Joniak: Bears' Coaches Optimistic About Week Seven

Jeff Joniak
October 15, 2019 - 8:18 pm

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Jeff Joniak filed these notes Tuesday from Halas Hall:

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--It was a fruitful day for Halas Hall reporters learning more after five games about players from their position coaches.  It gives everyone a full notebook.

--Quaterback coach Dave Ragone understands why fans and media compare Mitchell Trubisky to other young quarterbacks, but it is not something he does or wants Trubisky to do. Getting in the comparison game has never worked for quarterbacks he has talked to or work with. “There is no comparison to them,” Ragone said. "They just want to be the absolute best.”

--Trubisky's potential return nearly three weeks removed from a left shoulder injury per Ragone is going to be a fact-finding mission.

--Ragone does feel Trubisky is trending in the right direction in terms of performance after his throws against Washington in Week Three and where he’s come from since his career started. “I guess I look at it from a wider lens. He is, in my opinion, pointed in the right direction.”

--As expected, Akiem Hicks spends the next eight weeks on injured reserve -- avoiding surgery, it appears, for an elbow injury suffered in London. 

--Defensive line coach Jay Rodgers takes solace in the fact Hicks will actively help teammates in meetings and on the sideline helping the rest of the line.

--Losing Khalil Mack for two games last season gives Rodgers confidence that other players will help fill the void up front. “The 'next guy' mentality is real,” said Rodgers.

--Leonard Floyd delivered a big Week One, two-sack effort against the Packers. Even though it doesn’t show on the stat sheet, Floyd continues to make an impact. “He hasn’t lost an ounce of confidence,” said outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino. “Leonard Floyd has done a great job of setting edges. He’s done a great job of effecting the passing game in coverage.  He’s done a great job of knocking guys back into the launch point.  We just got to figure out ways to get him clear and get him to finish as a rusher.”

--Monachino says Floyd is the best strongside linebacker he’s ever coached. He wants Floyd to speed up his clock because his long strides get him engaged quicker than some pass rushers because each one eats up 2 ½ yards of grass. 

--Intense receivers coach Mike Furrey is very high on his unit right now. It starts with Allen Robinson, who is on a good stretch of success. A preseason goal of catching 70% to 75% of his targets is on pace after five games. He is at a career high 73%.

--Furrey feels Anthony Miller is still inconsistent at times, but being where he’s supposed to be, lining up, and making plays when the balls thrown is starting to happen. He believes Miller is growing.

--Miller’s frustration shows at times when he doesn’t finish a catch or get enough targets. “He’s not shy about wanting the football,” Furrey said. “You got to want the football. We want to have guys in our room who want the football, not shy away from it.”

--Offensive line coach Harry Heistand is prepping a trio of potential right guards now that Kyle Long is on injured reserve with a bad hip. Former defensive lineman Rashad Coward opened some eyes with his fill-in performance at right guard in Week Four against the Vikings. “He’s a tough guy. He plays very, very hard. It’s super important to him. Very prideful. He’s very determined to keep his guy from making a play.”

--Notre Dame undrafted rookie Alex Bars comes off the practice squad to the active roster and will be in the mix up front.


Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play announcer for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJoniak.