August 09, 2022

Bears Analysis

2022 Bears training camp: Offense, defense grades for July 29

A fan watches Chicago Bears players at the team's practice facility, Friday, July 29, 2022, in Lake Forest.

LAKE FOREST – Training camp is back in full force and the NFL season is right around the corner. Each day during Bears training camp, Shaw Local will grade the Bears’ offensive and defensive performances.

Shaw Local Senior Bears analyst Hub Arkush and Bears beat reporter Sean Hammond will be out at Halas Hall in Lake Forest each day during camp. Follow Hammond on Twitter here, and follow Arkush on Twitter here.

These grades are subjective and take into account many different factors. No two practices are the same, either. Some days the team will work on specific scenarios like the red zone or two-minute drill, while other days practice could be reduced to a simple walk-through. A good day or a bad day in training camp certainly won’t make or break the season.

Friday’s practice had an emphasis on red-zone and goal-line situations. That gave the offense an inherent advantage. The team still isn’t wearing full pads, so there’s not much to glean from the offensive and defensive lines, or the run game.

Offense: B-

With center Lucas Patrick and guard Cody Whitehair sitting out, the offensive line was a bit of a patchwork group. Seventh-round draft pick Ja’Tyre Carter saw some reps at right guard and sixth-round pick Zachary Thomas played some left guard with the first-team offense. Sam Mustipher made a return to center.

Quarterback Justin Fields threw two interceptions. One on a throw that was too far behind a receiver, another he might have been looking down his target. More on those below. Fields generally did a good job of taking what the defense gave him.

Offensive star of the day: Equanimeous St. Brown

St. Brown made three nice catches near the end zone. His size created mismatches against defensive backs. He high-pointed a ball over cornerback Kindle Vildor for a touchdown in an 11-on-11 session.

Defense: B-

Being stuck with their backs in the end zone didn’t help the defense much. That being said, the defense made several big-time plays. On the first rep of 11-on-11, rookie cornerback Kyler Gordon picked off a pass from Fields that tipped off the hands of receiver Darnell Mooney. It appeared that Fields’ throw was slightly behind Mooney as he cut across the middle.

Rookie safety Jaquan Brisker also had an interception during 11-on-11. In 7-on-7, the secondary did a good job forcing Fields to take his check downs.

“Ballhawks,” head coach Matt Eberflus said of his rookie defensive backs. “That’s what they are, that’s why we brought them here.”

Defensive star of the day: Jaquan Brisker

During 11-on-11, Brisker jumped a route for an interception as tight end Cole Kmet crossed the middle of the field near the goal line. Brisker read the quarterback perfectly and made a nifty catch in front of Kmet. The play highlighted his athleticism.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for Shaw Media. He also contributes to high school football coverage at Friday Night Drive. Sean has covered various sports at the amateur, college and professional levels since 2012. He joined Shaw Media in 2016.