Day 3 belongs to Akiem Hicks, defensive line

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Bears were back on the field (on Mitch Trubisky’s birthday!) after being off on Wednesday, and though everyone was in full pads, there wasn’t a whole lot of full contact during Thursday’s 90ish-minute practice. There was plenty of individual work, and a heavy emphasis on goal line situations. 

Taking Things Slow

A lot of the Bears’ starters, especially on defense, had light days. Robert Quinn suited up and took part in individual drills (observation: he is fast), but wasn’t involved much on the day outside that. Matt Nagy reiterated that Quinn’s not hurt, but simply taking the time he needs to ‘ramp up.’

“For him, he’s at a point right now where we just feel like with these vets, we want to do that,” Nagy said. “It’s where we’re at. And we’ll slowly ease him into things. You’ll start seeing him more and more. We’re just not there right now. We’re really excited for what he’s gonna bring to this defense. The same with Khalil, too. I think what you’ll see as we get into this, there might be some other guys, too, that you slowly start seeing here in practice that you have, I don’t know if you label it ramp-up or ramp-down days, but we’ll start treating them as needed, individually.”

RELATED: Great Defense No Excuse If Trubisky And Foles Struggle

Pass-Catching Backs 

David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen, Ryan Nall, and Cordarrelle Patterson each made at least 1-2 plays catching the ball out of the backfield on Thursday. It can be tricky to fully understand how successful a play is when the team’s in a lot of ‘thud’ (and when players run the ball into the end zone on basically every snap), but Montgomory and Patterson in particular each had a few nice moments. 

“For us, we want to be able to use the running backs,” Nagy said. “That’s nothing different. It’s always been a part of this offense, being able to use running backs when you can out of the backfield. And when we know that we have guys who can create mismatches. So we just need to make sure that the details of what we want to do, they understand, so that we can teach it and they can go play.”

RELATED: Why Eddy Piñeiro’s Job Is Safe … For Now 

Winner Of The Day: Akiem Hicks 

Hicks, for the second time in three days, set up shop in the backfield for most of Thursday’s practice. He made an impressive goal line stop that would have been the Play of the Day if not for Bilal Nichols’ maybe-even-more-impressive stop shortly after. Unsurprisingly, the defensive line has been one the the Bears’ best units through the early parts of camp, and Thursday was just the latest example. There was also this: 

All in all, a good day for Akiem Hicks. 

Quote of the Day

“I think I was 12 years old when I knew who Jimmy Graham was and I got his jersey when he was on the Saints – I was telling him that the other day, we were laughing about it … So I’ve known who he was since I was 12.” – Cole Kmet on Jimmy Graham, who he’s known about since he was 12.

Bears’ Warm Up Playlist In Case This Stuff Interests YouThought It Was A Drought – FutureHumble – Lil BabyLions & Eagles – Tee Grizzley Feat. Meek MillYoga Naked – JOTA ESE Bezerk – Big Sean & Hit-Boy Feat. A$AP FergThinking Out Loud – Moneybagg YoSum 2 Prove – Lil Baby

Bears practice takeaways: Day 3 belongs to Akiem Hicks, defensive line originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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