Adrian Amos is far from a seasoned veteran. But the second-year Bears safety is much more comfortable in this year's training camp than he was last summer as a rookie.
"Last year at this time, this was my first week of NFL football," Amos said. "Now I know more of what to expect and I know more of what the coaches expect. So now it's just all of us coming together and just getting better each and every day. I'm still a young guy, still learning every day."
Adrian Amos started all 16 games after being selected by the Bears in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Amos was a surprise contributor last season, starting all 16 games after being selected by the Bears in the fifth round of the draft out of Penn State. He led the defense with 108 tackles, but did not record any interceptions, forced fumbles or fumble recoveries.
As he enters his second year, Amos understands the importance of generating takeaways, especially after playing on a defense that forced just 15 turnovers all of last season.
"It's going to come from more film study, getting myself those opportunities to make those plays," Amos said. "When a play presents itself, making that play [is key]. I think it's more so just putting myself in those situations to be able to use my ball skills."
Coach John Fox has been impressed with how Amos and fellow second-year pro Harold Jones-Quartey have worked together at safety with the No. 1 defense.
"They're just a year more comfortable," Fox said. "They know our system and the football in the NFL a lot better. There's a confidence and a swagger in that confidence that comes with it. I saw it in the offseason and I've seen it so far in camp."
The next step: Bryce Callahan is looking to build on a successful first season with the Bears. After being promoted from the practice squad last October, he became the team's primary nickel back, recording 23 tackles, one sack and seven passes defensed in nine games.
"He's got natural instincts to cover," Fox said. "He might be small in height, but he's got an outstanding vertical and good ball skills, and we are trying to improve in that area; get four guys out there with ball-takeaway capabilities."
The 5-9, 191-pounder earned his position with the No. 1 defense last year after joining the Bears as an undrafted rookie from Rice.
"That's why these guys are out here competing," Fox said. "We tell them we don't care where you start the race or what round they were drafted in. Whether they're college free agents or first-round picks, they're going to get a chance to compete and we're going to play the best guys."
Check out photos from practice on the fifth day of training camp in Bourbonnais, IL.
Next man up:** Veteran tight end Tony Moeaki made the most of expanded reps in practice Monday by catching several passes, including one for a touchdown. Moeaki helped pick up the slack for Zach Miller, who sat out while he undergoes concussion protocol. Miller experienced delayed symptoms Sunday night and didn't feel well Monday morning.
"You get sick of hearing it, but I'm going to keep using it, and that's next man up," Fox told reporters. "The old Wally Pipp story. Everybody starts off a nobody. Sometimes you don't know that until they get the opportunity. So it gives you a chance to look at other guys and we don't wait for anybody."
Pipp, for those of you who don't know, was a New York Yankees first baseman who sat out a game in 1925 with a severe headache. His replacement, Lou Gehrig, went on to set a Major League record that has since been broken by playing in 2,130 consecutive games.
A day at camp: Right guard Kyle Long (calf) remained sidelined, but defensive tackle Eddie Goldman returned after exiting midway through Sunday's practice with heat illness. ... Cornerback Tracy Porter broke up a deep pass intended for Alshon Jeffery. ... Receiver Deonte Thompson rebounded from an early drop to make three catches, including one in traffic. ... Receiver Eddie Royal exited practice and is going through concussion protocol.