Velus Jones Jr.

Matt Eberflus points to fundamentals talking about Velus Jones Jr.'s muffed punt

Velus Jones Jr. muffed a punt during the Bears' preseason game against the Tennessee Titans

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On Saturday, Velus Jones Jr., the Bears' third-round pick from the 2022 NFL draft, got the call on two punt returns during the team's first preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.

He let both balls drop to the ground and muffed the second of the two punts he got a crack at.

"It comes down to fundamentals," head coach Mat Eberflus said after the game on Jones Jr. "It comes down to technique. We're gonna work on that and get him reading the flight of the ball and getting ourselves into position early. And then, getting underneath the football and squeezing down on the catch. We'll keep working on that."

MORE: Chicago Bears roster risers and fallers after Titans preseason game

Difficulty returning punts has been a recurring theme for Jones Jr. dating back to last season. He muffed two punts early in the year last season, forcing the Bears to strip him of his title as a punt returner.

Jones Jr.'s punt returns in training camp have improved. But, clearly, not enough to consistently rely on him to take punts for the Bears.

What happened with those punts?

"Those were two short punts," Eberflus said. "As I said, the nose was up. When those come out, they come down pretty fast. He got two of the more difficult ones back-to-back. Just gotta use fundamental technique and read that ball before it gets too high, and then, get underneath it."

Jones Jr. isn't a steady part of the Bears' wide receiver core. If he wants to have a spot on the field, his punt return skills will need to improve.

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