Bears offensive position coaches spoke to the media earlier this week at Halas Hall. Here are five things we learned from those sessions:
(1) Running backs coach David Walker has been impressed with fourth-year pro David Montgomery's attitude and determination to improve.
"The thing I like about David is he doesn't feel like he's arrived yet," Walker said. "Some of the guys that have been in the league for a while think they have arrived. He's trying to learn. I believe I'm coach three in four seasons for him, so he's had to really learn every offseason something different and new. He's doing a good job with it. I really like his makeup in terms of wanting to get better, pushing himself to get better. He has high standards, and we are going to do everything we can to reach those standards on a daily basis."
Selected by the Bears in the third round of the 2019 draft out of Iowa State, Montgomery has appeared in 44 games with 35 starts in three seasons, rushing for 2,808 yards and 21 touchdowns on 714 carries and catching 121 passes for 924 yards and three TDs.
(2) Receivers coach Tyke Tolbert described third-year wideout Darnell Mooney as "a hungry football player."
"That's what I see when I see him," Tolbert said. "He's always wanting to know what play it is, even when he's not in the game. He's kind of reciting what he has and what the other receivers have. He's a hungry football player. He's always here in the building, always up here looking at tape, asking questions, coming by my office asking questions about different things. He's really hungry to be a really good football player."
Chosen by the Bears in the fifth round of the 2020 draft out of Tulane, Mooney has played in 33 games with 23 starts in two seasons, catching 142 passes for 1,686 yards and eight touchdowns. Last year the 5-11, 173-pounder recorded the 18th 1,000-yard receiving campaign in franchise history, and his 142 career receptions are the most by a Bears player in his first two NFL seasons.
"I like his speed," Tolbert said. "I like his suddenness. I like how tough he is. I saw him watching tape from before I got here and with the ball in his hands, some receivers get on the sideline and look to go out of bounds. He doesn't. He's a small, slight guy. He turns it up trying to get extra yards out of it. So, he has some toughness about him. That's what I like about him."
(3) Quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko lauded second-year pro Justin Fields for his preparation away from Halas Hall.
"The fact he can come in and spit out a play call means that last night he was sitting at home probably in the mirror talking that play out," Janocko said. "Different offenses have different ways of communicating things, and the fact he's picked up on some of our language quickly and that he can spit it right back at you without stuttering, without having to think about it or process, that it all just clicks in his head, that's a mental aspect that takes time to develop and that takes effort away from the building."
One of Fields' friends recently posted a photo on Instagram of the quarterback sitting on his couch studying plays on his iPad. The caption read: "Chicago, y'all in good hands. The success hit different when u lock in and set a goal."
"He has really gone to work mentally in the classroom," Janocko said, "away from the classroom, what he is doing with his iPad at night, how he studies, how he is ready and prepared the next day, how he comes and approaches every day. You hear the stories on some of the great guys; when they come into the building, they're ready to go. They're prepared mentally. They're prepared with what they did the night before and then they're prepared to come in. This is what they do and this is what they want to be great at, so that's what you see from him."
(4) Third-year pro Cole Kmet has been everything that tight ends coach Jim Dray expected.
"He's exactly what you see on tape: a young, athletic, productive football player that has a lot of tools to work with," Dray said.
Since being selected by the Bears in the second round of the 2020 draft out of Notre Dame, Kmet has appeared in 33 games with 26 starts in two seasons and caught 88 passes for 855 yards and two touchdowns.
Asked what Kmet has focused on this offseason, Dray said: "It's more of honing his craft. He has the pedigree and all the athletic ability you want. But it's just detailing the finer elements of technique that you need to have to be a successful all-around tight end. He's well on his way."
(5) Offensive line coach Chris Morgan has seen constant improvement from second-year tackles Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom.
"They're getting better every day," Morgan said. "That's the biggest thing right now. We don't have pads on. We're learning techniques. We're learning scheme. We're trying to see the big picture of everything and how it fits together. It's hard to evaluate offensive linemen in May [without pads]. Those guys are doing a good job. They're doing everything we're asking."
After trading up to pick Fields in the first round in last year's draft, the Bears spent their next two selections on Jenkins in the second round and Borom in the fifth.
Jenkins missed the first 11 games after undergoing back surgery in mid-August. He made his NFL debut by playing two special-teams snaps Dec. 5 against the Cardinals. A week later, he was inserted at left tackle in the first quarter versus the Packers after veteran Jason Peters suffered a high ankle sprain. Jenkins started the next two games, exited a win in Seattle Dec. 26 with a shoulder injury and played in the final two games of the season.
Borom lined up at both tackle positions as a rookie, starting six straight games on the right side from Oct 31-Dec. 12, as well as the final two games of the season Jan. 2 and Jan. 9 and entered two contests as an injury replacement at left tackle—in Week 1 for Peters against the Rams and in Seattle for Jenkins.
"[Jenkins and Borom] want to win," Morgan said. "Those two guys are willing to do whatever. To this point, those two guys have done a really nice job. They've done everything we've asked of them and more."