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Fox employs hard knocks to get Bears up to speed


Camp Fox is nothing like what the Chicago Bears have been used to. This year’s training camp features a heavy dose of hitting, spirited coaching, and an emphasis on noise. Those are just a few observations after the Bears completed their first partial week at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais.

While it’s difficult to make blanket judgements after just a few days, it is clear that players have bought into head coach John Fox’s prescription of an attacking, physical approach on both sides of the ball.  Sunday’s midday session featured a run blocking drill where several minor skirmishes broke out. Thursday’s opening practice, in shorts and helmets no less, turned heated when Kyle Long and veteran defensive end Jarvis Jenkins mixed it up.

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Question marks dot Bears secondary

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Editor’s Note: the final article previewing the Bears positional units ahead of training camp opening Wednesday, July 29.

The makeover in the Chicago Bears secondary is subtle yet drastic. Gone is ballhawking veteran and Bears fan favorite Charles “Peanut” Tillman.

After two straight injury-marred seasons, the Bears and Tillman decided to part ways. Tillman took his “Peanut punch” down to Carolina to reunite with former Bears defensive coordinator and current Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. While Tillman’s experience and playmaking skills will be missed, the Bears needed an infusion of young talent.

Last year’s first-rounder, Kyle Fuller, showed promise but staggered down the stretch trying to play through injuries and inconsistency. Fuller has a high-ceiling and should flourish under new defensive backs coach Ed Donatell.

At the other corner, veterans Tim Jennings and free agent import Alan Ball will compete. Jennings looks to rebound from a subpar season in which he was routinely picked on and saw his interceptions disappear. An offseason DUI arrest didn’t help matters. Jennings may be at a place in his career where he would be better suited for a nickel role.

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Bears have quantity, do they have quality at LB?

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Editor’s note: continuing our look at the various position groups ahead of training camp. Today, the linebackers.

With a shift to a base 3-4 defense, the Chicago Bears enter the 2015 season with major questions at the Linebacker position.

There’s no shortage of candidates, considering that holdover defensive ends Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young,  and David Bass will shift from their hand in the dirt to stand-up pass rushers. Whether they can transition effectively is another question.

The veteran Allen looks to bounce back from a subpar 2014 where injuries and illness robbed him of his quick first step. READ MORE