Chicago Sun-Times

Camp notes: Bears bid goodbye to Bourbonnais for the summer

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A 90-minute walk-through this morning put a wrap on the Bears' seventh training camp at Olivet Nazarene University. If players aren't lead-footing it north on Interstate 57 by now, they will be soon enough. It was a final preparation for Saturday's game at Seattle. The Seahawks are banged up and this is going to be a crucial game for the Bears at a number of positions--quarterback, offensive line and wide receiver to name a few. We'll see how Kevin Payne fills in at strong safety too for Brandon McGowan.

Coach Lovie Smith pointed out one of the real positives coming out of here is the health of the team. The Bears had very few injuries, as few as the Inside the Bears staff can remember in recent years, and the hope is that continues through three more preseason games.

"You can't get too high or too low based on what's happening," Smith said. "You just have to evaluate where you started. For us going into camp we had a lot of positions that were open. Guys were fighting for positions. All of them have stepped up and we'll just keep that evaluation going. To me, I've been through a couple camps, a successful camp a lot of times is when you get out injury free and we've done that for the most part. And again we've gotten good work done."

We'll check in with more later. Time to point the car north.

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I still can't believe anyone ever gets hurt at one of Lovie's camps, non-contact 1/2 speed flag football. I'll never understand it.

What good work have they got done exactly? Omming in to camp the big questions were, who is your starting QB, who are your starting WR's, is Williams good enough to start at LT in the NFL and who is your RB and will he be any good?

None of these questions have been answered, I know a lot of people will say Forte is the starting RB, but given the fact that he ran for around 3 YPC against the Chiefs leaves me wondering about him. I think Jones may end up the starter before the season starts.

I think the Bears are gonna be fine. As far as QB, I think either, Orton or Grossman can man the position just fine for the Bears. Myself, I like Kyle Orton better, I just think he has more upside than Rex. Also, in my opinion, Kyle Orton fits what the Bears are trying to do on offense better, but in the end, my opinion doesn't mean squat. Lovie is going to go with who he thinks gives the Bears a better chance to win. If Lovie goes with Rex, so be it, I just hope Rex can go the entire season. Matt Forte is going to be a great running back for the Bears. Yeah, Forte had a 3 yd average vs the Chiefs, but Forte also went forward every time he carried the ball [doesn't sound like much, but if you ever watch a great running back, they always go forward when they run], and with a few more carries, I guarantee Forte would have broke one and his average would have went up. Forte's ability to catch out of the backfield is going to work wonders for the Bears offense also. And believe it or not, I think the Bears o-line is headed in the right direction, there getting younger. Lets start out at left tackle, yes, the injury to Chris Williams was a huge blow to the Bears o-line, but hopefully St.Clair can hold the position down while Williams recovers, I think he will. If not, the Bears can easily swap St.Clair and Tait. When William returns, I think he is going to be a good one [it just doesn't seem like it right now]. On the right side the Bears have rookie Kirk Barton, give him one season and he will be the Bears starting right tackle, maybe even sooner. Think about it, at least now, unlike last season, the Bears have some kind of future at BOTH tackle positions. And I'm telling you Josh Beekman is going to prove to be a good guard for the Bears. I like Garza, but for you guy's that don't, at least now the Bears have Big Cheese Addams waiting in the wings. If healthy, the Bears are going to be a great defensive team again, and with Hester and solid Gould, we got one, if not the best, special teams in the NFL. Once the Bears get the QB position straight, give Forte a few more reps, and the offensive line gets some continuity, this is going to prove to be the best team in the north, maybe the entire NFC GO BEARS!!

Bye-bye Bourbonnais, hello bourbon. Glad I wasn't on I-57 today with these guys. Grossman will probably look drunk in the first quarter in Seattle against the Seachickens. Don't throw to the guys in green, Rex, don't throw to the guys in green. Dooooooo!

Well, camp is over, and there is good and bad developments.
Start with the bad:
1. Angelo has drafted Columbo, Bradley, Dvoracek, Bazuin, Okwo, and maybe add Grossman. All these players were drafted in the first 3 rounds, and all 3 had injury histories coming out of college (except Grossman). Only Grossman has made it back to play for the Bears consistantly after bout with injuries. The rest are worthless up till now, about to be gone, or are gone (Columbo). He has got to stop taking injury-riddled players with "lots of upside". It has killed him. I think he is a good judge of talent, but this thing is getting ridiculous. Oh yea.... add Chris Williams to that list.

2. Williams is injured. This sucks. Period.

3. Neither QB looks good right now, but I think Rex outplayed Orton in the first pre-season game.

The Good:
1. Defense looked great after that one drive. Dominant as you can be w/o forcing turnovers. And they look healthy and deep.

2. Matt Forte appears to be a pretty good football player. Runs with power, patience, and burst thru the hole. Picks up his blocks well, and caught extremely well. He is better than Benson ever was right now.

3. The OL looked good against KC, and can't possibly be as bad as last year's line.There is an influx of youth now on the roster. Adams, Beekman, Barton, and Williams (maybe). You figure out of these 4 guys, 2 are gonna be good enough to start.

4. It is anticipated Hester will be in the game on offense from 25-35 snaps per game. This guy scores about every 10 times he touches the football. Add in special teams and he will probably touch the ball 10 times per game now.

5. It is anticipated they will run the 2 TE offense on half the snaps. Olson and Clark are great at catching and will help in protection. I think it gives them a dimension where they would have a mismatch in their favor every time.

Hey, the Bears open up against Peyton Manning with their complete number one defense, and then face a Carolina team sans Steve Smith. Then TB with a sub par QB, and Philly, who looked awful last night, come to CHI. Then they travel to Det and to ATL who are both just bad. Dream, they could be 6-0 heading into Chicago to host the Vikings in week 7 if they beat the Colts!


Kevin I enjoyed your post. It was very intelligent.
As far as the NFC North gos its a mess. Lions and the Viks are learning new systems and the Packers well we all know Brett Favre always gave the Pack a chance to win. I would have to say the Bears do look like the team to beat in the North. Let me explain.

1) No new systems or coaches.

2)Clearly when healthy the Bears defense is a top 5 in the NFL

3)Field possition!!!!!!!!!!!

4) Like Favre, Hester gives the Bears a chance to win

5) Special Teams. Best kicker in the NFC, Best punter in the NFC North, Best kick/punt returner in NFL history!

Looking at those 5 points the Bears dont look so bad.

Brando, i didn't enjoy your post. It was very unintelligent.

Sure the Vikings and Packers look terrible so far. i would sure hate to have an established line and either AP or Grant on my team!

let me explain..

1: Ron Turner

2: yeah, the bears "D" looked fantastic against the cheifs

3:Starting at the ONE when rexy drops back, panics and then gets sacked for a twenty yard loss.

4:No one kicks the ball to hester anymore

5:ahh yes, special teams, the least important phase of football

Kevin, Ryan and Brando:

Great and intelligent comments.

The Bears have a good team and seem to have the underdog chip on the shoulder with something to prove to the NFL.

I personally can't wait to see the defense dominate and intimidate the opposing teams again, the special teams creating field position when Hester doesn't return the ball for a touchdown and the offense having some consistent drives winning time of possession. Also watching the tight ends creating havoc and the running game contributing with some big plays, a lot of first downs and a good number of touchdowns, this could be a magical year.

The QB's (T Rex or Orton) will lead the Bears with turnovers improved over past years.

You doomsayers are unBEARable.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 14, 2008 12:25 PM.

Preseason question: To use Hester more on special teams or not? was the previous entry in this blog.

Spinning a positive out of the Bears' QB situation is the next entry in this blog.

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