Chicago Sun-Times

Trading places: Bears move mandatory minicamp to mid-March

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When Lovie Smith talked about taking a look at everything when he evaluated this past season, the offseason schedule was included.

Smith has turned around the Bears' offseason and minicamp is coming, just around the corner. The team announced that veteran minicamp will be held from March 17-19. That means it begins five weeks from today. Typically, it has been held in June, near the end of the offseason program.

That will allow the club to do a few things. First, it gives Smith and the coaching staff an opportunity to take a look at any free agents signed before then. The shopping season begins on Feb. 27. Second, if there are any lingering questions heading toward the draft, maybe some answers will come in minicamp. Third, it will allow defensive line coach Rod Marinelli and secondary coach Jon Hoke to familiarize themselves with their players before the voluntary offseason program begins in April.

OTA's are held in May and June. Rookie minicamp is expected to be the weekend after the April 25-26 draft.

While it's unlikely there will be any contract suspense this time around, an early minicamp, which is mandatory, will eliminate that. Linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs had made threats during the spring about not reporting the past two years as they staged contract protests. Neither missed time at minicamp.

The early date could prevent or reduce the participation of cornerback Charles Tillman, who underwent reconstructive shoulder surgery last month.

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Bears way to finally be proactive. This is a great move and should prove that once the season begins. Evaluating talent early is the way to go. Lovie finally doing something right. Good job. This will only help before the draft to really key in on the teams needs.
Wait we all know them OT, WR, FSafety and more WR's. Anyway this is the first step to getting us back to the promiseland.


Bless his heart. By June I'd have been so desparate for news I might have been tempted to watch a chick movie or read a Creighton epistle.

The Bears on Tuesday signed free agent quarterback Brett Basanez.

Brett Basanez

The Chicago native and former Northwestern star appeared in one regular-season game during three years with the Carolina Panthers, completing 6 of 11 passes for 56 yards with one interception in a 37-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 17, 2006 Larry Mayer

I guess this is the "competition" to Orton?

By MsBearsFan on February 3, 2009 12:53 PM
"Bless his heart. By June I'd have been so desparate for news I might have been tempted to watch a chick movie or read a Creighton epistle."

Awwww whats the matter you still mad cause you have never written anything worth reading by anyone. I know why don't you play your favorite game. Hide your knows in Jerry Angelo's backside. "Oh Jerry has been on a cold streak the last 6 years but he is about to turn it around I can feel it." Or my favorite comments from you: "I have seen worse football played in Chicago" therefore being mediocre=good. It's not about winning or being good it's about not being the worst. Yes you are a true Bear fan. Yeah were average.

I guess you are still mad cause I was right about this team last year and I was right about this team the year before and you were so so wrong again. It must suck to never get anything right.

You actually think this is a good idea? Think about they want to evaluate talent before the draft to figure out what there needs are. So basically after Lovie, Jerry, Rod, Babich and Turner got together, they couldn't figure out what there draft needs are. Yeah thats a good sign.

I will say it now, the Bears will not be in the playoffs next season.

Ish there still looking at Simms.

Like fish in a barrel!! Sometimes I just crack myself up.

Do not worry Kyle you are our QB, This guy from Northwestern is no competion for you. GO BEARS AND GO KYLE.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 3, 2009 11:57 AM.

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