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Which rookie will make biggest impact?

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.

Which Bears rookie do you think will make the biggest impact this season?

Aaron T.
Lansing, Illinois

I’m obviously not going out on a limb here, but I’d have to say that first-round pick Roquan Smith will be the rookie who makes the biggest impact this season. He certainly seems to be the most polished, experienced and NFL-ready rookie, and he probably also has the best chance among all the draft picks of earning a starting. As an inside linebacker, Smith plays a key position in coordinator Vic Fangio’s defense and appears to be capable of playing all three downs. Offensively, I would say that second-round receiver Anthony Miller has the best chance of making an impact. But the Bears are going to spread the ball around and Miller may not get as many opportunities as Smith simply because of the positions they play.

When is the Bears’ first practice with pads in training camp?

William L.
Hammond, Indiana

The first padded practice of training camp this summer is scheduled for Sunday, July 22 in Bourbonnais. The first workout open to the public will take place Saturday, July 21 and feature players wearing helmets and shells. Both practices are slated to begin at 8:15 a.m.

Do you think that Kyle Long will be healthy enough to practice when training camp begins?

Allen L.
Danville, Illinois

The Bears are confident that guard Kyle Long will be ready to practice when training camp begins next month in Bourbonnais. Here’s what coach Matt Nagy had to say about that issue last week during the team’s full-squad minicamp: “He’ll be good to go. He’s continued to just keep getting healthier and healthier as the days go by, so when we get going in training camp, he’ll be ready.”

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