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Chalk Talk

Chalk Talk: How is this training camp different?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

With no preseason games and a limited number of padded practices to get ready for the regular season, how would you say this Bears training camp is different from previous years?
Greg D.
Littleton, Colorado

You mean aside from it being at Halas Hall and not in Bourbonnais and all players being tested for COVID-19 every day? As I'm sure you'd assume, this training camp is unlike any other in Bears or NFL history. In terms of the practices themselves, the Bears have reduced reps. Here's how coach Matt Nagy explained it: "So many times in training camp, you're trying to put stuff on tape to see quantity and be able to see how a play looks versus a certain coverage, how these guys respond to conditioning. Right now, we don't have time for that. So every play that's run is a valuable play; it means a lot and it just takes some prep on the front end, and that's where the coordinators have done a really good job at allowing me to handle the head coach stuff while they do all the scripting and everything else that goes into practice." Nagy also revealed that the daily schedule is different, saying: "We're trying to give them a little bit more rest on the back end so they can get home and leave the facility and get some sleep at night. That's the give from the coaching side. The get-back from us is the reps they get, they better be quality reps."

I understand that Allen Robinson and Akiem Hicks—arguably the Bears' MVPs on offense and defense—haven't been practicing due to injuries. How much concern is there about them?
Brad K.
Roselle, Illinois

Not a lot. When Matt Nagy addressed the statuses of injured players Allen Robinson, Akiem Hicks and Eddy Piñeiro on Tuesday, the Bears coach said that with "all three guys, [the] concern level is not high at all. I think for us, it goes back to making sure that whatever happens, we do everything possible so they're ready for Week 1. They're probably all going to be at different levels for when they return, but I'm not concerned. I just want to make sure that we handle it the right way."

What's it been like for Khalil Mack to be able to practice with his younger brother, Ledarius, during training camp?
Alan T.
Iowa

As you'd expect, Khalil Mack is enjoying the experience. Asked by a reporter last week for a scouting report on Ledarius, who is an outside linebacker like his older brother, Khalil said: "He's jumping out on film. Very explosive. You could tell that he's talented." Asked about what Ledarius needs to do to make the Bears' 53-man roster, Khalil said: "The thing that's going to affect that decision, it's going to come down to special teams, how he'll be used out there or whatever that may be. But all in all, from what I've seen, I'm proud of him. He likes to make plays and I can only think it's got something to do with bloodline. [But] I'm not going to take any credit."

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

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