Under conditions that more closely mirrored October than late July, first-year Bears head coach Marc Trestman watched his retooled offensive line struggle against pressure. “I thought the defense had the jump-start on us today and there were defensive
players who had edges,” Trestman said. “We have to clean up some of the things inside, and we’ll do that. Pretty normal for the first time. Usually the defense has the jump and it usually evens out in the end. I thought as we went along during practice and the competitive portions, we cleaned things up.”
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Ball security has been an emphasis in the early stages of camp, but Sunday the defense forced two fumbles as offensive players were falling to the ground. Up front, defensive end Corey Wootton gave right offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb fits with his first step pressure.
While the pace was fast, the contact was reserved for the line of scrimmage. Running backs and wide receivers met with resistance, but not overly physical hits, and no one was taken to the ground.
Despite the early returns, Trestman saw some things he liked. “The run game was a much better start for us offensively than the passing game, but it did pick up. I was really pleased with the quarterbacks. They took care of the football.”
There were some offensive highlights. The biggest cheer came when Jay Cutler hit Alshon Jeffery on a deep fly pattern past defenders in WR/DB drills. Seventh round rookie draft choice Marquess Wilson made an acrobatic grab, drawing a backslap from Trestman. Second-year WR Joe Anderson also continued to try and earn a roster spot by making a pair of tough catches and shining in special teams drills. Veteran Brandon Marshall, along with free agent signee TE Martellus Bennett, also made their presence felt. Bennett looks like a huge upgrade at the tight end spot, and he and Cutler appear to be developing some nice chemistry.
First-round draft pick Kyle Long, continuing to alternate with second-year man James Brown at right guard, displayed his strength by taking defensive linemen Nate Collins and Kyle Moore to the ground on consecutive reps during one-one work.
Paw Prints: ChicagoBearsHuddle.com columnist Ryan Wooden was impressed with the fast pace of practice and Trestman’s involvement. “He seems kinda quirky, but on the football field, he’s totally in his element and takes command. Very hands on.”…Among the spectators were former Bears QB Jim Miller and former Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers GM Bill Polian. Both were on hand to preview the Bears on SiriusXM Radio’s summer training camp tour….The Bears practice regimen includes using both volleyballs and medicine balls in tight end and special teams drills respectively…..Bears officials estimate that around 21,000 fans have attended camp over the first three days.