There has been a ton of articles in each day's Dens this week about the Bears' minicamp practices. I decided I would scour through the articles and pull out highlights, lowlights and any other information tidbits that may help give us insight into what we will see on the field from the team, as well as insight into how Marc Trestman will run his team.
For the purposes of this article, I went through over 25 articles to try and pull out the best information I could. Unfortunately some articles were blocked because I reached the article limit for the month, but I think I'm still able to give some insight into the new Bears era.
-The team was able to practice smoothly, with few errors. This was a surprise because according to Trestman, the team had only a couple days to learn the plays for each day.
"It's been a good start just to see the guys being able to take on so much information," Trestman said. "We challenged them (Tuesday). They had three or four days with scripts in their hands at the hotel or at their house preparing for Day 1. They had the scripts for Day 2 but they were focused on Day 1 to get through it. And so what was impressive today was we had very few mentals."
-The playbook will likely be massive. It seemed for much of the offseason, any time Trestman talked to the media he would mention his playbook was not yet ready. Finally though, as minicamp started the first public indications that the playbook was being rolled out. Installation was a key part of this week's workouts and the playbook will likely be large. Articles mentioned that the team installed at least 75 pass plays on day two, Wednesday, and 10 more run plays. That is on top of however many plays they installed on Tuesday.
The team was given scripts 3-4 days in advance of Tuesday’s first practice and were expected to know about 100 plays by then. Wednesday, another 85 or so were thrown at them. And Thursday, only about 40 plays were run, but the players didn’t have a script — they had to know the plays as they were called.
"They didn’t know which plays were coming out until today. So they had to learn everything," head coach Marc Trestman said. "I thought they did a very good job."
-The offensive line has a long way to go. There will be a lot of compeition on the offensive line come July and August and while it seems it's been that way the last couple years, there seems to be more talent competing and more players involved in the competition. From Kip Lewis:
The offensive line had one surprise. James Brown got the first reps with the starting offense at one guard position. Veteran and newcomer Matt Slauson was the starter at the other guard. That meant Gabe Carimi will have to beat out somebody just to get another chance to start. The tackle positions were manned by Jermon Bushrod on the left side and J'Marcus Webb/Jonathan Scott on the right side with Roberto Garza at center.
-Expectations should be raised for Shea McClellin. McClellin has put on 5-7 pounds of muscle and GM Phil Emery, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and Trestman all praised McClellin's athleticism and expectations for his second season. He's even gotten reps with the number ones:
Through two voluntary mini-camp practices, McClellin has split time with Corey Wootton on the No. 1 defensive line unit, a sign that the Bears want to use the second-year end more this year.
The scheme won't change much. Tucker will continue to run a 4-3, Cover-2 type defense with the same terminology as Lovie Smith. The team did not start on blitz packages until Thursday.
-What's next? The coaching staff didn't spend a lot of time making corrections during the practices this week, but next week the team will have meetings and film sessions and go over the tape from this week and make corrections. The next minicamps will begin on May 10 and the rookie class will be involved.
What news or notes did you take away from the Bears' minicamp?