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After a day off, the Chicago Bears resumed practice in pads Friday at Halas Hall.

Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and several players spoke with the media afterward. Here are four things we learned.

1. Tight end Cole Kmet said practice was one of the hardest in which he has participated.

Kmet said the tempo, speed and physicality — and the expectations from coaches that players move quickly from drill to drill — added up to a practice that players had to grind through.

His teammates agreed.

“Today was a day, for sure,” wide receiver Darnell Mooney said. “I was laid out in the locker room after today.”

“You definitely felt it today,” safety Eddie Jackson said. “Me and coach Alan (Williams) were on the sideline, talking like … ‘You can do two things. You can either tap out and stop and cry and complain. Or you can just step up.’ And when you get through stuff like that, that shows what good teams are made of.”

Getsy said coaches set out to challenge the players’ conditioning from the start Friday, and he plans to keep an eye on who fared well — and who didn’t — when he watches film.

“That will be something I’m going to pay attention to, see who lost their focus and who lost their discipline and stuff when they got challenged today,” Getsy said.

The Bears offense played quite a bit against their scout team defense to provide a new look.

“We’ve got two teams in our division that play a three-down, and our defense doesn’t,” Getsy said. “When you’re talking about the big guys up front, everything changes in your rules and assignments when you have three-down. So you’ve got to mix that in.”

2. Eddie Jackson said he is ‘at ease with everything’ as he enters his 6th season with the Bears under a new coaching staff.

The Bears veteran safety and defensive leader has talked about how Eberflus let him know this season was a fresh start. And Jackson said he’s entering that phase feeling good mentally, physically and emotionally.

“You’re at peace and just comfortable with the team we have, the way we’re working, the scheme, everything we’ve been through so far, the coaches,” Jackson said. “I’m just getting that feel that everyone’s comfortable and just ready to work, man.”

Jackson was open about not being happy with his production over the last couple of years. That included no interceptions in 2020 or 2021 after he totaled 10 in his first three seasons. And so he made the decision to embrace the new staff rather than be annoyed he had to start over with another set of coaches.

“I just feel like the years I had, I wasn’t satisfied with them, didn’t live up to expectations and standards that I set for myself,” Jackson said. “So to go out there this year is like a whole new start, whole new season, whole new team. I feel like a rookie coming in again, just learning, soaking up this game, man, and leading my guys the way I work and the way I do things.”

3. Getsy did not accompany Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on his ayahuasca journeys.

Rodgers went on the Aubrey Marcus Podcast this week and talked about how his experience using the psychedelic drug ayahuasca improved his mental health the last two seasons.

Getsy, who was Rodgers’ quarterbacks coach in Green Bay, laughed when asked if he had accompanied Rodgers on the trips.

“I was not invited on those trips,” Getsy said. “I didn’t know all that stuff. … Whatever it takes, I guess.”

Of course, Getsy spent more of his time talking about Justin Fields and how the Bears quarterback is managing the ups and downs of learning a new offense.

“This is a process, right? And we stress every single day that we’re a process-driven team, and our unit is the same way,” Getsy said. “And it’s all about making sure we get better every single day. Whether the focus is on getting better at our protection adjustments or our hot adjustments or throwing hot routes — whatever that adjustment is or whatever that emphasis of the day is, we just have to make sure we’re getting better at it.

“And then the situational stuff, he can’t get enough of that. You’re talking about what makes the great quarterbacks great. It’s just that experience in dealing with all the different situations.”

4. The Bears practiced without four of their cornerbacks.

Thomas Graham Jr. will be out for a while with a hamstring injury, Eberflus said earlier this week. But Bears cornerbacks Kyler Gordon, Kindle Vildor and Duke Shelley also sat out Friday, watching practice from the sideline. Eberflus won’t address the media until Saturday to potentially explain their absences.

Offensive tackle Teven Jenkins and defensive end Robert Quinn were among the other players missing from practice.

