There was a slew of highlights in the Bears' first padded training camp practice Tuesday, none more impressive than the takeaway generated by safety Jaquan Brisker.
Racing from the middle of the field to the sideline, the second-year pro from Penn State leaped high to intercept a long PJ Walker pass, thwarting a two-minute drill.
"It wasn't as good as the one in New England," coach Matt Eberflus said, referring to Brisker's sensational one-handed pick last season in a win over the Patriots, "but it was pretty good. He's a talent, for sure. I thought he was good in his quarter there. He broke off the hash and did a nice job of high-pointing the ball."
In a red-zone drill earlier in practice, Brisker broke up a Justin Fields pass that was intended for DJ Moore. Brisker has picked up in training camp where he left off last season, when he was selected to the Pro Football Focus NFL All-Rookie Team after registering 104 tackles, five tackles-for-loss and a team-leading 4.0 sacks.
"He's one of our guys that is definitely an elite competitor," Eberflus said. "He loves to compete. He loves football. We love Jaquan's emotion, his passion, and with a guy like that, his motors runs that hot where he has to harness it into a controlled situation where it works for him all the time. He's done a great job of that. We're excited to see him play this year."
Scott progressing at rapid rate
Rookie receiver Tyler Scott continues to excel on the practice field. In a two-minute drill Tuesday, the speedy fourth-round pick from Cincinnati hauled in a Fields pass deep down the middle of the field after beating single coverage.
"I'm super impressed with his maturity, and the way he's learning the offense and the way he takes the concepts," Eberflus said. "He learns at a fast rate, which really helps him because he knows what to do and he knows how to do it and he can play fast. And that's what you're kind of seeing there. He's on track to [be] where he needs to be right now, for sure."
Fields does his thing
One play after Scott's long reception, Fields scrambled out of the pocket and connected with Moore for a touchdown.
"I thought he did a good job of going through his reads to start," Eberflus said. "He went through his progression and then felt the pocket break down and then he did his thing. And that's what we're talking about: situations. We're in a two-minute end of half. We're trying to score a touchdown, [but] we'll take a field goal."
While the defense is prohibiting from contacting quarterbacks in practice, the Bears have officials on the field who blow their whistles if they feel a sack would have been recorded. Fields' TD pass to Moore came on a play that was not blown dead.
"That was real," Eberflus said. "The D-line likes to say they got him a couple times, but I'm back there. I can see. It was a real play, and he did a nice job of finding the open guy. We got a chance to work our scramble drill there and find open people."
Building a rapport
The chemistry between Fields and Moore has been evident throughout training camp. In recent days, it also appears that the quarterback has formed a bond with receiver Chase Claypool. On Tuesday, the two connected on multiple occasions.
"It's good," Eberflus said. "It's been the last couple days. I can see it growing and growing. [Fields] is starting to learn [Claypool], because again, he wasn't here in the spring. And we think it's a real positive thing."
Workload set to nearly double
Eberflus described Tuesday's first padded practice as "a moderate day based on reps" and revealed the workload will increase significantly Wednesday.
"We only had about 48 reps today, so it wasn't like it will be tomorrow," he said. "Tomorrow, we'll have a lot more reps, almost double that up."
In addition to having a longer individual period, Eberflus said "we'll start to lengthen the reps with the ones, which will be good."
The Bears coach was pleased with what he saw in the first padded practice Tuesday.
"I thought the physicality was good," he said. "The energy was good. The guys stayed on their feet relatively well. That's very important during this time that we practice the right way but still get the physical work in the run game, also getting us pad ready for the season and also for our first upcoming [preseason] game here coming up next week."
The Bears on Tuesday claimed defensive tackle Bravvion Roy off waivers from the Panthers. Selected by Carolina in the sixth round of the 2020 draft out of Baylor, the 6-1, 330-pounder appeared in 45 games with 15 starts the past three seasons, compiling 76 tackles, 3.0 tackles-for-loss and 1.0 sack. The Bears made room on their roster for Roy by waiving first-year defensive tackle Donovan Jeter.
Check out Tuesday's action from the fields at Halas Hall during the Bears' first padded practice of the 2023 season, which featured notable appearances by former head coach Dave Wannstedt and personal trainer Tim Grover.