Chicago Bears: Alec Ogletree is just what Bears training camp needed

Chicago Bears (Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears (Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports) /

Is it any wonder that the one guy making the biggest plays recently at Chicago Bears training camp is someone who did so regularly against them in recent years?

Newly-signed linebacker Alec Ogletree is turning heads every single day since he signed with the Bars just five days ago. In four practices so far, Ogletree has come up with a whopping six interceptions.

Funny enough, in each of the two games Alec Ogletree played against the Chicago Bears while with the New York Giants (in 2018 and 2019), he picked them off. In fact, in the game in which Ogletree played the Bears in 2018, he intercepted fill-in starter, Chase Daniel, twice — and returned one of them for a touchdown early in the game.

What Alec Ogletree has been able to accomplish early on with his new team is nothing short of an impressive redemption story.

Alec Ogletree is dominating headlines in Chicago Bears training camp right now

As the most talked about player in camp over the past couple of days, Ogletree should be relishing in the fact that his career looks to be on the upswing.

After being a starter for the entirety of his career up until the 2019 season, Ogletree was released by the New York Giants in February of 2020. He was not signed until September, where he spent just a month with the New York Jets before he was again released.

It was a quick falloff for Ogletree, who started 13 games for the Giants in 2019 before suddenly seeing himself out of a job last season. The former first-round pick has three 100-tackle seasons under his belt and four seasons with 10 or more passes defended. He is actually a stellar cover linebacker, but lost a step towards the end of 2019 and couldn’t quite recover last year.

Now with the Bears, Alec Ogletree is breathing new life into practices. It couldn’t come at a more perfect time for this Chicago defense, either. In an offseason and camp where head coach Matt Nagy is preaching takeaways as much as he is breathing, eating and sleeping, Ogletree has fit right in.

Defensive coordinator Sean Desai is in his first year at the position but knows the guys well. He has introduced the “turnover bucket,” which has gotten rave reviews thus far. Each time the defense takes the ball away, they dunk it and celebrate together.

Needless to say, Alec Ogletree has had his fair share of dunks recently.

Nagy knows that, in order for this defense to get back to the top of the NFL, they must take the ball away. Fans have seen it. We all know that this defense has been good the last two years, but not great. The one thing that’s been missing is generating pressure which leads to takeaways.

Ogletree has done exactly that and more. Again, in less than a week with the team, he is making big play after big play and truly energizing this group. He’s gone from simply a camp body to a guy who will be making this roster, no doubt. Heck, he might even put some pressure on Danny Trevathan.

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The reality is, the Chicago Bears need takeaways — period. If Trevathan can’t help in that department, maybe Ogletree gets some run with the ones eventually. Either way, he has to make this team. He’s already made an enormous impact.