Thursday night after practice, second-year Bears tight end Cole Kmet blocked out an hour to run through film with coach Matt Nagy. The coach was all too happy to help his young tight end.
Kmet joked that it might lead to more targets for him.
“Selfishly, it kind of gets in the play-caller’s head a little bit,” Kmet said.
In all seriousness, though, Kmet is going to see the field a lot in 2021 and is doing everything he can to prepare, even if it means staying late to break down film with Nagy.
“You kind of get to see what [Nagy’s] done in the past, and obviously with guys he’s been with, looking back when he was with [Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce] and things he did with him and comparing that to myself and seeing what I’m good at and what I can do in those situations,” Kmet said. “So just trying to get in his head a little bit as well, too, as a play-caller, see what he’s looking for.”
The Bears will open the season Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in California. Although he was a rookie last year, Kmet was playing almost the entire game each week by the end of the season. That trend is only going to continue into 2021.
The team kept five tight ends on the 53-man roster last week, a high number for the position. In addition to Kmet, Jimmy Graham, Jesse James, J.P. Holtz and Jesper Horsted all made the roster. It’s a good bet that the Bears will rely heavily on the position.
“We’ve got big targets between me, Jesse and Jimmy,” Kmet said. “We’re all 6-6 or above. That’s some big targets right there.”
Peters at left tackle: The Bears are moving ahead with their plan to start 39-year-old Jason Peters at left tackle. Nagy hasn’t publicly ruled out the possibility that Peters could rotate with another tackle such as Elijah Wilkinson or Larry Borom. But it sounds as if plan No. 1 is to keep Peters in the game as much as possible.
“I feel pretty good right now with him. I think he’s in a good place,” Nagy said. “Just talking with him and talking with [offensive line coach Juan Castillo], his level of conditioning, we feel, is good. So it might just be something when we get into the game, we’ll just see how he’s feeling.”
Peters has started 203 regular-season games in his career, with the vast majority of those coming at left tackle. He played some in the third preseason game, but it has been awhile since he saw a full game of action.
Familiar foe: Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is, of course, quite a familiar face for the Bears’ defense. The longtime Detroit Lions quarterback will make his Rams debut Sunday against the Bears.
“He’s a pro,” Bears safety Eddie Jackson said. “He’s been doing it for a while. A true vet. A great quarterback. He likes things to be on time, so he’ll look you off and know what he’s doing with the ball if you show him what coverage you’re in. So you’ve just got to be on top of those keys to try to keep him on his toes, disguise it a little bit.”
Stafford has played in 20 games against the Bears in his career, and his team is 11-9 in those games.