“Looks like somebody has a case of the Mondays” would be the apropos line said to the special teams long snappers today. When asked by this ChiCity reporter after practice what he thought about the long snapping today Patrick Manelly quipped “Is that what you’d call it?” I was hoping the dismal performance would motivate Patrick for one more season but he politely declined remaining in retirement.
Practice today featured two Chi City reporters on the sideline with this one solidly entrenched in the stands with the rest of the unwashed. All kidding aside it was a serious practice with improvements seen in many areas. Special teams do need some serious work and are an area of concern if more consistency is not seen from the long snappers and punters. Rookie punters Tress Way and Patrick O’ Donnell continue to battle it out we each booming a few of their punts in drills this morning.
Quarterback play was sharp and consistent with a couple of notable miscues. The only turnover of the day was when Jay Cutler stared down Brandon Marshall over the middle and was intercepted. Marshall had beaten Kelvin Hayden but Jon Bostic tipped the pass intended for Marshall and Hayden was handed the gift interception. There was one dropped snap, one inadvertent snap and one fumble by Sonorise Perry. However the rest of the morning was relatively clean.
Major improvements were evident in the run blocking schemes and one play saw Jerman Bushrod pulling across to the right side getting into position to open a nice running lane. Offensive line play saw a lot of hustle as Jordan Mills was seen on more than one occasion blocking 15 yards downfield. Pass blocking was a little suspect with pressure again being applied from a variety of positions and players. It seemed to be more of a communication issue with looping defenders rather than physical overmatches.
Will Sutton saw considerable action with the first team defense with Jermiah Ratliff sitting out this days practice session. He was able to hold his own at the point of attack and showed promise working along side Stephen Paea. When the d-line could not get to the quarterback they did a great job obstructing passing lanes with several batted balls the result.
Several players increased their stock with today’s camp performance. Chris Williams showed he is much more than a return man catching everything thrown to him and getting wide open on several occasions. Jon Bostic showed why he was seeing increased reps in the nickel package with two tipped balls, including the one resulting in Kelvin Hayden’s interception.
As Mr. Rogers likes to say” it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood .“ and this author cannot disagree. There were no obvious injuries on either side of the ball. The only glaring deficiency seen was on special teams. This Bears roster is shaping up to be a serious contender and no opponent should take this defense for granted. Tomorrow’s practice is closed to the public so see you all again this Wednesday.