Day 10 of Bears training camp was an overcast and dreary event. The weather seemed to dictate the tone, as the malaise that lingered over the field today was palatable as well to the crowd. The crowd was subdued as nobody seemed in a mood to cheer or do much of anything. I’ve been to funerals with more action than today’s practice.
The offense was without Martellus Bennett who was suspended from the team for an indefinite period after yesterday’s WWE outburst against rookie Kyle Fuller. Donte Rosario proved why he is a backup and not the starter as he dropped several catchable balls in drills and the 11 on 11 scrimmage. Zach Miller and Matthew Mulligan filled in well with a couple of nice grabs by Miller. The offense was not as explosive today as Marshall also saw limited snaps, effective reducing Cutler’s favorite target choice to two. So it was an Alshon Jeffrey and Matt Forte exhibition session as each received the majority of the balls in practice. Shaun Droughns continues to get first team reps and is looking strong to lock in the back up role behind Forte.
The offensive line is shaping up nicely with Kyle Long back in the line up. The one area of concern is back up left tackle where nobody has seemed competent or consistent. Micheal Ola, who has performed well at the guard position, struggle against the outside rushers at left tackle. A bright spot on the reserve offensive line today was Dennis Roland, a 6 year tackle out of Georgia. He saw some reps at right tackle on the first team and more than held his own against Willie Young and Lamar Houston. The 6”9 330# tackle looked good playing on the right side and would give the Bears some needed depth at the tackle position. Roland’s father was the Head Coach at Olivet Nazarene University from 1986-1990.
The linebacker corps is beginning to shake itself out with the base defense most likely seeing Jon Bostic at strong side, D.J. Williams in the middle, and Lance Briggs anchoring the unit at the Will position. Shea McCellan continues to struggle in coverage with Matt Forte quickly shaking him for an easy score in one on one drills. Christian Jones looks to be the steal of free agency as he too was scored upon by Forte but the coverage was spectacular. Look for Tucker to find ways to include this young man on the defense this season.
Brock Vereen is slowly improving and made some nice plays in pass defense. He is starting to adjust to the speed and complexity of playing safety at the next level. The 3rd wide receiver spot is now wide open with Marquess Wilson out for a while and lets hope we don’t end up with another Earl Bennett. Speaking of Bennet, ESPN radio host John Jurkovic asked his co-host Carmen DeFalco if he thought the Bears should bring back Bennett as he knows Trestman’s offense. I couldn’t hear the response over the dismay of the crowd, but I hope his answer was a resounding nooooo. Looking forward to another day at camp tomorrow. Go Bears!!