As we do every year, my family made the pilgrimage to Bourbonais this morning to see the Chicago Bears preparing for the upcoming season. With a watchful eye on the weather report, we awoke at 6:30am, my wife and I grabbed our coffee and we loaded up into the family hauler.
We pulled into the parking lot at 8:30, a bit later than we had hoped. That is where the good/bad news was delivered - practice would not be cancelled (hooray), but would be moved to the stadium field and all autograph activities would be cancelled (boo). Practice in the stadium means that all the action is in one place, but also means that moving around for better pictures is not possible due to the higher concentration of fans. Luckily, the crowd was smaller than usual due to the threatening weather, so I found a great spot on the fence at the 35 yard line.
You can see my photos here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/normalfan/SC07pB/
The clouds made lighting a bit low, and my low end lens struggled - sending my auto-focus into a bit of a confused mess. But overall, I tried to catch shots of the lines doing battle, and give a decent illustration of the training camp experience.
My takeaways from what I observed:
- Trestman is all over the place! He was literally in the middle of plays throughout the practice, I was surprised how often he ended up in my photos.
- Cutler was on fire, and got great protection. It seemed like all of his throws hit his receivers' hands.
- Conte looked good - and not just on the interception. He has a good chance to keep Vereen of the field.
- Just from the "eye" test, Ford is FAST. But he dropped some easy passes...
- My favorite - Coach Herring. I'd be an HOF player if he was my coach - out of fear!!!
- The punters were wildly inconsistent. They gotta stop trying to kill the ball every time and work on just getting solid contact and hang time.
- At the end of practice only one person stayed around for any amount of time to sign autographs - Trestman.