Chicago Bears: 5 training camp battles

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 10: Julio Jones /
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What are the five Chicago Bears training camp battles to watch for?

The Chicago Bears will be the first team to get underway at training camp. They also have the benefit of an extra preseason game thanks to the Hall of Fame game. It means that they will have the longest look at every potential training camp battle and competition for roster spots. The Chicago Bears do not have major competition for starting spots. However, there will be intense practices and players pushing for jobs as always. What are the five battles to keep an eye on?

Kevin Toliver vs Marcus Cooper

No, this is not a battle for a starting spot. However, it is likely a battle for a roster spot and a competition that every Chicago Bears fan should keep an eye on. When looking at the cornerback depth, every spot seems to have a role. There are the two outside starters, Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller. The slot starter, Bryce Callahan. Cre’Von LeBlanc has the inside track to backup slot duties and Sherrick McManis is purely a special teams player. It likely leaves one spot, the backup outside cornerback.

Related Story: Kevin Toliver UDFA profile

In one corner, we have the incumbent, Marcus Cooper. Cooper lost his starting job last season but held down the backup outside spot and was re-signed this summer. On the other side, the challenger, Kevin Toliver.

Toliver is a UDFA option, which certainly puts him at a disadvantage. However, coming from LSU he was a former top recruit who had a rough go of his college career. He has off of the field concerns but has on the field talent. He has already caught his coach’s eye at OTAs and if he can keep his head on straight, will come into camp with a chance to win a roster spot.

Most Bears fans should be rooting for Toliver. He is younger, can be under team control longer and has starter upside. Marcus Cooper is a safer play but lacks most of the positives in which Toliver represents. Cooper will enter camp as the leader in this battle, but Toliver could gain the inside edge by the end of summer.