The Bears signed cornerback Davontae Harris and defensive lineman Trevon Coley before practice and released defensive back Jon Alexander and defensive lineman Auzoyah Alufohai.

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Proposed Trade Sees Steelers Dealing WR, Draft Pick for Bears’ Roquan Smith

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Roquan Smith of the Chicago Bears on October 3, 2021.

On Thursday Aug. 9 Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith publicly requested a trade, claiming that the organization’s “new front office regime doesn’t value me here” and that “they’ve refused to negotiate in good faith” on a contract extension. The high-profile request came via a letter shared by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, in which Smith elaborated on his reasons for wanting out of Chicago.

“Right now, my intentions are to make sure Roquan is on this team.” — GM Ryan Poles. https://t.co/E3tqyU6eAe

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 9, 2022

On August 10, Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times urged Bears general manager Ryan Poles to either trade Smith or sign him to a contract extension by the end of this coming weekend, calling the situation between player and team “untenable.”

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What Would Roquan Smith Fetch in a Trade?

Should Ryan Poles decide to go the trade route, “The market likely would dictate a best-case offer of a 2023 first- and third-round pick,” one source told Lieser.

That said, Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette proposed trading third-year wide receiver Chase Claypool and a second-round pick to the Bears in exchange for Smith.

“How about a package involving Diontae Johnson,” he added, proposing an alternative involving the fourth-year Steelers receiver who signed a two-year contract extension just last week.

It wasn’t all that long ago that such a trade would have seemed almost inconceivable, but the Steelers did give up a future first-round pick to acquire All-Pro free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick from the Miami Dolphins in 2019. And they made a lesser trade to try to address the position last summer, when they dealt a sixth-round pick for since-jettisoned linebacker Joe Schobert, who has had recent tryouts with several NFL teams — including the Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints — but remains unsigned.

A complicating factor is that Smith — who is representing himself in negotiations, a la Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson — is seeking a lucrative contract extension. He’s entering the final year of the rookie contract he signed in 2018, which calls for him to be paid a salary of $9.735 million, as per overthecap.com.

What Does Roquan Smith Want to Be Paid?

During an appearance on 670 The Score in Chicago, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network indicated that “Roquan Smith is asking for more money than Darius Leonard,” who signed a five-year, $98.5 million deal with the Colts last August.

[email protected] tells us that Roquan Smith is asking for more money than Darius Leonard. He points out that the most recent great player to sign often does re-set the market.

Fwiw, Leonard has 17 forced fumbles in 4 years and Roquan has 1.

— Danny Parkins (@DannyParkins) August 9, 2022

That’s a big commitment, but one that might be worth considering if Smith, 25, can be the long-term solution at the position — the solution the Steelers have been searching for since Ryan Shazier’s career came to a sudden end that fateful night in Cincinnati in December 2017.

Coming off two consecutive second-team All-Pro seasons, Smith’s recent history suggests he’d be up to the task. His stats communicate much the same feeling. Since the Bears drafted Smith No. 8 overall out of Georgia in 2018, de has appeared in 61 career games, with 59 starts. During those games he has recorded 524 total tackles (348 solo), including 43 tackles for loss, five interceptions, 14 sacks and 17 quarterback hits, according to Pro Football Reference.

Of course, a trade for Smith would likely mean the end of Devin Bush’s Steelers career. The former first-round pick is poised to become a free agent following the 2022 season, as the team declined his fifth-year option in May.

There’s also the possibility that Smith and the Bears will reconcile.

“Right now, my intentions are to sign Roquan to this team,” said Ryan Poles in the wake of Smith’s statement. “We’re gonna take it day by day, and at the end of the day, we’ve got to do what’s best for this organization. But my intentions are to make sure Roquan’s signed to this team,” he concluded.

That said, Smith did leave the door open to the possibility of Bears ownership stepping in to “salvage” the situation, “but as of right now I don’t see a path back to the organization I truly love,” he concluded.

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