Smith holdout takes backseat to Bears and Urlacher in Canton

As first-round draft pick Roquan Smith and the Chicago Bears continue their stalemate over contract language, the Bears and former LInebacker Brian Urlacher take center stage in Canton, Ohio.

Urlacher becomes the latest Bear to have his bust enshrined in Canton on Saturday night, while the Bears open the NFL preseason in the annual Hall of Fame game versus the Baltimore Ravens. The athletic and rangy Urlacher set a new standard in LB play, yet follows in a tradition of top-notch defenders in franchise history.

The HOF game also marks the debut of new Chicago head coach Matt Nagy and a new offensive coaching staff. The Bears have been tight-lipped on how much, if any, second-year Quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the starters might play, but the contest should provide opportunities for younger Bears players and those returning from injury to get on the field against an opponent.

Meanwhile, the taffy pull with Smith and his agents continues to give the Bears a black eye in the public relations battle. Smith is the only remaining holdout of the 2018 draft class, and with each passing day, frustrations are mounting on the potential impact the former Georgia Bulldog might offer.

Bears Bits: Three players to watch: 1. WR Kevin White…in a make it or break it season, White needs to show he can stay on the field and demonstrate some of the quickness and game breaking ability he flashed during his college days. 2. G James Daniels…the rookie lineman is raw and young (just 20) and has been schooled at times during training camp by veteran defensive players. He has the tools, football intelligence, and technique, it just needs refined and polished. 3. WR Anthony Miller…Miller has been the best player, arguably, on the field in Bourbonnais, displaying the hands, instincts, and quickness to earn major reps during the regular season. He’s savvy and knows how to get open, rare for a young player entering the league.

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