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Chicago Bears begin OTAs with offensive struggles, some key absences from practice

Chicago Bears begin OTAs with offensive struggles, some key absences from practice
Chicago Bears begin OTAs with offensive struggles, some key absences from practice 01:12

CHICAGO (CBS) – The Chicago Bears were back in town with voluntary offseason team activities taking place at Halas Hall this week.

Head coach Matt Eberflus said everything was a work in progress as the Bears complete the first week of OTAs. That included top pick Caleb Williams and the offense that DJ Moore admitted had some frustrating moments on Thursday.

"Right now, we're all just getting used to each other," Moore said. "We all gotta learn a new offense right now. With him, you just gotta know that the growing pains is gonna to be there. He's got a lot to learn."

New Bears defensive back Keith Byard said the defense's job was to make it as hard as possible for Williams and the offense.

"We had a good day. I'm not gonna sit here and lie about that, but to be honest, it's to be expected," Byard said. "You have a returning top-15, top-10 defense obviously going against a younger, rookie quarterback who's obviously getting acclimated and learning things, going out there, showing some swag, talking trash, doing all that stuff. Because at the end of the day, he's gonna have to lead us there and I mean, that's kind of how it's gonna be."

Byard said he told Williams at the end of practice, "Keep going. We're gonna keep making you better."

Eberflus called the attendance at OTAs "great" despite some veterans like receiver Keenan Allen and defensive end Montez Sweat not being present for practice. Offensive linemen Darnell Wright and Nate Davis also didn't practice. Still, Eberflus said everyone has been at Halas Hall at some point throughout the offseason program.

He also called Moore the hardest worker on the team, and the top receiver was not there for the money.

"[There's} $200,000 on the line," Moore said. "I want to be here and make that money, but outside of that ... you gotta get that connection down with Caleb and with everybody."

When asked if that meant Allen should be out at practice every day too, Moore said his 32-year-old teammate is a "vet vet" and was OK missing practice for his wife and daughter's birthdays.

Rookie receiver Rome Odunze was among those present but was still dealing with a hamstring injury. He's expected to return to the field next week.

The next practice for the Bears will be on Friday.

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