Chicago Sun-Times

Day 3 Camp Summary

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The thermometer read mid-80s, but it felt much hotter than that Sunday.

And still Bears coach Lovie Smith pushed his players who, in pads, practiced for about two hours and 20 minutes.

Veterans Brian Urlacher and Olin Kreutz returned, but three other players joined Chris Harris on the injured list. Receiver Juaquin Iglesias (groin), running back Harvey Unga (hamstring) and defensive tackle Marcus Harrison didn't finish practice. Harrison stripped off his pads and jersey toward the end of practice and cooled off on the sideline.

Here are a few things that stood out:

* There were five false starts by offensive linemen. But offensive line coach Mike Tice told me he isn't reading too much into that because they were working on a hard count and executing new plays at the same time. Frank Omiyale was the main culprit, jumping twice. He was replaced by James Marten after the second.

* Cornerback Tim Jennings made an impression in his first practice (he had been sidelined with a knee injury) by stretching out for a difficult interception of Jay Cutler down the field. Jennings is in the mix for the nickel cornerback spot, along with Corey Graham who also had a pick Sunday.

* With safety Chris Harris (back) sitting out another practice, Craig Steltz took the starting reps alongside Danieal Manning. But, rookie Major Wright also got some snaps with the starters and didn't look wholly out of place.

* Not sure how he did overall. But, Mark Anderson made more splash plays than Israel Idonije in practice today. Anderson had what would have been a sack (he didn't bite on a play-action fake), and he batted down a pass attempt.

* Jay Cutler was in a nice groove with his receivers and tight ends. Devin Hester seemed to be his favorite target today, though. Unlike yesterday, Cutler definitely threw more passes to spots and required the receivers to go get the ball. Devin Aromashodu did that very nicely on a deep pass on the left sideline.

* I've been very impressed with how hard unheralded running back Kahlil Bell runs. He's got a burst, and he bounces off people.

* Don't sleep on tight end Richard Angulo, a long-time project of Mike Tice. Angulo was with Tice in Minnesota and joined him in Jacksonville, when Tice worked with tight ends. Angulo is a big target with soft hands. He's made several impressive catches in this camp, most notably a one-handed on the sideline on Day One.

* Left guard Johan Asiata has been quiet. I can't tell if that's a good thing or a bad thing yet. For instance, Josh Beekman has stood out with a couple of false starts.

* Tice suggested that three offensive line jobs are open: left guard, obviously, but also right guard and right tackle. I'll delve deeper into that later...

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Omiyale got the hook again? But it's his natural position, hahahaha. Well we knew left guard and right tackle, but right guard? It's been a dream for a lot of Bear fans to see Garza get bounced. So 3/5 of the line are up for grabs, the LT is totally unproven and coming off a rough year, and your Center is at the end of his career and has no one to compete against anyway.

Did you say penalties have been a problem? Hmmmm

Cutler is progressing in the new system.

Harrison got over-heated, no surprise.

Has anyone stood out in a good way on the Bears line.

IMO, nobody has really stood out. But, Tice told me Lance Louis did some good things on Saturday... And I haven't seen Garza make any glaring mistakes.

In one-on-one drills, he seems to hold his own, too.


To early to tell whether the O line is a total failure as you suggest. Will the O line be superb, most likely not but who knows they may be middle of the road and that may be good enough for the Bears.

Creighton, although you are not a fan of Kruetz, I say give this man an opportunity, I think he will surprise and be back to some old performance levels in 2010.

Williams may be good enough to be the best in the division at left tackle, it is doubtful he will be best in the NFC but maybe in the top 3rd if he can continue form.

The rest of the line, I agree is somewhat questionable? Lance Louis seems to be challenging Garza who is a serviceable NFL right guard, Asiata is challenging Beekman an OK left guard and Shaeffer may start at ROT over Omiyale who seems to continue having challenges in whatever position he is in.

If the offense can rank in the top 16 in the league with some better scoring numbers and more TD's that will be a victory for the Bears.

The Defense and special teams will be top 5 and will carry the Bears in 2010 to the playoffs, I truly believe that this will happen. And no the Maui Waui that I have smoked is not making me believe this, it will just happen.

Harrison was pukin all over the field

Hey Lama, why do people post here if all they have is negative talk??? Constantly banking on someone else's failure doesn't make them look good. It actually makes them a loser. Nothing more. Yet, they call themselves fans. I don't understand that. Just thought I'd ask you.

I feel really comfortable with the coaching changes. No nonsense coaches will do just the trick here. Martz and Tice will definitely help the offense. And I'm hoping Marinelli has the same effect on defense.

It's only day 3 of camp. Day 2 in pads. Mistakes are gonna happen. Especially in a new offense. Those same mistakes are being made in camps all over the nation. No big deal. They will get it together. Sean, good work with keeping us informed. Keep the info coming. Go Bears!!!

