Jul 26, 2012; Bourbonnais, IL, USA; Chicago Bears football helmet sits on the ground during the opening day of training camp on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-US PRESSWIRE
So with day two of padded practices in the books, let's take a look at what's happened.
- Devin Hester came back to practice with his ankle taped. Didn't stop him from making a great catch against Charles Tillman.
- In between making adjustments with the quarterbacks, it was also discovered Jeremy Bates moonlights as a receivers coach.
- Brandon Marshall made a great catch over Kelvin Hayden.
- But for every play Marshall makes that gets the crowd going, why is it good defensive plays in the secondary don't get the same reaction? Defense can have a good day too, ya know.
- Greg McCoy returned punts with Hester. How dare dem Bears coaching guys try to replace da greatest returner of all time?!
- Hey, Eric Weems can catch the ball too.
- Shea McClellin got stonewalled by James Brown in pass-rush drills. Twice. Maybe Brown is showing why he was a projected second-rounder... (Optimistic-tinted glasses here.) Otherwise, geez, welcome to the NFL, now carry my bags, rook.
- Evan Rodriguez missed a block, and one of Adam Podlesh's punts paid for it. Podlesh still has a leg otherwise.
- Also on special teams adventures, I think Henry Melton ended up as a punt returner for a spot. Hmm. Okay then.
- DJ Moore picked up an interception on 7-on-7. Continuing on where he left off last season. Apparently Weems needs to fight for the ball more, right?
- Uh-oh, Cutler might be locking in on a "chuck-it-in-his-general-direction" guy... Wait, Marshall caught it for a touchdown? Well aaaalrighty-then.
- Jeffery keeps up where he was, catching a touchdown from Jason Campbell working with the second team.
- Thaddeus Gibson - potential dark horse to make the team? He's gotten the Mario Addison comp.
- Defensive line and offensive line going at it pretty well - Chris Williams and Chris Spencer get beat bad by Chauncey Davis and Matt Toeaina, then pay the linemen back in spades.
- Jordan Miller and Chilo Rachal let things get a little chippy.
- Chauncey Davis gave Julius Peppers a bit of a break, as Davis is taking the first team snaps for a series.
- Tillman started slowing down at the end of practice - not sure if he's injured at all, or if he's just winded after a long practice in the heat in the middle of the day. My money is on the latter.
- Cutler completed a pass to Kellen Davis with solid protection. Wait... Solid protection?! Followed by another pass to Matt Spaeth. Tight ends are allowed to catch the ball?
- McClellin beat a fifth-string tight end to get to Matt Blanchard, but hey, it's a start.
- Haven't heard lighting up a player be described like this, but Blake Costanzo laid one on Kahlil Bell.
- Towards the end, the younger guys got to let it all out. Full-on hitting.
So, impressions. Shea against James Brown could either be a bad thing (McClellin can't beat an UDFA tackle) or a good thing (Brown might provide a competent tackle). I wouldn't worry too much about McClellin though at this point, we knew he was going to be a bit of a developmental project yet able to contribute in pass-rushing situations, so it's all part of his learning process. But if Brown continues playing like this, he may carve out a spot for himself, at least as a swing tackle. I wouldn't pencil him into the starting left tackle spot, though, and certainly not based off the early preseason - between Webb and Williams, they'll exercise their options first until nothing is left.
It's fair to see why the cornerbacks might be struggling early on here, as Brandon Marshall is unlike anything they've seen in camp in, well... yeah. But also, a lot of people are keeping eyes on the Bears' new passing game, including the receivers. Interesting that nothing was made of Evan Rodriguez in the passing game today versus everything we heard yesterday.
What did you find interesting about today's practice?