The Bears returned to the lake shore Saturday for a dress rehearsal at Soldier Field. Coach Matt Nagy’s team scrimmaged for about two hours on their home field, complete with a pregame introduction, new public address announcer Tim Sinclair, and piped in crowd noise.
In a year without the benefit of preseason games, it was a necessary step for the 2020 Bears.
The entire afternoon was a “thud” scrimmage, meaning the players went full speed until first contact. There was no tackling.
“Today, what we were looking for was really a dry run for everybody,” Nagy said. “From the coaches up in the booth, to the coaches on the sideline, to the noise, the volume of music.”
The offensive plays were scripted in advance. Often, even if a play went for a first down, the offense set up at second down and eight, or second and five, etc. So it was a little more difficult for the offenses to find a rhythm.
Quarterbacks Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles split time with the first- and second-team offensive units. Nagy said afterward that the team will not name a starter prior to its Week 1 game Sept. 13 at Detroit.
Injury update: Running back David Montgomery did not participate Saturday after injuring his groin earlier in the week. Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (quad) was not present. Receiver Allen Robinson (ankle) warmed up in shorts but no pads, and did not participate in the scrimmage. Rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson, who had offseason shoulder surgery, remained limited.
Kicker Eddy Pineiro (groin) was present, but did not participate. Recently signed kicker Cairo Santos made all his kicks during the scrimmage: three field goals and five extra points.
Nagy didn’t provide an update on Pineiro other than “he’s trying to improve each and every day.” Pineiro has not kicked during either of the past two weeks. The Bears have said they plan on keeping two kickers this year.
Interceptions: Kyle Fuller intercepted Trubisky twice Saturday.
“Kyle Fuller has had a tremendous camp,” Nagy said. “I mean a really, really good camp.”
Nagy said he looks at those interceptions with a grain of salt.
On the first one, Trubisky was flushed from the pocket. Because the defense can’t hit him, Trubisky is told to keep the play alive and give his receivers a chance. In a real game, he might have just thrown that ball out of bounds, or tucked it and ran himself.
The second interception was tipped at the line of scrimmage. Given the nature of the scrimmage, offensive linemen weren't allowed to cut block, so the defensive line had a little bit more height than it normally would.
“To their credit, they tipped it and Kyle made a play,” Nagy said.
Quinn returns: Linebacker Robert Quinn had been held out of team drills for much of camp, but returned Saturday. He promptly sacked the quarterback twice. Quinn said he has not had any trouble adjusting to his new defense.
“It was good seeing Robert out there, I thought he had a couple nice plays,” Nagy said. “That’s why he’s here, to be able to do that.”
Quinn was previously held out of team drills after missing some time for personal reasons. Quinn said he feels fresh. He credited the staff for helping him return to full speed.
If Week 1 were tomorrow, Quinn said he would be on the field.
"As long as I wake up, I think I’ll be ready,” Quinn said.