The temperature and humidity has reached the dog days of summer and the Baha Men have asked the question; Who let the Dogs out? Well it seems Mel Tucker has answered that question today. Training camp was moved from 3:00 PM to 11:00 this morning due to forecast inclement weather, which had a direct impact on the size of the crowd. The threat of thunderstorms and a much earlier start did not dampen the enthusiasm of the smaller than normal crowd which included a show down at high noon between the rookie Kyle Fuller and Martellus Bennet.
The defense was riled up today as they are gaining confidence daily more than holding their own against the #2 best offense in the NFL last year. The first team offense versus defense scrimmage contest is still too close to call but the edge belonged to the offense today with Kyle Long back in the lineup. Long looked strong albeit a little rusty, which is understandable missing as much practice as he has this last week and a half. He had some nice plays today highlighted by his pass blocking easily neutralizing Lamar Houston.
The defensive backfield is gaining confidence as Isaiah Frey jumped a route picking off Jimmy Clausen while running with the second team defense. Second team linebackers looked solid all day with some excellent plays by Khaseen Greene and Christian Jones. Expect to hear Jones name called this season as he is showing why he was rated as a potential first or second round draft pick. He looked good in space and coverage and his speed was apparent in pursuit from the weak side on several plays.
The offense under Culter was sharp again with no turnovers or miscues by the offensive line. Cutler was accurate on most of his throws today and quick slants to Marshall and Bennett were in stride and on the money. The lone bad news today was the injury to Marquess Wilson as he apparently fractured his clavicle diving for a catch in the end zone. Expect to see him back sometime early in the season if all goes well.
Practice effectively ended with the team in red zone drills. Martellus Bennet caught a swing pass from Cutler and was thrown to the ground by rookie Kyle Fuller. The Unicorn quickly retaliated by throwing the wide eyed rookie to the ground, exacting a bit of revenge. Bennett had to be restrained by teammates while the rookie received some counseling from Jay Cutler. Bennett approached Fuller during walk through drills and they both shook hands diffusing the situation.
What is a camp day this year without a note about the punter. Patrick O’Donnell looks like he pulling away from Tress Way. He delivered a 72 yard punt during free kick coverage drills awing the smaller crowd. Let’s hope tomorrow’s practice continues with the same spirit which with this one ended. The team is shaping up nicely and we can wait for the season to begin. Bear Down Chicago!