Chicago Bears notes: Speedy WR Gabriel flashes big-play potential
BOURBONNAIS -- WR Taylor “Turbo” Gabriel flashed his ability to take the top off a defense at Monday’s practice, which was the first of camp conducted under ideal conditions with sunny skies and moderate temperatures.
“He’s becoming a better wide receiver,” coach Matt Nagy said. “There’s still some things that we’re all working through, the same thing with Taylor. He’s working through some adjustments within the play on what he does vs. a certain coverage. But the biggest thing for him is, he’s a speedy guy, and he knows how we’re gonna use him and some of the things we want to do. So far, he’s done a great job; everything that we’ve asked for.”
The 5-foot-8, 165-pound flash was enthusiastic in describing his catch of a deep ball down the middle from Mitch Trubisky.
“Building that trust with my quarterback,” Gabriel said. “That’s a ball that’s kind of scary to throw because it was (against) Cover-2. But for him to trust me on that deep ball and trust my speed, that’s what I like to see.”
Picking up the pace
CB Prince Amukamara’s interception Monday is something Bears coach Matt Nagy hopes to see more of in the regular season.
The Bears have just eight interceptions in each of the previous three seasons, establishing and then equaling the single-season franchise low for picks. Amukamara, despite his otherwise solid play, has just one interception in the past three seasons and seven career picks in seven seasons.
“One of the things that we stress as a team is takeaways,” Nagy said. “We want to be able to be aggressive. That’s the mentality of our team. Let’s be jumpy (but) let’s be smart, so you don’t get double-moved. In that case right there, he was almost playing the (first-down) stick and the (time remaining on the) clock, and knew what was going on. (He) knew that another five yards would really help the kicker get closer, and he made a good play.”
Drop and give me 10
On the final rep of a one-on-one, pass-rush drill that featured running backs blocking linebackers, RB Jordan Howard stopped ILB Nick Kwiatkoski in his tracks, and the punishment was 10 pushups for all the linebackers.
“(Running backs) coach (Charles) London got a little competition going on there,” head coach Matt Nagy said. “I think that’s good for the guys, and I’m just a little upset that I didn’t see (defensive coordinator) Vic (Fangio) doing his 10 pushups.”
Coming and going
TE Ben Braunecker (hamstring), LB Kasim Edebali (oblique) and CB Kevin Toliver (quad) were added to the injury report. LBs Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Aaron Lynch (hamstring) and Danny Trevathan (hamstring) remained out, as did CB Sherrick McManis (hamstring). OG Kyle Long (neck, shoulder, elbow) and WR Allen Robinson (knee) had scheduled off days as part of their rehab plan.
TE Daniel Brown (ankle) returned to practice. Undrafted rookie OL Jeremi Hall was waived.