While preseason is shorter this year, the lead up to the start of the regular season is no different than past years.
The Bears have no more time or less time to make decisions on starters at positions up for grabs. For that reason, it might be in their best interest to get the cornerback situation settled quickly.
Safety Tashaun Gipson on Friday pointed out how last year's battle at starting safety with Deon Bush left both him and Eddie Jackson feeling out of sorts as the season began.
"When you can build that camaraderie with those guys and know who you're gonna be out there with, it's always a plus," Gipson said. "I know it was hard for Eddie last year not knowing who the starter was gonna be. He was rotating, me and Bush was in a position battle. Those things are always tough, man."
Jackson needed to know who he was playing with and build communications in the back with Gipson. Former defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano didn't have an announced winner in the battle until just before the season.
"Eddie and I didn't find our niche, find our vibe until middle of the season, so the sooner that you can accomplish these things, you can kind of understand who you're playing with and you can start building that camaraderie," Gipson said. "That's something that you can't coach. It doesn't matter how good a player is, how long he's played in the league. If you're not used to playing with this guy—everybody's playing style is different."
The safety position isn't the question right now in the Bears secondary. It's the cornerback spot. However, the cornerbacks impact the safeties in terms of communication. Gipson last year also had to form his communication links with rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson, but that was easier because the Bears set him in position almost immediately and he took the spot.
In this respect, it could benefit the entire secondary to know as soon as possible this year if Desmond Trufant is the starting left cornerback or if it's Kindle Vildor.
"I know Jaylon is different than Trufant," Gipson said. "I know Trufant is different than Kindle. Once those things are set in stone, then we'll be able to get a hold on everything and go from there."
With Eddie Jackson out of the lineup now because of a hamstring pull, it can compound the situation. However, defensive coordinator Sean Desai is trying to be as involved as possible on the practice field.
"Eddie is such a high football IQ guy, so we want him out there," Desai said. "And he wants to be out there and he wants to be practicing. Obviously he's not right now ... We want those guys engaged. He's got the same script the coaches have got. So he knows what all the calls are. He's communicating. He's helping the guys that are coming off the field and giving them points.
"When you get that, and you get players coaching players and speaking the same language, I think that adds a lot of value."
Desai said it helps connectivity but there is no substitute for being on the field.
The Bears need their cornerback battles solved and Jackson on the field as soon as possible to start building the rapport which fosters better communication the field, better pass coverage and the increased number of turnovers they're all talking about during the first few days of practice.
It's Desai's contention that turnovers come in bunches, and something often repeated. But players can be ready to make them when the opportunity does come.
"The biggest thing is knowing where the ball is," Desai said. "That's the biggest thing. Having vision on the ball.
"If you can't see the ball, you can't take the ball away. Very simply, they need to know. They need to see the ball from wherever it is, the snap, to the quarterback-running back exchange, to the quarterback dropping back at the top of the pocket to releasing it and then we'll have a chance."
One way to assist that vision is communication within the secondary. The defense needs to get settled and have everything in place on the back end as soon as possible to increase the chances of getting the ball back more this season.