Here’s what players had to say this week at Bears training camp at Hals Hall.
Eddie Jackson – on the addition of Yannick Ngakoue: It’s just getting scarier and scarier. You know, you’re just adding more talent and more talent. When that starts to mesh together, everyone in here, has seen what’s going to happen. When you’ve got a lot of large group of talented players and people that’s actually locked in and really love football, that’s just more fuel to the fire. We feel like, ‘OK we just keep taking it up a notch.’ Now we done added him. It’s like, ‘oh man, it’s up,’ like this thing is headed in the right direction. You know, and I hate to sound like a broken record every year saying the same thing but man, listen, like this is a different feeling right now. It’s like, it’s you feel the coaching shift. Like I said man, it’s a great feeling. We’re high energy, we’re flying around. We’re ready for this thing to head in a different direction.
Justin Jones – some players not ready: It’s no worry to me. I know that when we go to Game 1 everybody’s going to be ready, ready to go. Know that some guys are working with little strains here, little hurts here. Like I’m not really a guy that tells you like ‘hey, you need to practice every day,’ a guy that tells you ‘just because we’re out here you need out be out here.’ Like every guy, that’s their body, that’s their vehicle. That’s their business right there, so you have to take care of it as such. I want guys to be able to take care of themselves and be able to get back on the field when they’re ready to be 100% because that’s what we need.
Darnell Mooney – getting more reps: We had a bunch of what we call “call-it” plays, where there’s no script, nothing you can look over. You just have to know the plays and just react to whatever the down and distance is and whatever Luke calls in. And it’s definitely a different feeling. I would say at the beginning of practice we didn’t have the best energy at all. I don’t know if it’s just the past two days or whatever it was but I know there’s a couple guys that didn’t have a lot of energy. We gradually got there. We ended getting there like when we have two-minute. We didn’t have no choice to have good energy and just move. You know, there’s not really a lot of thinking. But we have to find a way to not start slow. That was kind of our bad part last year, starting slow. We’ll have a good first drive and then after that just slow, slow, slow. So we have to have some type of consistency with starting fast and having good energy.
Teven Jenkins – asked about Justin Fields’ release time: On the field, no, but when we’re watching film, yeah. We can see that he’s getting through his progressions very fast and he’s getting that ball out a lot faster and it’s helping us as well. He knows that it does aid us because we’re pass protecting. But the thing is, we’ve got to know who we’ve got back there at quarterback. That man is very special. He’s going to stay in the pocket for six seconds, or seven seconds and break out, run. We’ve got to protect forever. That’s the thing we’ve been preaching about in our offensive meetings or our O-line meetings, we’ve got to protect to infinity.
Braxton Jones – going up against DeMarcus Walker in camp: Yeah, in one-on-ones, it’s definitely been a fight. I think I’m more struggling with the hands part. Where to place my hands more than anything. I’ve realized I’m a lot better at noticing the bull rush and then anchoring on it actually. But my hands are too wide to help myself. I think I just need to get my hands back right. I worked on them pretty hard in the offseason but I think they are just kind of still wide, with pads being on even today. I just have to get them right. And I’ll get them right, it’s just going to take a little time. Work after practice and before practice as well just to get them right. I think with him, he has just such a small surface, he does a good job of really getting your chest. I have to work on that and throwing my hands. I think the anchoring part I have been working on and seeing the bull rush has been way better and just kind of sitting on it. I think I will give myself a better shot getting my hands right.
Tyler Scott – what impresses him the most about Mooney: I think it’s just his wiggle man. I was kind of watching some of his film from last year and I heard about him, I heard he was pretty good. But then now being able to kind of really hone in on him and watch him I’m like ‘man this dude is nice,’ he’s just a real nice dude. And so, and also coming from Tulane kind of the same league for sure, there’s some love there. But no I mean Mooney, he’s, one thing I like about him is just the confidence. We trained together back when we were in Florida in the off-season in Fort Lauderdale. Just watching him run, he was just getting himself back but I think for him it was just all mental. Like I said, this is all man.