Training Camp is officially here for the Chicago Bears as some players reported to Bourbonnais today to get ready for the first practice on Friday. General Manager Phil Emery and Head Coach Marc Trestman held a press conference to open up the 2014 season.
Here are some of the highlights:
Kyle Long injury
One of the biggest pieces of news came when Emery announced that offensive lineman Kyle Long suffered a viral infection and will miss a few days of camp. Long will be at camp but won’t be available for the team.
Emery: RG Kyle Long (viral infection) became ill over the weekend and won't be ready to start camp. He is worn down from the illness.
— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) July 23, 2014
The Bears will re-evaluate Long next week and hope to get him back soon. The infection causes the Pro Bowl guard to lose some strength.
Chris Conte on PUP list
During the press conference Emery announced that safety Chris Conte will start training camp and will not play in the teams first preseason game. Conte decided to have the surgery in the off-season on his shoulder.
Conte is in a competition for the free safety job with rookie Brock Vereen. This sets Conte back in the competition and really gives Vereen the edge to win the job.
“Chris Conte will start training camp on the active PUP list,” said GM Emery. “He will be out for at least the first preseason game.”
Jon Bostic competition
One of the more intriguing training camp battles will involve Jon Bostic in not one but two competitions. Going into camp Bostic and veteran D.J. Williams are battling for the middle linebacker spot. Emery talked about the current situation:
“Jon will open up camp in the MIKE linebacking spot,” said Emery. “He will also be competing with Shea for the SAM linebacker spot.”
This opens up the competition for two linebacking spots for three players. It’s going to interesting to see how Emery uses his linebackers in camp.
Postition battles in camp
Jordan Palmer first shot at #2 QB in Camp
Despite his injury, Jordan Palmer will have the first shot at the number two quarterback job. The signing of Jimmy Clausen puts some pressure on Palmer who has been dealing with a shoulder injury.
Coach Marc Trestman stated in the press conference that Palmer has the first shot. “Jordan will have the first shot at the number two quarterback job.”
Wide Receiver #3 job open. Wilson not handed job
If Marquess Wilson wants to be the next big threat in the Bears offense, he will have to earn it. Trestman adressed Wilson saying the young receiver will not be handed the job.
Emery says competition for No. 3 WR spot is open. Marquess Wilson not being handed the job. #Bears
— Jeremy Stoltz (@BearReport) July 23, 2014
Wilson gives the Bears another tall, physical receiver to compliment Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. It’s a trio that Bears fans have raved about all off-season and hope it works out. Wilson showed off his talent last training camp earning him praise from the coaching staff.
Praise for Clausen
The Bears brought in Jimmy Clausen to battle for the backup quarterback job and he was mentioned in today’s press conference as well. Both Emery and Trestman spoke on the former Notre Dame quarterback saying his workout was impressive and led to his signing.
Jay Cutler also reached out to Clausen helping him with the playbook and getting him familiar with the team. See, Jay isn’t a bad guy after-all.