Chicago Sun-Times

Saturday notes: Bears extend deal with Olivet Nazarene

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If you're putting the finishing touches on your plans to visit training camp starting Wednesday, go ahead and start thinking about your travel plans for 2009.

The Bears recently came to agreement with Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., on a two-year agreement to extend the team's stay there through next summer. This will be the team's seventh year at ONU. Because of state law, the school and sign only two-year contracts with the organization. They've had mutual options for a third year in the past and it's unknown if there is one in place now.

"It was never in doubt," Gary Griffin, the school's public relations chief, told the Kankakee Daily Journal.

Players report to ONU on Tuesday and the first practice is at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Thanks to a reader for a tip on finding this news nugget.

*** There will be a two-page spread advancing training camp in Sunday's edition. We take a look at 10 storylines to follow in camp topped by, what else, the quarterback competition.

One thing we didn't get into was advancement by tight end Greg Olsen in his second season. Olsen, the first-round pick in 2007, was fifth on the team with 39 receptions for 391 yards and two touchdowns. They're not numbers that blow you away but compared against tight ends drafted over the last two decades in the first round, Olsen was a fair bit ahead of the average. It's a difficult position to come in and put up big numbers right away because it's essentially two positions. The tight end is a sixth (or seventh offensive lineman) on some downs and a receiver on others.

So, keep an eye on Olsen in camp and how he's utilized.

*** First-round draft pick Chris Williams remains unsigned. I'd expect a deal to be forged in advance of Wednesday. The percentage of actual holdouts is very small every summer. The percentage of holdouts drafted after the top five or so is even smaller.

Yes, cornerback Darrelle Revis, the 14th pick in '07, missed 20 days of Jets' camp last summer. But the Jets and Revis were involved in a haggle over years that will not bog down Williams' negotiations. He'll sign a five-year contract.

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3 Comments

I agree, as far as Olsen coming on this season. Olsen's numbers are pretty comparable to some of the games better tight ends in their rookie seasons. Olsen had 39 catches for 391 yds abd 2 tds. Take Tony Gonzalez, he had 33 catches for 368 yds and Antonio Gates had 24 catches for 389 yds. Another one is Jason Witten, he had 35 catches for 347 yds. I know this is no guarantee for Olsen to come on, but it is to his favor to do so, if you go by the comparison. I would like to see if Olsen has become a better run blocker in his second season. I think he will with a season in an NFL strength and conditioning program. Hopefully the Bears are getting close to inking Chris Williams, its very important that he makes camp on time, more so than top picks of the past, because the Bears are counting on him to start. GO BEARS!!

Brad:

I hope so with Williams signing the 5 year deal. Then the only real bad blood if you will, would be with Urlacher not having his deal redone as he wished. Do you think this will distract the team very much until it is resolved?

Man, the Redskins got all their picks signed already! Hurry up Chris Williams, you should officially be on the team already.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on July 19, 2008 8:00 AM.

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