Dahli I am actually a fan of Kruetz, I think he is a bit overrated but that happens with a lot of good players. He also has nothing ot prove as a player or to the fans IMO. None of that changes his age though and a lack of quality depth at the position. Now when I say that I mean the interior of the line. Beekman has been benched multiple times, Garza could be a center but he is a 10 year vet who has not played the position in a long time. I don't buy the hype of the other unproven players.

I also never said the line was a total failure, I wasn't hinting at it either. I have seen almost all of them play and none of them has shown signs of standing out or being special. It is an ignored area on this team. In the last 20 years name the the linemen drafted in the top 3 rounds by the Bears. I believe the number is 4.

Mully recently wrote about the TE position and how strange it is for the Bears to be collectiong all different sorts of TE's. A position not featured in this offense and how strange it is that they are now retaining 5 TE's.

I feel the same way about the line. First you hire the line coach before the OC. Both men seem to take opposite approaches to the line. Everyplace Tice has coached he has focused and improved run blocking. Martz needs much improved pass blocking and improved run blocking. He was given no new talent to help with this. The line itself is thin at every position. You don't have an anchor inside or out, your best player is 33, your second best player is a average to below average 30 year old Journeyman OT who is considered a backup.

Now if Williams continues his form he will continue to be one of the worst Tackles in the league, which he was rated last year. I believe he was ranked 65 out 77. Williams was really bad at RT and at LT he was mediocre at best and the Bears did a lot of things to help him in those last 5 games. Cutler was finally made mobil, a RB or TE or both helped him on almost every play. Now while Williams could not control where he played, he could control the stupid penalties he led the line with.

Beekman is far from an ok LG, the guy has lost his job multiple times.

This is not last years offense, this is not a 3 step drop offense. This is an offense that requires a pretty good line, unless you want Cutler sacked 50 times.

LT Williams Mediocre, could he improve? Yes. Will it be some totally new player that is suddenly an elite level tackle. No Is going form a 3 step offense to a 5-7 step offense going to help him now that he needs to hold his blocks longer? Probably not.

LG Beekman: Benched multiple times in a less complex offense that asked players to hold their blocks for shorter times. Will he make a huge jump in a more complex offense tha requires player to hold their blocks longer? I doubt it

C Kreutz Solid vet who will be asked to do more now than at any point in his career. Will he improve and be better in this offense? It would be a surprise.

RG Garza A solid guard in a 3 step offense and 10 year vet. Is in the same boat as Kruetz.

RT Shaffer Average, plays better in a zone scheme can't be asked to do to much.

So in a more complex offense that needs its linemen to hold blocks longer, people are expecting: 3 vets past their prime, a young player who was bad last year, and Beekman to improve because a couple of them are being moved around? I'll just wait to see how they do against another 3-4 defense. When you have a 2 or three really good linmen you can get away with guys like Beekman, but when you don't he becomes a liability. Thats why he was sat down.

As much as it kills me to see Omiyale already having trouble with false starts, I am impressed that Tice put Marten out there to give him a few reps. We all know Shaffer can win that job outright if they let him, but Tice actually wants his young players to get some reps. Webb, Marten, Louis, Asiata, and Beekman all need to get some legitimate reps with the offense, if for no other reason than they will have some clue what's going on if they have to play. Tice is doing what the entire coaching staff has failed to do for 5 years, and that is give young players real experience to figure out what they can do when it counts. Most of the time, they get time in drills, or in garbage time in preseason games, but never against the first team. None of the young players on the depth chart get any meaningful experience. As a perfect example, Kreutz was basically playing on 1 leg for the second half of last year, yet Beekman got no time as the center with the first time offense to get 5 reasonably healthy players on the line at one time.

Same thing happens on the defensive line. Brown and Ogunleye were our best DEs for sure, but we got no idea what Gilbert could do, even knowing that Ogunleye was not going to be here the following season. Maybe Gilbert didn't earn any playing time, but why play a veteran just because he's there? Maybe that's not a great example, but you can also look at Tillman, who was beaten up and struggling early in the year from surgery recovery, but we put him out there rather than give meaningful experience to Corey Graham as a starter to see if he could take the next step.

Loyalty to veterans is a good thing in an organization, but blind faith is just plain not smart. That is why when you look at our depth chart, it is always unknowns as far as backups. We have no idea whether any of our young linemen on either side of the ball have any chance of contributing.

Hey Reggie:

Actually I do think that those on the blog that see the glass as half empty instead of half full are fans that have seen many years of disappointment and mediocrity from the Bears.

Although I am quite critical of Lovie and the commitment of the ownership, I consider myself a die hard fan. I just believe that the city of Chicago and the fans deserve more than the Bears have produced over the years. The Bears of the 1982-89 years competed consistently and should have won another SB, other than that it was 1963 when the Bears were champions. I expect ownership to make commitments like the Steelers, Patriots, Giants, Cowboys (to name a few) make in having year after year teams that consistently compete at higher levels than the Bears.

