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.
What are your early impressions of rookie receiver Anthony Miller? I think he possesses a lot of great traits and I have high expectations for him.
Like all the rookies, Anthony Miller is in the process of digesting the playbook. But he seems to be everything the Bears said he was when they traded up to select him in the second round of the draft and more. He’s tough and plays hard all the time. Here’s how quarterback Mitchell Trubisky recently described Miller: “Really twitchy. Really good route runner and strong hands. He attacks the ball. Those are my immediate impressions. The toughest thing for the rookies right now is just adjusting to the change of speed and learning a new playbook. You’re going to come out here and make a mistake as a rookie, but it’s all about how you put it behind you and bounce back and he’s done that so far. I like the way he attacks the ball and runs routes and I feel like he’s going to help that group a lot.” Miller was ultra-productive at Memphis, setting school records with 95 receptions, 1,434 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2016 and then eclipsing all three marks with 96 catches, 1,462 yards and 18 TDs last season. The Bears are hoping that he can become a regular contributor as a rookie, and it’ll be interesting to watch him progress this summer in training camp and the preseason.
With the Bears no doubt relying on free-agent acquisition Trey Burton and second-year pro Adam Shaheen at tight end, do you think Dion Sims will have a role as well?
Yes, I do believe that Dion Sims will have a role this season. Tight end was an important position in coach Matt Nagy’s offense with the Chiefs and it figures to remain that way with the Bears. Here’s what Nagy recently said about Sims to reporters: “The nice thing with Dion is that he’s a guy that’s proven to be a solid blocker. He can be in there and be your ‘Y’ tight end but yet he still has really good hands. He can make plays on intermediate routes. He’s not going to be anybody that’s a downfield threat—I think he knows that, we all know that—but he’s a valuable piece of this puzzle.”
Is first-round pick Roquan Smith lining up with the No. 1 defense yet?
Oak Lawn, Illinois
Top picks Roquan Smith and James Daniels are both working with the second team and will have to earn reps with the starters. That’s going to be the case with every player on the roster, according to coach Matt Nagy. No one is going to be handed anything. Said Nagy: “It’s so hard to just come into a system and just be the guy right away. You’ve got to earn it. I think they understand that. I know they do. I’m sure in the end they’re going to respect it, too.”