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Bears prep to break camp in Bourbonnais


The Bears conducted their 11th and final training camp practice open to the public in Bourbonnais Saturday night—their only workout held under the lights at Olivet Nazarene University's Ward Field.

The team will hold a closed practice Sunday afternoon before breaking camp and heading back to Halas Hall. The Bears won't be there long, however. After a day off Monday, they'll travel on Tuesday to Denver, where they'll practice with the Broncos Wednesday and Thursday before the teams meet in a preseason game at 8:05 p.m. (CT) Saturday at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.

"It was fun for the guys to be able to get out here tonight and have a little different environment," said coach Matt Nagy. "It was a pretty long day for them, mentally with the stretch of meetings that we had and to have a late practice, coming off a day off and knowing that we break camp here after tomorrow.

"I thought the energy was decent; could have been a little better. But at the same time right now we've got some guys who have some tired legs just like all the other teams that are in this spot. We've got to keep staying on them and keep them mentally sharp."

Deep thoughts: It was no coincidence that quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw a deep pass on the Bears' first play from scrimmage in Thursday night's preseason game against the Bengals. The ball, intended for receiver Kevin White down the left sideline, fell incomplete. But Nagy still got his point across: The Bears are going to be aggressive this season.

"That's kind of the fun part for all of us," Nagy said. "I know this, if you play the check-down game all the time, it shortens the field and it's easier for the defense. For us, we thought, 'Hey, if we get an opportunity, if we get one [safety] high there on that first snap, that we will take a shot.'

"Even if it's incomplete—you obviously want the completion—you send your guys a message and the other team a message."

More focus: On the Bears' third play from scrimmage, Trubisky went back to White, this time on a pass over the middle. The throw was on target, but White dropped it.

"I need to keep my eyes on it for a second longer," White said. "Those are routine plays. Sometimes the easiest plays can be the hardest, It takes a little more focus. I just need to catch the ball and get the yards I can get."

While the drop was disappointing, White feels that he has performed well in training camp. The 2015 first-round pick is trying to rebound after missing 43 of 48 games due to injuries over his first three seasons with the Bears.

"It's been going well," White said. "I'm trying to get better each and every day. I'm trying to make the easy plays easy. Sometimes I can let plays get away. I want to have fun, do my job and play to my ability."

Backup plan: Nagy was pleased with how backup quarterbacks Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray played after following Trubisky into Thursday night's game.

Daniel completed 8 of 12 passes for 76 yards with one interception and a 49.3 passer rating, while Bray connected on 18 of 27 passes for 219 yards with one interception and a 76.0 rating.

"Chase had real good command of the huddle—the tempo moves pretty good—made some nice throws, good decision-making," Nagy said. "I was happy with where he was at. Didn't quite get as many reps.

"Tyler got more in the second half. And for Tyler, when you're losing you're going to throw the ball a little bit more, which is what he did. Tyler has a nice big, tall frame. He can see over the middle of the field really well.

"One of his better passes is that middle of the field throw to those tight ends or whoever. I thought Tyler was very accurate. He threw the ball with a lot of confidence, so that was good to see."

Roster moves: The Bears on Saturday signed running back Knile Davis and waived offensive lineman Kaleb Johnson.

Davis has appeared in 57 games with two starts in five NFL seasons with the Chiefs (2013-16) and Packers (2016), rushing for 805 yards and 11 touchdowns on 805 carries and catching 34 passes for 271 yards and one TD.

When Davis was with the Chiefs, Bears coach Matt Nagy was an offensive assistant on Andy Reid's staff.