Joniak: Bears' Prince Amukamara Having A Strong Camp

Amukamara is making more plays on the ball in training camp.

Jeff Joniak
August 06, 2019 - 4:34 pm

BOURBONNAIS (WBBM Newsradio) -- The Bears practiced again Tuesday, and just two days separate them from their preseason opener against the Panthers on Thursday. Let's get to the news, notes and observations of the day.

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-- It was a no-pad practice for the Bears on Tuesday in their first game week of the preseason. After a walk-through at Halas Hall on Wednesday, the Bears' prep will be completed as the Panthers await Thursday.

-- Among the highlights in practice was a tipped pass by inside linebacker Roquan Smith intended for tight end Adam Shaheen that cornerback Prince Amukamara intercepted in the end zone. He then lateraled to big defensive lineman Eddie Goldman, who was escorted by a bunch of his fellow defenders 95 yards to the end zone. Amukamara also intercepted another pass intended for top receiver Allen Robinson. Amukamara has had a really good camp and is making more plays on the ball. 

-- Rookie cornerback Clifton Duck is a fan favorite at camp, with quack chants after practice. He’s also produced interceptions in multiple practices, including Tuesday. A 5-foot-9, 192-pound product of Appalachian State, Duck is someone to keep an eye on throughout the preseason games. 

-- One of the best interceptions of camp was made by rookie cornerback Duke Shelley, who undercut a route on a throw by reserve quarterback Tyler Bray and then went sky high to stretch out and grab the ball. It was well done.

-- Rookie running back David Montgomery once again made it look easy in the passing game, showing soft hands and quickness to get up field after the catch. Veteran running back Mike Davis is also an asset in the passing game, and it will be fun to watch the backs move the sticks in more ways than one this season. 

-- Rookie receiver Riley Ridley made some nice catches in his return from a hamstring injury. He looked good, and it would be nice to see him play against the Panthers. Tight end Trey Burton again was sidelined, as he's still working himself into football shape after offseason sports hernia surgery. The Bears are taking a cautious approach. There have been no setbacks. It's the smart play considering the regular-season opener is still a month away. 

-- The first unofficial depth chart was released, and there were no major surprises. Even the kicking competition, which did take a break Tuesday, offered no insight. It stated the kicker is Eddy Pinero "or" Elliott Fry. It didn't designate one or the other as being first string. 

-- Governor JB Pritzker watched practice and visited with Bears chairman George McCaskey. 

-- Previously working for the Chiefs, Bears inside linebackers coach Mark DeLeone watched Danny Trevathan with the Broncos for years in the AFC West. Now, he's impressed being around him every day. "Danny’s done a great job adjusting his body, his diet and all those things," DeLeone said. "So now as he does get older, he’s having a great camp and he’s playing very well."

-- DeLeone is also excited about Smith, whom he feels is one of the best college linebackers he ever saw on tape. "He checks all the boxes," DeLeone said. "Everything you want in an inside linebacker, Roquan brings to the table. He has every single skill set and tool you want in a guy."

-- Secondary coach Deshea Townsend has the respect from his players for a great career in his own right with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He believes the Bears' defense is self-motivated. "It’s just good defensive football," Townsend said. "They have it within. They’re close. They push each other. They get can on each other and when you have that, you tend to be a good defense. It’s hard to find."

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