Chicago Sun-Times

Bears offense shines at Family Fest

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One of the weak links of the Bears last season was red-zone offense.

So far in training camp, the Bears look much, much better. During practice Friday night at Soldier Field -- with 27,352 fans in attendance -- Jay Cutler looked sharp in the red zone. At one point, he was five-for-five on passes, including a perfect touchdown to receiver Brandon Marshall. He led Marshall, who was defended by safety Chris Conte and linebacker Lance Briggs, toward the goal post. The ball zipped just over Briggs' arm.

The window was small, and Marshall had to make a tricky catch.

It's hard to be critical of the way Conte and Briggs defended the play. It's one of those plays where you just have to tip your hat to the quarterback for making a brilliant throw and the receiver for making a touch catch.

Cutler also completed passes to Matt Forte and Michael Bush.

Asked if there are more red-zone weapons, Smith said, "There are.

"You start off with our receivers. A lot of time it comes down to a jumpball down there. Alshon Jeffery, good height. Of course Brandon Marshall, Kellen Davis, we've got some good players that can make plays down there. And once you get down there you need to get touchdowns.

"That's why we spent a lot of time down there [Friday night].''

Here are some other practice observations:

* Conte did well to break up a Cutler pass for Earl Bennett in the middle of the field.

* Undrafted rookie James Brown got most of the second-team snaps at left tackle and fared well against rookie defensive end Shea McClellin in one-on-one drills.

* Matt Toeaina got some first-team snaps at nose tackle, while newcomer Geno Hayes filled in at strongside linebacker with Nick Roach swinging over to middle linebacker. Brian Urlacher missed another day of practice because of knee soreness. Smith said he expects Urlacher back this week.

* Special teams looked outstanding, with Robbie Gould making field goals and Earl Bennett scoring on a punt return. Devin Thomas also appeared to score on a kickoff return.

* The field was in perfect condition. Remarkably, the sod hasn't been changed since the end of the season.

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4 Comments

Hey Sean hope your enjoying Camp, I sent you some cookies and your favorite comics. Your counseler was little upset about the attempted panty raid. But said you were punished enough when you realized the Bears didn't have any cheerleaders and you and your cohorts Mark P and Joe Cowley ended up with some old used jocks. Cowley apperantly got it the worst when you and Mark decided to Roberto Garzas jock on his head. That's very mean Sean.

Anyway was the the red-zone stuff 7 on 7 or 11 on 11?

Sounds like Brandon Marshall is really opening things up for the Bears, but I think the player who is gonna benefit the most from Marshall (other than Cutler) is gonna be Matt Forte. Forte already displayed his abiltiy for the big play last season on route to his first Pro-Bowl, he was second in the league with carries of 20 yards or more. With a guy like Marshall, who will demand a double team taking a safety out of the box, running lanes will open giving Forte more opportunity to make big plays. Forte could be on his way to another Pro-Bowl.

I like what I'm hearing about rookie Alshon Jeffery also, this kid might be the real deal at receiver, again, big bodies like Jeffery and Marshall will open a lot of things up for Chicago's offense, from the red zone, on thrid downs, to the running game.

More good things from rookie tackle James Brown, doing good vs Shea McClellin is fine, but I'd like to know how he's fared vs big #90 Julius Peppers? I think Brown will be your breakout player on offense, and DT Stephen Paea or FS Chris Conte will have a breakout season for the Bears on defense this season, just a guess? GO BEARS!!

How do you print that crap from creighton? If the offense is doing so great, doesn't that mean the defense sucks? 6-10 and no better. Urlacher should retire!

I don't know you seemed to love almost everything I wrote as TheBigC over at the trib. Now you hate me for asking if it was 7 0n 7 or 11 on 11. Make up your mind crazy, I got enough stalkers and nut jobs. Besides we both know what's going happen. The same thing that always happens so poster like yourself who is unbalanced will try and get in a debate with me about the Bears, get crushed, which is the norm. Then post stupid comments me and the Bears. I see you skipped A and went right to Z.

You couldn't agree with me enough at the trib, now your getting all crazy. It's cause you miss Tripper isn't it? Honestly I think you two should just kiss and get it over with. It's pretty clear where the tension between you two dudes emanates from. Oh and by the way who is "We"? In your name I mean. And why do you two keep doing that to ChiTown? That should really be kept to yourselves.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on August 3, 2012 9:19 PM.

Bears Thursday Practice Report was the previous entry in this blog.

Brandon Marshall predicts Super Bowl at Family Fest is the next entry in this blog.

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