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Bears defenders see more speed, weapons on offense


With new coaches, new players and a new scheme—not to mention a more experienced young quarterback—the Bears offense doesn't resemble the 2017 unit.

At least that's what members of the defense have been saying early in training camp.

"The offense looks explosive," said cornerback Prince Amukamara. "They have a lot of huge pieces, a lot of weapons."

After starting the final 12 games of his rookie season last year, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky returns with more experience and several more playmakers at his disposal.

During the offseason, the Bears signed receivers Allen Robinson II, Taylor Gabriel and Bennie Fowler and tight end Trey Burton in free agency and selected receiver Anthony Miller in the second round of the draft.

Those moves came after the Bears had hired Matt Nagy as head coach and Mark Helfrich as offensive coordinator. Both men are known for their work with quarterbacks. Nagy helped veteran Alex Smith lead the NFL with a career-high 104.7 passer rating last season, while Helfrich was instrumental in the success of Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota at Oregon.

It appears that Nagy and Helfrich have already had a positive impact on Trubisky.

"Mitch doesn't look like a rookie," Amukamara said. "He looks like a veteran. I'm just looking at his stage presence, just how he coordinates everybody, how he calls plays, his presence in the pocket, and everything like that."

Second-year safety Eddie Jackson has noticed more speed on the other side of the ball.

"They're faster," Jackson said. "They have 'Turbo' (Gabriel), 'A-Rob' (Robinson). You've got Kevin White, he's healthy. Joshua Bellamy, he's doing a great job. The rookie (Miller). Tarik [Cohen], they can move him around a lot. It's just going to be something fun to watch. And play-calling is totally different. They're giving us a bunch of looks that we haven't seen before."

While the Bears offense boasts great potential, Nagy understands that there are going to be growing pains.

"This thing is not going to happen overnight," said the Bears coach. "They understand that. We as coaches understand that. It's going to take time. We're building it. You have to temper that a little bit. You can't expect to come out and it just take off right away. That is a part of this process. But as long as you stay patient with it and don't get frustrated, you'll be all right."

Nagy intends to ensure that players remain patient and don't get frustrated during the growth process.

"We've just got to make sure we let them know that it's OK to make mistakes," he said, "it's OK if it doesn't look perfect, but eventually down the road here we'll get to where it's a machine and it's just rolling and they don't have to think. When we can get them to stay away from thinking in practice and just play, that's when it becomes a beautiful thing."

The Bears hit the field for day three of training camp in Bourbonnais in front of fans on a rainy Sunday.