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Training Camp Report

Rookie draft picks Gordon, Jones back at practice

Bears rookie Kyler Gordon & Velus Jones Jr.
Bears rookie Kyler Gordon & Velus Jones Jr.

Cornerback Kyler Gordon and receiver Velus Jones Jr. both returned to practice Monday after injuries forced them to miss workouts and the team's preseason opener last week.

Despite being on the sidelines Saturday at Soldier Field, the rookie draft picks could still feel the heightened intensity and we're excited to see how the team faired against a different opponent.

"We've been going against each other for so long and that was like my first NFL game I've ever been to," Jones said. "And so, it was cool just seeing how everyone operates, the vets and stuff, seeing them warm up and their gameday routines and stuff and also seeing the other opponents and just sitting back and just watching and taking everything in. That was a good experience, but next time I would definitely like to be out there."

Gordon and Jones are both eager to play in their first pro game and display their skills and the strides made in camp.

"I would just say I was itching to go be out there," Gordon said. "It just looked so fun, like, 'I wish I was playing right now,' just waiting to go out there. It was cool to see the players out, the people that I know, the people I used to watch in college and middle school, just be like, 'Damn, I'm here. It's time. I'm ready to do this stuff.' It's exciting."

While Gordon and Jones weren't able to practice last week, they were on the field with teammates and position coaches, mentally going through plays and drills.

Jones spent a lot of time by the quarterbacks, viewing the receiver position from their perspective. Visualizing what a play should look like from that angle helped Jones Jr. stay sharp without taking physical reps.

"I'm always, at night, just visualizing myself like making plays on certain play calls and stuff like that," Jones said. "So it's like just picture seeing myself in there when one of the guys run a route and thinking about how they looked in their route, the details about the route and stuff. Or I can take something from their game, something I might like. So I'm all about when I'm on the side and stuff, visualizing myself making a play or catch or block."

Gordon has made sure to split his time watching the nickel and outside cornerback positions as he's been learning both spots during camp. He made sure to get the play sheet from the coaches and study each play to stay locked in. 

"I just do a good job of like looking at the whole play and thinking about both assignments," Gordon said. "Then I'll see the formation and be like, 'OK, if I'm here this is what I do, if I'm here this is what I do.' Depending on different team periods, I'll lock in on say the nickel, I'll be conscious of both, but have the eyes of the nickel. And then the different period, I'll have eyes on the corner. That's just how I go about it."

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