Quick update following practice Tuesday night at Ward Field:
*** Devin Hester threw passes in the morning and evening practices out of different plays. It will be interesting to see when these plays are used in the preseason/regular season. Shotgun plays where he could run a draw and plays that get him on the perimeter where he has a run/pass option are going to be fun to watch. Teams are going to have to respect the possibility he is going to pass because he has a strong arm.
It's not a Marty Booker model cannon capable of 80-yard tosses, but Hester's arm can compete with some of the quarterbacks who have rolled through here over the last decade.
*** Strong safety Brandon McGowan remained sidelined with a sprained ankle and Kevin Payne took his place. He was not out at practice but the team maintains the injury is not serious and he has not been ruled out for Saturday's game at Seattle. It's probably safe to say they will err on the side of caution with him though because they cannot afford any injuries there and he has a history of breaking down.
We'll trust we're not getting the kind of misinformation that was sent out over and over regarding Chris Williams and his "back spasms."
"Brandon is a little banged up right now,'' coach Lovie Smith said. "He should be fine. But Kevin Payne's a good football player. He blended in. When you move up to the first team, you want to blend in. You don't want to stand out, especially in a negative way. But Kevin Payne has a lot of talent, good size, good speed, can catch the ball. We're expecting big things out of him this year too."
*** Couple strong moves by running back Matt Forte in the open field.
*** Free safety Mike Brown on the first-team defense in the preseason opener against Kansas City:
"The coaches were highly upset with the way our defense played against the Chiefs."
Translated, I think we can expect to see more bells and whistles in Seattle. More blitzes, different looks, more variety.
*** Defensive end Alex Brown sat out. Looked like linebacker Rod Wilson tweaked something, maybe a groin muscle.