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Chicago Bears training camp preview: Start date, when rookies, veterans report, position battles to watch

The Chicago Bears report to training camp in July. We break down key report dates and training camp battles to watch.

Texas Longhorns running back Roschon Johnson (2) celebrates after scoring on a 21-yard touchdown run against the Colorado Buffaloes in the fourth quarter in the Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears did not play well last season but showed some glimpses and the future looks good. Justin Fields showed he was one of the best running quarterbacks in the NFL in 2022, but his passing will take off this season in my opinion. This is his second year in the offense and he will be playing with the best receiving core the Bears have had in a long time. If the defense can play well, this team can win some games in 2023.

Chicago Bears training camp start date

Rookies reporting: July 22
Veterans reporting: July 25

First preseason game: 8/12 vs. Tennessee Titans

Key position battles to watch

Running Back

The expected RB1 in Chicago this season is Khalil Herbert, but I think Roschon Johnson will win the job. Herbert will get his touches, but Johnson is a very good running back who could've been a second or third-round pick if he wasn't playing behind Bijan Robinson at Texas. D’Onta Foreman showed well last year and could get some carries this year as well. Fields’ running ability already opens the field up more for running backs and I think Johnson is the best compliment to Fields in the backfield.

Defensive Line

They added two defensive linemen in the 2023 NFL Draft which makes it clear that want to improve there. Newly signed Andrew Billings and Justin Jones are listed as the starters now, but Zacch Pickens and German Dexter will have a chance to earn those spots. All four of these guys will be rotating in, but there will be two getting the most snaps. I think Billings will win a starting job, but one of the rookies will win one, too. I think Dexter will be a day-one starter, while Pickens has more upside and will be a developmental piece.