’ best players on offense -- right guard Kyle Long and Robinson -- both missed the majority of the voluntary offseason program recovering from injuries. Robinson took part in certain individual drills in minicamp, but the Bears held him out of all team-related work. However, Nagy said Long and Robinson are both expected to be full go when the club arrives in Bourbonnais. Former first-round pick Leonard Floyd also sat out the bulk of the offseason -- Floyd suffered a knee injury last year -- but he returned to action in minicamp.