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Quick Hits: Edmunds looms large in middle of Bears defense

Bears linebacker Tremaine Edmunds
Bears linebacker Tremaine Edmunds

When 6-5, 250-pound middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is on the practice field, it seems like there's a redwood tree in the middle of the Bears defense.

"Justin [Fields] said it best the other day," said offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. "We have a scheme that should take advantage of somebody in the middle of the field, but the dude's like seven feet tall, and [with his] wingspan, it's not happening."

A two-time Pro Bowler in five seasons with the Bills, Edmunds signed a four-year contact with the Bears in March to anchor their defense. It's no surprise that his presence has been felt throughout the first seven training camp practices. 

"He shrinks the windows for sure in the pass game," Getsy said. "And his ability to play sideline-to-sideline just really challenges an offense to be able to capture the edges."

Fields has enjoyed the challenge that Edmunds presents in practice.

"I mean, goodness gracious," Fields said Wednesday. "We had one play today where if it was any other linebacker in the country, I mean [the receiver] would have been open. He's so huge. He definitely covers ground well too. It's been great for us as an offense to have him out there, to challenge us every day." 

Edmunds revealed that he hit his biggest growth spurt as a high school sophomore. 

"I grew tremendously," he said. "I was having knee pain and all that type of stuff. When I hit it, it was about filling my body out and becoming comfortable to get down in that linebacker stance." 

While some players who grew like Edmunds at such an early age would be converted to defensive line, his athleticism enabled him to remain at his favorite position. 

"Linebacker's been my love since Day 1," Edmunds said. "Thanks to the man above, my gifts allowed me to stick with that position and be able to get down, be able to do the things that come with playing that linebacker role. It's been my love, man, and I wouldn't trade it for nothing."

Moore leading by example

On and off the field, receiver DJ Moore has been everything the Bears expected when they traded for him and—pardon the pun—more.

The sixth-year pro was acquired along with four draft picks from the Panthers in exchange for the No. 1 selection in this year's draft.

"Most important, he's gone in that room and taken a really good leadership spot," Getsy said. "He does it by his work ethic, his humility. That guy's a grinder. He's all about his teammates, and when he makes a mistake, he owns it. That's all invaluable stuff that every young player is able to see, and then being in a relationship with the quarterback is important to him. So those young guys, again, learning the way to be a pro has probably been the best thing that we've been able to have with DJ in the room, despite all the good stuff he's doing on the field as well."

Moore, who averaged more than 72 receptions and 1,000 yards over his first five NFL seasons in Carolina—has produced impact plays throughout the first week of training camp. On Tuesday, he displayed his blazing speed by turning a quick slant into a big gain.

"He's such a powerful man," Getsy said. "His play strength and balance and body control are his strengths, for sure. He has patience when the ball's in the air too. That's a talent that I remember [former Packers receiver] James Jones talking about all the time back then, just having the patience to let the ball come to you and not let the DB know that the ball's right there until it's already caught. You can see those in him. It's been fun to let the young guys kind of learn that from him."

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