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4 things we heard after the Chicago Bears’ 1st padded practice, including how Trevor Siemian sees Justin Fields fix mistakes – Boston Herald

The Chicago Bears had their first padded practice of training camp Tuesday at Halas Hall.

Afterward, special teams coordinator Richard Hightower and several players spoke to reporters. Here are four things we learned.

1. Backup quarterback Trevor Siemian says there’s a balance between understanding it’s early in camp and having urgency to fix offensive mistakes.

The Bears offense has had its share of issues over the first six practices as players get settled into new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s system. Those bumps behind starting quarterback Justin Fields continued into practice Tuesday, including in two-minute drills.

Siemian said that while they don’t want to brush off the mistakes, the Bears also won’t have a better understanding of where they are until they’re deeper into camp.

“We just put the pads on today, right? So to this point, there’s probably a lot of overreacting to practice reps,” Siemian said. “Football is meant to be played with pads on. … It’s a violent, physical game, so we’ll see what we’ve got here in the next two weeks and getting into some real competition.”

False starts continued to be an issue at times Tuesday, and Siemian chalked it up to the learning process as the Bears try to master “a ton of cadences.”

“Early on especially, it might not look as clean, but you’d rather it happen now versus Week 4, 5, 6,” Siemian said. “The execution’s got to be better. We’ve got to get off on the ball at the same time. That’s paramount.

“At the same time, I’m really enjoying working with all these cadences, and it’s good that we’re challenging guys with the variety.”

In his eighth NFL season, Siemian counts helping Fields as one of his duties. He said Fields is a “sharp guy” who rarely makes the same mistake twice. He also said Fields has “great resolve” when he handles the practice bumps.

“He’s a confident guy, he’s got great resolve and obviously he’s physically gifted,” Siemian said. “I’ve had a lot of fun watching him develop and seeing him make strides. Justin, myself, nobody’s a finished product right now, but it’s just cool to see the improvement when we’re watching tape.”

2. Rookie left tackle Braxton Jones sees Riley Reiff’s arrival as an opportunity for competition and learning.

Jones, a fifth-round pick out of Southern Utah, has been getting a good share of first-team reps at left tackle as Reiff ramps up to full participation after signing with the Bears at the beginning of camp. It seems likely Reiff, a 10-year veteran with 139 career starts, eventually will take over at left tackle, though he did take reps at right tackle with Larry Borom on Tuesday.

Jones is taking Reiff’s arrival in stride, saying he appreciates being able to learn from Reiff’s experience.

“He’s been cool,” Jones said. “When I ask him a question, he answers, and he’ll go out of his way to be like, ‘You did good on that play.’ Or, ‘You need to tighten up your hands on that play.’ Or, ‘You need to be quicker on the back side of wide zone. You’ve got to cut off the B.’ So he’s always being encouraging and making sure we’re competing by coming together too.”

Jones said the biggest difference he notices between him and the older players is how the vets communicate and what they see on the field.

“I move very well and I can reenact some of their movements very well, but they see things. They look at the defense totally different than I do,” Jones said. “That’s one of the biggest things is really cluing in and seeing it how they see it and asking them when they come off the field, ‘How did you see that?’ Or when we’re in the meeting rooms, really just focusing into the questions they ask. Because it’s a lot broader than I’ve ever had and coming from a small school too. They focus really heavily on what type of defense they’re seeing. This is the NFL.”

3. Richard Hightower likes the maturity of rookie punter Trenton Gill.

The Bears let eight-year punter Pat O’Donnell move on to the Green Bay Packers in the offseason and drafted Gill in the seventh round. Hightower said he has been pleased with where Gill is.

“He takes his job like a pro, like he’s a veteran,” Hightower said. “He takes care of his body. It’s really important to him. He does extra work. … He’s never satisfied.

“Rookies all have to develop, and they all have growing pains. … I can just tell you as a player, as a person, he’s shown that he’s mature and he’s hit the ball really well.”

Bears kicker Cairo Santos was affected by the departure of O’Donnell, who was the holder during Santos’ team-record field goals streak. Hightower said Gill has taken a lot of pride in talking through different holding scenarios with Santos, and the pair is developing a good relationship.

4. The Bears took three players off the non-football injury list.

Safety Dane Cruikshank, wide receiver Tajae Sharpe and cornerback Michael Joseph came off the NFI list Tuesday.

Offensive tackle Teven Jenkins remained away from practice with an undisclosed ailment. Linebacker Roquan Smith was present but still is not practicing as he awaits a new contract with the Bears.


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