Joniak's Journal: Trevathan Staying In Touch With Smith

Danny Trevathan is back after a hamstring pull, while Roquan Smith is still holding out.

Jeff Joniak
July 30, 2018 - 6:45 pm
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BOURBONNAIS (670 The Score/WBBM) -- The Bears continued their work with another practice Monday as the preseason opener awaits against the Ravens in the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday. Here are the observations of the day.

First impression

A return to work at least on a limited basis for inside linebacker Danny Trevathan is a welcome sight. He tweaked his hamstring before camp during a training session.  The hard-hitting Trevathan brings a toughness to Vic Fangio’s defense and will serve as a good mentor for the unit that will ultimately have 21-year old rookie Roquan Smith getting significant snaps this season.

"It’s a lot of stuff you can’t get unless you are out there on that field," Trevathan said in reference to Smith's holdout over offset language in his contract. "That’s working with the guys next to you and communicating with the person that’s going to be in with you. He’s got some catching up to do, but we’ll get him caught up to date with no problem."

Trevathan has been in contact with Smith, making sure he’s doing all right. Smith has missed two weeks of time during his holdout. 

As for Trevathan, he’s missed 10 games in two years with the Bears due to various injuries and is looking for his first 16-game season since he produced one in Denver in 2013.

Second thought

There's a lot of conversation and some confusion about the helmet rule and how it will be managed by officiating crews and the league office. We will start finding out when the Bears meet the Ravens in the Hall of Fame Game. If any player leads with his helmet to initiate contact, he's subject to a 15-yard penalty and potential disqualification -- and therefore a potential suspension. 

Trevathan knows exactly what the league’s got in mind.

"I understand the rule," Trevathan said. "I was an example of the rule."

He sure is. He served a one-game suspension for his helmet hit on Packers receiver Davante Adams last season. That hit is one example being used by the league in a video explaining to players, coaches and media how the rule will be enforced.

The ramifications of the new helmet-hit rule is at the core of Smith’s holdout. Both sides reportedly are looking at financial protections in the event Smith is suspended for violating the rule.

Many teams have language in contracts that permit them to void guaranteed money due if a player draws a suspension. Trevathan did last season, but the Bears didn't withhold any of his guaranteed money in his contract. 

Third degree

Once quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has "total command" of the offense as coordinator Mark Helfrich explained, most players and coaches believe they will be exciting to watch and hopefully difficult to stop.  

"For a quarterback, you just want an immediate picture in your head of what’s going on," Helfrich said. "One thing to think about, not seven. Right now, we’re still at that stage where it’s, who is at this position, what’s the personnel group, what’s the snap count?"

As for the interceptions that Trubisky has thrown in practice, Helfrich said they will get that cleaned up, while coach Matt Nagy remains unconcerned. 

Fourth-and-short

It was a terrific day for running back Tarik Cohen on Monday. He caught several passes on various routes, including a pair in the red zone for touchdowns. He shows a growing excellence in tracking balls over his shoulder racing away from defenders, creating separation with his speed and quickness. 

Cohen is an invaluable plug-anywhere-and-play weapon. 

"He’s awesome," Helfrich said. "He's fun to coach. He’s a guy that literally you can tell him anything, to line up at any position. He’ll do it with a unbelievably great attitude, a giant smile on his face and run 4.3. 

From the 5-foot-7 Cohen to 6-foot-7 tight end Adam Shaheen, who made two terrific end-zone touchdowns using his size to create his own separation, the Bears are creating multiple red-zone options who should make a big difference on the scoreboard in 2018. 

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