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Bears eager to practice with Broncos in Denver


After a day off Monday, the Bears will travel to Denver Tuesday for joint practices with the Broncos Wednesday and Thursday followed by a preseason game Saturday night.

"The No. 1 thing that you get playing in Denver is you get a change of scenery," said coach Matt Nagy. "You get some different guys that you're going against. In my opinion, it spices up practice a little bit. There's that monotony when you're out here every single day going through the same thing over and over again. It's a long camp, so this changes things up a little bit. They'll be juiced up. We as a team come together more. Rather than offense and defense against each other, now we're [rooting] for each other."

Nagy has spoken to Broncos coach Vance Joseph to coordinate the joint practices.

"The biggest thing when you do these team scrimmages together, you just want to stay away from the fights," Nagy said. "As long as guys do that, it's definitely a benefit for both teams."

While the Bears hit the road for joint practices with the Colts in 2015 and the Patriots in 2016 under coach John Fox, this will be the first time in Nagy's 11 NFL seasons that the team he coaches will work out with another club.

"That's not something that we did in Philadelphia or Kansas City, so it'll be new for me," Nagy said. "I'm excited for it. A lot of coaches on this staff have done it before. The No. 1 thing for Vance and myself is make sure we control our guys and that it's controlled and nothing stupid [happens]."

The Bears concluded the Bourbonnais portion of their training camp Sunday with a practice that was closed to the public. The team reported to Olivet Nazarene University July 19 and conducted a total of 18 workouts.

"The No. 1 thing that we wanted to do coming out of this camp was come together with physical practices, but yet be smart in the way we do it, [and] become better as a team than we were in OTAs when you couldn't put the pads on," Nagy said.

"Now that they put the pads on, we as coaches get to see who the tough guys are and who the guys aren't tough are. And then how do we respond to adversity is always the biggest thing."

Upon arriving in Bourbonnais, Nagy vowed to "callous" the Bears by running a physical training camp in order to best prepare his players for the grind of a long NFL season.

"We're not there yet with the callous," Nagy said Sunday. "But I think after this week with Denver you're going to see it jump up a little bit as far as the callous part.

"And of course we have three preseason games yet. The live events that we had, some of that is gauged based off of injuries and who we have and who we don't have, and there are reservations with some; remember I said there's a balance. I like where we're at right now, but we can definitely continue to be more calloused."

All eyes on training camp no doubt were on the development of young quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the growth of the No. 1 offense as they learned a new system.

Nagy conceded that the No. 1 unit struggled for a few days last week and again in last Thursday night's preseason loss to the Bengals. But he's pleased with how his players responded.

"For our offense right now the last several days and going into the preseason game, we lacked a little bit with the details," Nagy said. "But we used that to help them get better the last couple days in meetings. What I just like was [Sunday], the guys came out here and offensively [were] in and out of the huddle, doing their assignments nice and quick.

"So they responded, because there was a little frustration there for a couple days, which is okay, that's natural. But do they respond, and they did. And so I told them, 'Now we're going to go to Denver and see a fast defense that moves around and one of the best defenses in the NFL at stopping the run. So it's going to be a challenge for us. You don't want it any other way. That's great for them."