No Bears player has made greater strides on the practice field over the past three weeks than third-year receiver Anthony Miller.
"He started out a little bit slow the beginning of training camp," coach Matt Nagy said Wednesday. "He might have had the best training camp of a lot of players on this team. He had an amazing training camp."
Expectations are high for Miller, a 2018 second-round draft pick. The Bears are hoping that the Memphis product will pick up where he left off late last season when he caught 33 passes for 431 yards and two touchdowns during a five-game span. The stretch included a pair of nine-catch performances with 140 yards in a win over the Lions and 118 yards and one touchdown versus the Packers.
With the Bears conducting their final padded practice of training camp Wednesday, Miller and his teammates will soon shift into regular-season mode with the Sept. 13 opener in Detroit rapidly approaching.
"He was making some mental errors early on [in camp]," Nagy said. "But the best part about Anthony is that when you correct him, he doesn't make that same mistake twice. And that kid is playing at 110 percent on every single play. For us, just to have that, that's a credit to him. He took the challenge and he really had an awesome camp."
Standing pat: Nagy was asked during his Zoom call with reporters Wednesday whether the Bears were considering signing Leonard Fournette. The veteran running back was waived by the Jaguars Tuesday and became a free agent 24 hours later after he went unclaimed.
"We feel very comfortable with where we're at," Nagy said. "We explore everything. [General manager] Ryan [Pace] and those guys do a great job. They're always looking at all scenarios and then we talk through things. And so we look at it all, but I'll just say we really like where we're at right now with where we're at with our running back room."
The Bears running back room includes David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen, converted receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, Ryan Nall and undrafted rookies Artavis Pierce and Napoleon Maxwell. Montgomery continues to recover from a groin injury he suffered last week in practice.
Robinson joins debate: Bears receiver Allen Robinson II, a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2012-13 when he played at Penn State, was asked whether he thinks the conference should play football this fall. Due to concerns about the coronavirus, the Big Ten postponed its fall football season and hopes to play in the spring.
"It's so tough, man," Robinson said. "If I'm being honest, I probably would say that I don't think that they should play, and I know that a lot of college players may hate hearing that.
"I know how it was when I was in college, being around your peers and wanting to be around your peers and doing stuff as a group and a lot of social stuff. I mean the definition of a university is many colleges in one, which is social. That's the biggest difference [between college and the NFL]. You have gatherings at your student center. You have different study groups. You have things like that. That's what college is all about.
"So, thinking that they're going to be able to put that to the side and still have kids on campus and living in the dorms and things like that, and trying to have football as well, I think it would be very, very tough. Health-wise, I don't think it's worth risking for all those guys.
"We have a facility where we can take extreme precautions when it comes to distancing and stuff like that. For them, they're just a little bit more limited on their resources and limited to control what's around them from a football standpoint. That's the thing. College is not just about football. It's about classes and other things like that. In the NFL, here, it's all football all day, and that's the most important thing."