Creighton, your points are very valid certainly but this team's O line may play at an OK level of play. You emphasize that protecting the QB will be paramount in this offense, which I agree.

But the strength of Chris Williams is his speed, quick feet and pass blocking skills not his run blocking skills. They brought in Manu as a tightend that can block not to catch passes. Omilyale is struggling but once again if I were to judge his skills my perception is that his pass blocking skills are better than run blocking albeit his blocking is most likely average at best. Matt Forte also has shown good skills in blocking on a pass rush certainly 200% better than his predecessor Cedric Benson.

Creighton, as I said if this offense can score some touchdowns and rank in the top 16 in the league the Bears will compete because special teams and the defense will surprise with good years. Top 5 for special teams and at least top 10 for the defense, maybe top 5.

Playoffs it will be despite Lovie's coaching which I hope will get better.

P.S. Singletary in today's sports page in San Francisco is putting his players through the nutcracker every day in practice, three players were hurt last year during this drill including their all star middle linebacker Willis. He believes it makes the team tougher.

Lovie on the other hand brings milk and cookies to practice and has big balloons all over the place next to the lounge chairs where the injured players sit. How do they get injured when they don't touch each other during practice?

I hope you all heard the Angelo interview today. Cause it is not a good sign.

Some quotes

"Its not about the talent, talent has little to do with it."

"It's about scheme in todays nfl"

You can also tell he is mad at Cutler for some things Cutler said about the talent. "Jay needs to adapt to the talent around him" Does Jay not think the talent is there?

On Hester, how is Hester being used. "We will find a way to use him." "Other recievers out there are doing things" What is this? Is Hester no longer a number 1? Could he be in the slot in the future?

If it is not about the talent Angelo needs to explain why the Bears where the biggest spenders in FA this year. Why they traded for Cutler, why they traded for Adams?

Angelo is already throwing blame on coaching. Cause its not about the talent its about the scheme. He is incharge of the talent, coaches are in charge of the scheme.(5 TE's?? I am still waiting for the reasoning.)Not to say it is wrong to blame the coaches for bad coaching. However I like many NFL teams fell that it is both about talent and scheme. Crazy as it sounds, I think you need both. If it's not about talent I want to be the new starting FS. After all I do know the scheme inside out and I have equivalent of decent HS talent. Perfect for Angelo.

Dahli wasn't Willis the best LB in football last year? Also I hate to tell you this but Forte is a bad blocker. I mean real bad. He gave up 2 sacks, 1 hit and 15 pressures and was not asked to block much. He openly missed several blocks. He was rated as the second worst blocker among starting backs by PFF. Benson was actually almost decent at blocking last year. Then again is on field performance was totally different once he left the Bears. Off-field still a D-Bag.

Oh and the line is still not good enough. 3-4's are gonna chew them up again and any team with big powerful DT's will continue to pressure up the middle.

As for defense, last year Aikman who Lovie likes to follow in terms of rankings and PFF had the Bears ranked in the mid 20's Will Pepper, Harris and the return of Urlacher propel them into the top 5?

Well the the top 5 defenses where.

Green Bay

Other teams in the top 10

Pit (Without Troy P)

Just looking at the talent on those teams, I would say the Bears don't have the talent.

Whats important is will they be better than the Vikings and Packers on defense? Again talent wise, I don't think so.

Guess who had another bad day in camp again? Who is struggling against Mark Anderson.

Also a quote from Sean

"Peppers just knocked back Chris Williams and stared right into Cutler's face. Power move. If contact allowed, 6 would have been roadkill"

Thats nice.

Quote from Tice.

"Josh Beekman has great pad level. Probably because he is only 4'11."

Hahahaha, this is why I love Tice, he is fun. Good coach too, to bad I think he is in the worng system, and does not have a ton of talent to work with.


My belief is that Urlacher, Peppers and Harris will make a difference. Also that Pisa will be pretty good as well. Briggs is a stud linebacker and the unsung hero of the defense.

The wildcard is Tommie Harris, will he show up, I hope so but I am not counting on it. Needless to say I still think the Bears D will be better than both the Vikings and PAckers this year. I think the Jets will probably be #1, Baltimore is always good, Dallas will slip a little but still be good.

Don't forget special teams, Toub and his teams will make a difference and will probably rank #1.

Toub needs to be promoted by the Bears and kept with them, but I fear that one day the Bears will lose Toub to another team that will recognize he is special as a coach and needs to move up the chain to a Head coaching position one day down the road.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on August 1, 2010 6:26 PM.

Tice offers insight on his unit was the previous entry in this blog.

Day 4 Camp Summary: Wright injures groin is the next entry in this blog.

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