As the summer heats up, NFL training camps get closer and closer to opening. The Bears will report to Halas Hall in Lake Forest, IL on Tuesday, July 27. It is the same date as the rest of the teams aside from the Steelers, Cowboys, and Buccaneers who all either start the preseason or regular season (or both, for Dallas) earlier than the others. It is expected that the biggest decisions the Bears’ coaching staff will have to make will be on the offensive side of the ball. The defense is a veteran group with most of the 2020 squad returning.
Be sure to check out the Bears May and June editions of True or False.
The Wide Receiver Group Will Look Significantly Different in 2021?
True. The top two (Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney) return, but the depth at the position will look be much different. Anthony Miller has teased the team with productive stretches but for every step forward, he has taken two steps back. Miller has been on the trade block all offseason, and while deals in the NFL are difficult to complete, it is also conceivable he could be released. Even less likely to make the team are veterans Javon Wims and Riley Ridley. Neither is a difference-maker and the Bears brought in Marquise Goodwin and Damiere Byrd to compete for the second-tier WR spots. Additionally, they drafted Dazz Newsome out of the University of North Carolina in the sixth round in April. The coaching staff wants more speed, and none of the current trio of Miller, Wims, and Ridley provide that trait.
Eddie Goldman Will Retire, Leaving a Hole in the Defensive Front?
False. Goldman’s absence in 2020 did have a large impact on the Bears’ overall defense, and after opting out last year due to COVID concerns, there are still questions about his availability in 2021. That is true, and Goldman did not report to mandatory minicamp in mid-June, while some of the Chicago beat writers suggested that he is considering retirement.
However, other sources say the Bears expect the 27-year-old defensive lineman from Florida State to report when camp opens in late July. Players in the prime of their career don’t normally walk away from millions of dollars and it would be a surprise if Goldman chose that route. The front office will do everything they can to convince Goldman to return. He does the dirty work and makes things easier for the other lineman and linebackers. Ultimately, expect Goldman to be in the fold and on the field once training camp begins.
Khalil Mack is Going to Produce Double-Digit Sacks in 2021?
True. Mack had a string of 10.5 or more sacks for four straight seasons from 2015 through 2018. The last two seasons, however, have seen a downturn as Mack has delivered 8.5 and nine sacks, respectively. There are a few reasons to think those totals could improve in 2021. The simplest answer is that there is an additional game this season as the NFL has increased the regular season to 17 games. The return of Goldman, as well as the expectation of better play from defensive end Robert Quinn means opposing offensive lines won’t be able to double team and chip block Mack as often. Mack may be a bit past his prime, but he is a workout warrior who will be at full health to begin the season and ready to put a hurting on quarterbacks.
Tagged Wideout Allen Robinson Will Sign a Long-Term Contract?
True. Robinson has been all the Bears could have hoped for when they signed him in 2018. Even with their shaky quarterback play, he’s averaged 100 catches, 1,200 yards, and 6.5 touchdowns over the past two seasons. Wide receivers are expensive, and Chicago must get a deal done by July 15, but the Bears desperately need him. Mooney looks like he could be a fine number two, but without Robinson the team would be in dire straits. The organization made the bold move to trade up in the 2021 draft to select the quarterback, Justin Fields, that they believe will be their answer for the first time in ages. If you’re putting your eggs in the young quarterback’s basket, you need somebody for him to throw to. Robinson is that man.
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