Chicago Sun-Times

Tight ends prolific during first practice

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If the first practice of training camp is any indication, the Bears offense is going to be fun to watch this season.


Friday's two-plus-hour workout at Olivet Nazarene University was highlighted by numerous spectacular catches, many coming from tight ends. Desmond Clark made a handful of nice grabs, many of which were deep downfield. Richard Angulo made a one-handed catch near the sideline and Greg Olsen caught several balls for big gains.

Of course, there was no hitting, which put the defensive backs at a big disadvantage. But it was an impressive display, especially considering all the speculation about how involved the tight ends will be considering they have played a big role in Mike Martz's offenses in the past. It was so ironic, in fact, that a conspiracy theorist might wonder if the whole thing was staged.

I didn't go so far as to ask Lovie Smith about that, but I did ask him whether there was an emphasis put on throwing to the tight end. He looked annoyed and said, in essence, no.

"I've heard an awful lot about the tight end not being involved in our offense," he said. "The tight ends were the only ones [the media] were talking to today so it was good to see them make plays."

Another great catch was made by Zack Bowman, who made a leaping, twisting interception of a pass intended for Earl Bennett. Charles Tillman dropped an interception and immediately fell to the ground and did 10 pushups to atone for the mistake.

Jay Cutler overthrew some wide open receivers in individual drills but made several nice throws in the team portion of practice. So did backup Caleb Hanie.

"The quarterbacks really threw the ball well today," Smith said. "Of course, we know what Jay can do, but I thought Caleb Hanie really stepped up for the first day of practice."

On a personal note, you're not going to believe this, especially since the first training camp practice just ended, but I'm leaving Saturday on a two-week vacation. Before I was put on the Bears beat full-time I'd booked the flights and submitted the deposits for our annual family vacation to Maine. I'm feeling kind of guilty about it. I'm sure once I get a boat in the water and a cold beverage in my hand, however, the feeling will go away.

Anyway, I'll leave you in Sean's capable hands until mid-August, when I will be back with a vengeance.

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5 Comments

I highly doubt the tight ends catching a lot of balls was staged, this is just another prime example of the media blowing things way out of proportion during the off-season when not much is going on. I realize the last couple stops Martz's has made as an offensive coordinator he didn't really use his tight ends as pass catchers, but he never had a player like Greg Olsen. Say what you want about Olsen, no he isn't an elite blocker, no he isn't the deep threat Chicago envisioned when they drafted him, but the guy can make some catches. True Martz did have Vernon Davis in San Francisco, but that was early in Davis career when his head wasn't quite in the game. I'm sure if Martz had Davis right now he would find a way to utilize him. I look for Olsen to have 60-70 catches this year. Chicago's top two tight ends will be Olsen, as a receiving tight end, and Brandon Manumaleuna who will primarily be used as a blocker.

Its is nice to hear Caleb Hanie made some nice throws, he's gonna be one to watch when the hitting starts and during the pre-season. I wanna see how he is at running Martz's scheme as far as a #2 QB. #1 wise, Chicago will be fine, mark my words, Jay Cutler will put up 4000 yards this year GO BEARS!!

"On a personal note, you're not going to believe this, especially since the first training camp practice just ended, but I'm leaving Saturday on a two-week vacation. Before I was put on the Bears beat full-time I'd booked the flights and submitted the deposits for our annual family vacation to Maine. I'm feeling kind of guilty about it. I'm sure once I get a boat in the water and a cold beverage in my hand, however, the feeling will go away."

10 Pushups Neal. Enjoy your vacation, and don't worry about the blog, I will personally keep an eye on it for you. And if you happen come back and it is in flames and total chaos. It's Sean's fault not mine.

"The quarterbacks really threw the ball well today," Smith said. "Of course, we know what Jay can do, but I thought Caleb Hanie really stepped up for the first day of practice."

Thanks Neal now Hanie fans will be out in force.

No pads + no hitting = flag football.

Wasn't Clark with the second team for most of the practice? Also I heard Omiyale got the hook at RT already and Shaffer got plugged in. I heard Knox had a nice day.

Lots of O-Line shuffling?


I am glad to see D Clark is catching the ball, The best thing for the bears is to show case him and trade him. Over the long haul Martz will not throw to the tightends unless they are blowing out someone. This will be his version of running the ball to run out the clock.

The Bowman int was on a broken play, a couple of linemen jumped offsides. Cutler just tossed the ball up the right sideline off his back foot. Bad throw but Cutler looked like he knew the play was busted and tossed it up just to toss it up. Martz came out and shifted a couple of linemen but didn't say anything to Cutler about it. Its the only time he threw off his back foot. So it looks like he has been working on that.

Bennett only had one ball thrown his way and Knox and DA saw the most throws among the recievers with Hester seeing the third most.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on July 30, 2010 6:20 PM.

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