Joniak: Crowds Flock To Bears Training Camp

Jeff Joniak
July 28, 2019 - 3:58 pm

BOURBONNAIS -- WBBM Newsradio’s Jeff Joniak is covering Bears training camp. Here are his observations from Sunday:

--An estimated 8800 fans returned to Bears camp Sunday, pushing the two-day total to more 16,000. It is one of the best turnouts in Bourbonnais in arguably 12 seasons.  Players have taken notice.

--It was Eddy Pineiro’s turn to prove himself, and he delivered in a big way. After making his first five kicks, he missed from 53 yards and then chose to kick from 63 yards. It was good, effectively cranking up the competition with Elliott Fry, who was good from 60 yards on Saturday.

--Pineiro is constantly smiling.  He shows no outward signs of shrinking from the pressure, while noting that he feels it, but manages it.

--The first player on the practice field this morning was first-year tackle Rashaad Coward. He immediately starting warming up with foot work. He is driven to turn himself into an offensive lineman after arriving as a defensive tackle two years ago. Coward even works on his footwork at his home at night. 

--Head Coach Matt Nagy called on second-year receiver Javon Wims for a one-on-one route with safety Eddie Jackson, with quarterback Tyler Bray throwing the ball. Wims ran an outstanding route and secured the catch. The other one-on-one featured Mitch Trubisky throwing to running back Mike Davis against inside linebacker Roquan Smith. It was incomplete.

--It was at times a challenging day for the offense, in terms of finding open windows to throw completions. Pressure and coverage were outstanding by the defense.

--For the last 19 years in Bourbonnais, my broadcast partner, Tom Thayer, awards a daily practice ball to the player who draws his attention. Sunday, it was given to Eddie Jackson, who intercepted a deep ball intended for Anthony Miller patrolling the middle of the field and showing great range. 

--The first thing you notice about rookie running back David Montgomery is his feet. They are rapidly moving, even in tight spaces. It allows him to shift on a dime creating space. Nagy said Montgomery’s vision is some of the best he’s seen in a long time. 

--Montgomery is softspoken, he says, because he has two ears and one mouth. He listens more than he speaks. He is all business. Football is important to him.

--Converted tight end Bradley Sowell looks to be about 40 pounds lighter as he transitions from swing tackle. He is an outstanding athlete who can handle a number of assignments but brings great value as an extra blocker in a variety of down and distance situations.

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