Joniak: Matt Nagy Has His Finger On Pulse Of Bears

Nagy helped extinguish some hard feelings by two Bears in practice Tuesday.

Jeff Joniak
August 13, 2019 - 5:12 pm

LAKE FOREST (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- After an off day Monday, the Bears were back to work with a practice at Halas Hall on Tuesday. Here are the notes and observations of the day.

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-- It was a back to work the "Palace at Halas," which has been renovated. Players love the new addition because it affords them great opportunity to work on their craft, study, learn and heal their aches and pains. They have virtually everything at their disposal from a training, educational, medical and nutritional standpoint.   

-- On the outstanding back practice fields behind the Payton Center, an altercation between receiver Javon Wims and cornerback Prince Amukamara cropped up. What started as some jawing turned to punches thrown by Wims, then was quickly extinguished by coach Matt Nagy with some teammates helping separate them. "They're competitors, but I wasn't real worried about it," Nagy said. 

-- One of Nagy’s day-to-day strengths is having a really good feel of what's going on with the entire team. It allows him to consistently take the pulse and strategize accordingly. After the fight ended and emotions calmed down, Nagy gathered info from Wims and brought Amukamara over. The trio quickly worked it out.  

-- Amukamara said they don't hold grudges. "You never know what someone’s trigger is," Amukamara said. "Everyone has a button and if that button’s pushed, it’s hard to go back." There's always a lot of chatter between the receivers and defensive backs, but it usually doesn’t ignite.

-- Rookie receiver Riley Ridley is starting to stack good practices. He made a bunch of catches again Tuesday, drawing praise from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. "I love throwing to Riley," Trubisky said. "He’s very savvy. He’s like Juice (Wims) a lot, where he can run the whole route tree. He picked it up quickly ... You can tell. He’s got a high football IQ. He studies a lot. He’s very competitive. He wants it really badly."

-- When a 6-foot-3 receiver averages more than 20 yards per catch in college and runs a 4.39 forty-yard dash, he's on the NFL radar. That will be the case for Emanuel Hall, whom the Bears cut Tuesday. The Bears won the derby to sign Hall after he went undrafted, but he battled injuries, with a sports hernia in the offseason program limiting him. We never saw evidence of Hall's great speed, but his physical tools are still clear.

-- Emanuel Hall's release potentially opens a clearer path for veteran receiver Marvin Hall and Wims to make the 53-man roster. Marvin Hall also runs well, and Wims is growing every day as a receiver in Nagy’s offense.

-- Defensive lineman Bilal Nichols made a diving interception of a tipped pass from Trubisky that demonstrated quick reflexes. "He’s an athletic kid," Nagy said. "His arrow is up. He’s playing well."

-- Inside linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, receiver Anthony Miller and cornerback Stephen Denmark remained sidelined by injuries. Tight end Trey Burton was given reps and caught passes in team drills, though he wasn't a full participant.

-- The Bears' two kickers combined to make 12 of 16 field-goal attempts. Eddy Pineiro and Elliott Fry each missed twice.

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