Chicago Sun-Times

Bears Training Camp Digest -- Day 2

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With a ''day off'' after reporting, it was a pretty boring day at training camp Wednesday, unless you get a kick out of watching Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall stroll out of the dining hall -- though we never saw Cutler stroll out of the dining hall with Roy Williams.

Nonetheless here's a capsule look at Day 2 of Bears training camp.

1. Brian Urlacher speaks.

The veteran middle linebacker is always good for a ''state of the team'' outlook at the start of training camp and he was as real as he could be Wednesday. This could be the Bears' year.

''We always say that because it's the right thing to say, but I really think we can do it this year,'' Urlacher said. ''I mean, we're stacked at every position. Any time you add Brandon Marshall, Michael Bush and our defense is healthy again -- which is a big deal to us -- and then Jay being back healthy is a big deal, too.''

2. Urlacher ready to go all-out in practice.

Urlacher is coming off strained knee ligaments and was held out of much of the offseason program, but coach Lovie Smith said he Urlacher will not be limited in practice and Urlacher re-iterated that point Wednesday. Still, at 34, Urlacher probably will take a day off here and there. Lovie never tells you that until it happens.

''It feels good,'' he said. ''Every practice they let me go, I'll be going. Lovie gives us days off sometimes when we don't expect them, so we'll see how that goes.''

3. Johnny Knox is put on the active PUP list.

Still looking thin while rehabilitating after surgery to repair a broken vertebrae in his back last season, Knox said he will eventually be 100 percent healthy, but there is no timetable for his return. As expected, he was placed on the active/physically unable to perform list, which means he still gets paid and can attend meetings, but can't practice.

Knox figures to start the regular season on the PUP list, which means he won't be eligible to return until after Week 6 of the regular season. He said he is jogging ''and moving around pretty good'' but doesn't have the burst to be a factor even in practice.

"Each day I get better. Each week I get better,'' Knox said. ''I've improved in different things, getting stronger all around. Still working."

4. Gabe Carimi ready to go.

Assuming Cutler and Urlacher are back to 100 percent, Gabe Carimi is the player to watch at training camp. Coming off a dislocated kneecap he suffered in Game 2 last season -- and then complications with his original rehab -- Carimi said he is 100 percent and ready to go when camp opens Thursday.

''I just need to go prove myself,'' Carimi said. ''Just go out there, work hard and follow my teammates and my leaders and I think I'll be OK.

''I don't have any [health] concerns. Just ready to go. Everyone's happy with my progress so far. I feel it's going well. I came into this ready for this [training camp]. I just have to give it my all. I still have a lot to learn.''

5. Devin Hester ready for a breakout season at WR ... again.

Entering his fifth full season as a wide receiver, Hester is confident he can be an impact player in Mike Tice's offense. He had 26 receptions (the fewest in his four full seasons at wide receiver) for 369 yards (14.2 per catch) and one touchdown last season.

''This is an offense that I think fits me,'' he said. ''We've got a nice quick-game coming along as well as deep going down the field. If guys want to stack the box with the great running backs we have, it's going to open it up for the receivers.''

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Gabe Carimi staying healthy will be key, if not, you'll see both Chris Williams and J'Marcus Webb starting. A young player worth keping an eye on in camp at tackle is rookie James Brown, I really wanna see how he holds up when the hitting starts. Mel Kiper had Brown rated pretty high, that could be a good or bad thing. Brown is a little short at 6-3, but, he has long arms, 34.5 inch. Brown started all 38 games he played at Troy at left tackle. Troy is a small school, but a lot of NFL stars have come from small schools. The scouting report on Brown says he is quick footed with smooth movement skills to cover a large area. Also that Brown has a strong upper body with physical, powerful hands. Again, he'll be one worth watching once the hitting starts GO BEARS!!

Bears will win the Superbowl, mark it down all you fair weather, slacker fans! Scared and jealous is what the packer fans are! GO BEARS!

Hester is not breaking anything until he learns how to actually play receiver. His two main routs are the bubble screen in which he does not actually run a rout because it's a screen, and the Go rout. His speed would often indicate he should be running slants but defenders tend to blow through him. He has never really evolved as a receiver, I blame Drake. Either Hester is to dumb to learn the position or Drake can't teach the position. Toub seems to have no trouble with Hester so I will blame Drake. I will also blame Smith as he has never shown any intrest in Hester evolving at the position. He seems to be hoping his athletic ability will take over.

With Marshall Running Posts and Crossing routs Hester should have a shot at some big plays much the way Royal did with the Broncos when he played with Marshall and Cutler. But Given the fact that Cutlers three favorite targets are Marshall, Bennett, and Forte, I am not sure how often Hester will see the ball. I don't think it will be as much as he thinks or hopes.

Hey Mark is it true that Urlacher has filed a restraining order against Chris Conte? The Order is to keep Conte at least 15 feet away from Brian at all times.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on July 26, 2012 8:10 AM.

Gabe Carimi confident he can pick up where he left off was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears' o-line still counting on Mike Tice to lead the way is the next entry in this blog.

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