Actions always speak louder than words to Khalil Mack, who would much rather generate a takeaway with a strip/sack than talk about it.
Given that mentality, it's no surprise that Mack is thrilled to have nose tackle Eddie Goldman—another player who prefers to let his play do the talking—back on the practice field with the defense.
"Oh man, I love that dude," Mack said. "I love Eddie G. He does everything you need him to do: rush the passer, play the run, take on double teams. And he does it very, very effectively. Just knowing the type of person Eddie is, he does it and doesn't even care about all the extra things that come with it—and that's the type of guy that I love playing with."
Goldman, who reported to training camp after opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns, was placed on the reserve/COVID list Aug. 3. The 2015 second-round pick from Florida State was removed from the list last Friday and practiced Tuesday for the second day in a row.
It's unclear how much if at all Goldman will play in the Bears' final two preseason games, but he appears to be in excellent shape.
"It's great to get Eddie back," said coach Matt Nagy. "Conditioning-wise, no worries, no issues at all. He's been great. And then I think just for all of these guys, just to go through the pre-game stuff, get out there for a few plays, see where he's at … but again, you're always making sure that you're careful a little bit with the reps—who plays, how long they play—because you want to have him Week 1."
Age just a number
Signed by the Bears Monday, veteran left tackle Jason Peters has yet to practice because he's going through the COVID onboarding process.
Peters is a future Hall of Famer who has been voted to nine Pro Bowls in 17 NFL seasons with the Bills (2004-08) and Eagles (2009-20). Nagy understands there are concerns because Peters is 39 years old, but the Bears coach is confident the 6-4, 328-pounder can still perform at a high level.
"That's the first thing that people go to is the age," Nagy said. "Right now, with where he's at, he's a guy that when you watch the tape last year, you see a guy that still has a lot of game left in him. Are there times when he gets beat here or there? Absolutely, but that's a lot of guys in this league, regardless of how good or what your age is. But there's a lot of great plays on there, too."
Bears offensive linemen are eager to begin working with Peters.
"He's played in this league a long time," said left guard Cody Whitehair. "Having that veteran experience in our room ... that's going to help our room grow. We're excited to have him."
"[He's] a Hall of Fame talent," said center Sam Mustipher. "As a young offensive lineman, I'll try to take in everything I can from him and just learn. He's probably taken a million pass sets in his career. I'll probably be in his back pocket. I'll probably be asking him more questions than he wants me to ask. But I just want to learn from him and understand, 'What do you do that sets you apart from everybody else?'"
The Bears on Tuesday waived receiver Justin Hardy, safety Michael Joseph and outside linebacker Ledarius Mack, the younger brother of Khalil Mack.
Former Bears players who were spotted in the crowd watching Tuesday's training camp practice included tackle James "Big Cat" Williams and receivers Josh Bellamy and Ahmad Merritt.
At every training camp practice that's open to the public at Halas Hall, the stands are always filled with fans wearing Khalil Mack's No. 52 jersey. It's not something the six-time Pro Bowler takes for granted.
"I'm honored every time I see it," Mack said. "It's definitely an honor and a privilege. It's so humbling to know that somebody appreciates me and what I do out on the field enough to go and buy that jersey. I'm very thankful."
The Bears were back in full pads Tuesday as they took to the Halas Hall practice fields in advance of Saturday's preseason matchup with the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field.