Heading to training camp? Meet the newest Bears
BOURBONNAIS — If you’ve been paying attention, most national media outlets have given Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Pace praise for the way he’s maneuvered the team’s roster space throughout the offseason.
And, if you’re more than a casual fan, you know those outlets are on to something.
The Bears, who start t raining camp at Olivet Nazarene University next week, have added several new faces who are expected to immediately contribute.
If you’re planning on attending training camp, which runs from July 21 to Aug. 11, you might see some of these newest Bear cubs.
Matt Nagy, Head coach: After the departure of John Fox, who guided the team to a 14-34 record and three fourth-place finishes in the NFC North during his tenure, the Bears needed a fresh start with a headset. Enter Nagy, who’s now spent 10 years in the NFL as an assistant coach — all under Andy Reid in Philadelphia and Kansas City. He spent 2017 as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator, helping the franchise go 10-6 en route to an AFC West Division championship.Allen Robinson, Wide receiver (No. 12): Robinson, who spent his first four years in the league with the Jacksonville Jaguars, tore his ACL in a Week 1 contest last season. The former Penn State Nittany Lion will be wearing No. 12 and has amassed 2,848 receiving yards — 1,400 of those came in 2015 — alongside 22 touchdowns in his four-year career. He signed a three-year, $42 million contract with the team in March.Roquan Smith, Linebacker (No. 58): With the eighth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Bears called Smith’s name. The 2017 Butkus Award winner out of the University of Georgia paced the Bulldogs’ defense with 137 tackles and 6½ sacks. He stands at 6-foot-1, 225 pounds and has been labeled with “Pro Bowl traits” by NFL.com.Cody Parkey, Kicker (No. 1): Since releasing Robbie Gould in 2015, the Bears have had a hit-and-miss relationship with kickers. They hope Parkey, a five-year veteran, is the solution to that problem. The 26-year-old connected on 21-of-23 field goal attempts last year in Miami. He’s also spent stints in Cleveland and Philadelphia. In his career, he’s hit 76-of-88 attempts — 86.4 percent — with a long of 54 yards.
Taylor Gabriel, Wide receiver (No. 18): Last season with Atlanta, Gabriel tallied 33 catches for 378 yards and a score. In his five-year career, he’s hauled in 132 passes for a total of 1,819 yards and eight touchdowns with both the Falcons and Browns. The 5-foot-8 wideout could be an option for the Bears in the slot and brings electric speed. Just another weapon for second-year signal caller Mitch Trubisky.James Daniels, Offensive lineman (No. 68): The 6-foot-3, 306-pounder has spent the last four football seasons as the Iowa Hawkeyes’ center. However, the Bears plan to move Daniels to a guard position. Chicago selected Daniels in the second round of this year’s draft with the 39th overall pick. Sports Illustrated’s Andy Benoit describes Daniels as a “nimble” interior O-lineman. That’s good news for the Trubisky.Chase Daniel, Quarterback (No. 4): Should, God forbid, Trubisky go down with an injury, Daniel will trade his clipboard for a helmet. The 10-year veteran, who’s spent time in New Orleans, Kansas City and Philadelphia, is expected to be Trubisky’s backup. In his career, he’s completed 51-of-78 passes for 480 yards and a touchdown.MORE NEW FACES: With the bulk of new names mentioned, you may also run into the following new Bears: Trey Burton, tight end (No. 80); Aaron Lynch, linebacker (No. 99); Anthony Miller, wide receiver (No. 17); and Joel Iyiegbuniwe, linebacker (No. 57).