Chicago Sun-Times

Putting a wrap on rookie minicamp

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Besides the Cedric Benson circus Sunday at Halas Hall, rookie minicamp ended rather uneventfully. It was a good opportunity for players to get acclimated to how practices are run. Players can return to work in the offseason program once their schools have held graduation ceremonies, which will clear all but one draft pick for a return for the beginning of OTA’s on May 19.

Oregon State linebacker Joey LaRocque (it’s pronounced La-Rock in case you were wondering) cannot return for the offseason program until the end because his school is on the quarter system and commencement ceremonies are not until June 15. LaRocque was one of five seventh-round picks. It’s worth noting undrafted free-agent quarterbacks Caleb Hanie and Nick Hill will be able to return before the start of OTA’s also.

``It's good to finish on a high note like this,’’ coach Lovie Smith said this afternoon before the focus turned to Ced. ``When you come in, you have an idea what type of players you drafted and you have coming into camp, but you need to see them on the football field. It was good for us. We set the bar the first day and they made progress, but after an entire camp is over you begin to see how far you really have to go. And we have a long ways to go with some of our younger players but a few of them should help us. So it's good to get that stage out of the way.’’

Lovie, anybody stand out?

``You would like for your top skill guys to stand out. Matt Forte, since Day 1, since the first practice, stood out. You noticed him catching the ball, just running. It looked like it wasn't too big for him. He looked like he's been here before. And that's what you want to see.

``I thought Earl Bennett made progress from Day 1. Again, you set the bar and you just want to make progress throughout the time. We were able to do that. I like our DBs, some of the skill guys. Again, it's hard to really evaluate some of the offensive linemen with what they do in a camp like this. As much as anything, they have the playbook and when they come back in we want them to be able to blend in with the rest of our veterans.’’

Veteran minicamp will run from May 30 through June 1.

The Inside the Bears staff will be scaling back its workload during May unless news warrants. Thanks for checking in.

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4 Comments

Im glad to hear that the one guy the bears needs most seems to have a handle on things so far. It will be interesting to see how he reacts when he gets hit. If he is the kinda guy I have been reading and seeing Im sure that he will have no problem taking a hit or deliver a hit. The last back in a Chicago uniform that I saw that could take a hit as well as deliver is RaymontHarris. The Ultra back.
Hope to have some positive news in the weeks coming up, like signing Hester and Gould to new deals. Maybe talk Urlacher and tweek his contract for a more front load offer in the first 2 of the 4 years remaining.

Matt Forte sure is looking and sounding like he might be the real ticket. I guess the only way to find out is on the field. I believe that as insurance, the Bears need to obtain an NFL back that might be available or be traded for such as Lamont Jordan from the Raiders. He had fallen out of favor with the Raiders brass and has potential as a runner and can catch the ball out of the backfield.

Just saw article today that says Chris Simms may be available come June 1st. He might be worth a look to add competition to the QG slot here, I know he was hurt pretty bad, but if Orton does not win the job outright this summer, then Simms would be a solid guy to take a look at, most people feel Rex is only signed as insurance in case Orton is not ready at this point. I'd rather bring Simms in than Culpepper at this point due to age, the FA's will not be ready to play for at least 2 yrs., so why not give him a shot...

James Townsend will be a sleeper in this upcoming 09' season. Seen him up in New Jersey working out.He looks like he can go aheah of a lot of guys in this years draft. Heard it from me first.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on May 4, 2008 8:14 PM.

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