Bears' Nagy optimistic on Smith signing soon
BOURBONNAIS -- The Bears' first-round draft pick Roquan Smith is now 11 days behind his fellow rookies, who reported to training camp on July 16.
Smith and Jets QB Sam Darnold are the only first-rounders who have not agreed to terms, but coach Matt Nagy expressed optimism when he was asked after Thursday's sixth full-squad practice if the team was close to signing the inside linebacker.
"I think we may be," Nagy said. "I do know that there's only two guys left, so I have no doubt in my mind that good things'll happen, and I feel good about the whole thing."
The Bears haven't set a deadline as far as when Smith needs to be in camp in order to play in the preseason opener against the Ravens on Aug. 2. But that doesn't matter as much as the next four preseason games. Smith is expected to become an impact player sooner rather than later, but not if he falls too far behind the learning curve of his defensive teammates.
"The good thing is his being able to be there for the OTAs," Nagy said. "So he's able to be at home going through his assignments. But it's totally different from being out here for live reps, and he knows that. He's aware of that. (GM) Ryan (Pace) said it before, 'It's part of the process.' But, at the same time, too, you're missing out on those reps these other guys are getting."
Looking good in real time
Several offensive players stood out during the full-contact portion of practice in the red zone and at the goal line.
TE Adam Shaheen made a nice TD grab on a fade route against S DeAndre Houston-Carson, and undrafted rookie RB Ryan Nall scored on 15- and one-yard runs. Rookie WR Anthony Miller had a short TD run on an inside handoff, and RB Jordan Howard made a nice catch for a touchdown.
"The nice thing with Ryan is that he's versatile in that he can run the ball, block, go out and run routes, can do different things," coach Matt Nagy said of Oregon State's 6-foot-2, 232-pound Nall. "Being a rookie coming in here as an undrafted free agent, he's done really well. We were excited to get the pads on him, and you saw in the live period that he was making plays."
In other action, CB Prince Amukamara continued his impressive play by intercepting Mitch Trubisky twice in a five-play sequence. The second pick was on a high throw that WR Kevin White got a hand on but could only deflect. Nickel CB Cre'Von LeBlanc broke up potential completions to RB Tarik Cohen and rookie WR Javon Wims in the end zone. On an underthrown ball from Chase Daniel, Miller came back to the ball and took it away from veteran CB Marcus Cooper.
Health and welfare
Some eyebrows were raised when oft-injured OLB Leonard Floyd dipped out of practice a bit early, but coach Matt Nagy said it was not injury related.
"(It's) just part of the plan of how many reps do we want to get him," Nagy said. "He's good to go, but this is going to be a long season. We know what he can do. That's been established. For him to just be able to focus on continuing with his technique, there's no reason right now at this point to overdo him."
Nagy said ILB Danny Trevathan and OLB Aaron Lynch are getting closer to returning from hamstring injuries but did not offer a specific date. Trevathan has yet to practice, while Lynch practiced once.
CBs Sherrick McManis (hamstring), Rashard Fant (undisclosed) and Kevin Toliver (quad) did not practice, nor did LBs Joel Iyiegbuniwe (shoulder) and Kasim Edibali (oblique), TE Ben Braunecker (hamstring) or OL Will Pericak (undisclosed).