Even though I wasn’t able to make only three consecutive practices, it felt wonderful to return to “Bearbonnais!”
This time around, the team had the pads on for the third straight day. I could immediately tell that this practice had a much more physical tone than the one on Thursday. Trust me, it was nice to hear the players’ pads “Pop” as it made for a much more entertaining (and hopefully beneficial) practice for both players and fans.
Just like Friday’s practice, there were players on the field early. This work ethic will pay dividends as training camp and the season progresses.
While trying to find a spot to watch practice, I noticed that the music was different. Come to find out, the Bears actually had a live DJ right on the field.
Now, that’s different. 😉
Having the DJ definitely made the practice have a more upbeat vibe, which resulted in some fast play.
Some personnel notes…
AJ Cruz, Levi Norwood, and Marc Mariani were the players who fielded the most punts.
Jay Cutler had a decent practice. He did miss a couple of throws, but he made the majority. It’s worth mentioning that Cutler is still turnover free through the first five practices.
Let’s all hope that translates into the games…
What impressed me most about Cutler is what he did on the sidelines. When he wasn’t on the field, the quarterback listened in on all the play calls and conversed with his new offensive coordinator Adam Gase. This shows that Cutler has both leadership and accountability, doing all he can to learn this new offense.
Jimmy Clausen on the other hand seemed like he wasn’t on top of his game. He struggled mightily at times…
Marquees Wilson impressed in the absence of Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White with a few nice snags. However, The the third year pro had a couple of mishandles on drills without a defender covering him. Wilson needs to catch everything in sight in order to solidify a spot on this roster.
It was evident that something was wrong with Martellus Bennett, as he spent a lot of time talking with a team trainer. It turned out he was ill today, but still went out and practiced. Kudos to Bennett for working through it, as he already missed a lot of time in OTA’s.
Jeremy Langford continued to impress. The rookie looked strong both out of the backfield and in the passing game and even found himself with some first team reps towards the end of practice. The more I watch Langford, the more I get excited for what he can bring to the table.
On defense, the first three lineman were Jarvis Jenkins, Jerimiah Ratliff, and Ego Ferguson. It was interesting to see that Ratliff was put in at the nose tackle, as a lot of talk has him playing on the outside.
That being said, second round pick Eddie Goldman got some time with the starters as the nose. If he can get his conditioning in check, I expect Goldman to find his way into a starting role.
For the competition at inside linebacker, no player stood above the rest, but all did look solid and not out of place. Jon Bostic did make what would have been a tackle for loss. It’s good to see him playing strong after battling some injuries throughout the offseason.
This seems to be the battle to watch throughout camp.
The defense got their first interception of camp when the ball was tipped by wideout Ify Umodu and into the hands of Anthony Jefferson. I overheard Adam Gase talk to the receivers after that play with some solid advice,
“Go up with two hands. That’s what happens when you try to use one. You only bat it up,” Gase said.
Today’s practice was decent all around. Players played hard and the fan turnout was much better than anticipated for a Monday morning.
The Bears need Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White to return pronto! Alshon will be just fine with some time off, but Kevin White needs to get onto the field and start practicing with his teammates. The longer he is out, the farther he gets left behind.
With so many position battles happening on defense, it will be interesting to see how the Bears continue to move forward with splitting reps.
Now… Who did I get to meet today?
That’s right: Mason Foster!
Foster gives each Bears fan a “Hello!” But… he also wanted to make sure and say “Hi” to his mother! 😀
I guess this is a great time to announce that I’ve interviewed Mason Foster’s parents and will be coming out with that story soon! 🙂