The Bears held their first open locker room session of the regular season after practice Wednesday at Halas Hall. Here are four things we learned:
Although he was limited in practice due to an ankle injury he sustained in a joint practice with the Colts three weeks ago, Jackson declared himself ready to go.
"I feel like I'm back to 100 percent," said the 2017 fourth-round pick from Alabama. "Feeling good. Happy to be back. Feels good to be back."
Jackson is excited about the potential of a young secondary that boasts three second-round picks from the last two drafts in cornerbacks Kyler Gordon (2022) and Tyrique Stevenson (2023) and safety Jaquan Brisker (2022), who is also returning from an injury.
"We have a lot of young guys that are flying around, playing the ball," Jackson said. "The best is yet to come. We got me back, we got Brisker back, so just trying to work and get that chemistry back where it was before everyone got hurt, I'm excited for it."
(2) Receiver DJ Moore is thrilled about being voted a team captain for the first time in his six-year NFL career.
"I was ecstatic," Moore said. "I never was a captain [with the Panthers]. To be named captain, shoot, I was jumping up and down in my seat, low-key. Glad nobody noticed."
When coach Matt Eberflus announced team captains last week, he described Moore as a hard worker who leads by example, saying: "When he speaks, everybody listens."
Asked why he felt he was able to earn respect from teammates so quickly, Moore said: "Just how I go about the business and go out there and handle myself in front of everybody."
Jackson has noticed that Moore isn't very talkative.
"I call him the silent assassin," Jackson said. "He kind of lets his game do the talking. He doesn't really speak too much. But he goes out there and he busts his tail in the weight room, on the field. We see the things he's capable of doing. He just brings some new energy to the offense."
The Bears hit the practice fields at Halas Hall Wednesday afternoon to continue their preparation for Sunday's season opener against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field.
(3) Middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who signed with the Bears in March after spending his first five NFL seasons with the Bills, is optimistic about how the defense will perform.
"It's the preparation," said the two-time Pro Bowler. "It's how I see guys come in every day and the attention to detail, the accountability we have. Guys aren't afraid to tell a guy, 'Hey, this is what we need out of you.' We have that on the defense. We have that on the team. Nothing but positivity is going to come out of that. There's a lot of good energy going around, not just myself. We have a lot of leaders on the defense, a lot of leaders on the team, so we're excited."
(4) Rookie right tackle Darnell Wright, a first-round pick from Tennessee, is gearing up to play in his first NFL regular season game against a talented Packers defensive line.
"High-motor guys," Wright said of a unit that's led by end Kenny Clark. "They're always working, pressing the pocket good. I just know they're really hard workers. It's going to be a physical game. I'll try to do my best and see how it works out."
Eberflus said Monday that the Packers likely would throw their fastball at Wright. But the rookie is unfazed, revealing that he leans on teammates such as second-year tackle Braxton Jones for support.
"You try to rely on guys in the locker room, like Braxton," Wright said. "He tells me a lot of times some of the stuff he had last year, and then I can help myself off the mistakes he made and try not to make those mistakes. But also there's a certain point you don't want to be chasing ghosts, like a lot of what-ifs. You want to just go out there and play. At the end of the day, it's football."