If Devin Hester is looking for a boost in his bid for a new contract--he's next in line now that Brian Urlacher is signed, sealed and delivered--how about his status as a starting wide receiver?
Offensive coordinator Ron Turner said Tuesday that Hester and Brandon Lloyd will likely start with the first team at practice today. The duo did quite a bit of that during the offseason program and Turner said they'll probably get the nod ahead of Marty Booker and the long list of others including Mark Bradley. Hester is hoping to be paid top dollar as a receiver and this is a start.
But coach Lovie Smith wasn't ready to potentially call him a No. 1 receiver.
``At all the positions right now, I'm not going to tell you who they are,'' Smith said of his top secret depth chart. ``We're going to go out on the football field and play and once we feel like everyone needs to know, we'll let you know then. If I know it a little bit earlier am I going to tell you, no.''
*** Urlacher on the defense which invested $94 million in Urlacher ($18 million), defensive tackle Tommie Harris ($40 million) and linebacker Lance Briggs ($36 million):
``Same defense,'' Urlacher said. ``I said to someone a while back, if we just stay healthy and keep guys on the field, the pieces are in place. We've just got to play and do our jobs.''
*** Quarterback Kyle Orton is in a new position no matter how this morning's coin toss with Rex Grossman turns out. The pair is using the old-fashioned way in a meeting with Turner to determine who will begin training camp with the first team today. The loser of the coin toss will take first-team reps Thursday and so forth. Turner said it will be balanced out so on days the team has two practices one guy isn't getting more.
Orton has been the No. 3 quarterback every other time camp has opened, so it's a new role for him. It means he'll actually get reps.
``No question,'' he said. ``I was kind of stuck back at three these last three camps and this is the first time I've come in with a chance to be the guy opening day. So I'm very excited, I've been excited for the last four or five months. So I'm ready to get going.''
*** Look for punter Zac Atterberry to take on some kicking duties. One of the losses in the hard limit of an 80-man roster was a fourth kicker-punter. The Bears are not going to wear out Robbie Gould so Atterberry will do some double dipping. He showed an impressive leg in the offseason program but it would be a stretch at this point for him to seriously challenge veteran punter Brad Maynard.
*** Great cool weather on reporting day Tuesday. Smith admitted he's like it a little warmer for some of the practices.