Day 11 of training camp saw an estimated 20,000 people in attendance on a sunny and muggy Sunday afternoon. The normally mundane and uneventful warm ups were made a little more interesting by Brandon Marshall. Marshall spied a young lad sporting his jersey along the sideline and motioned for him to join him in stretching with the team. Reluctantly Anjelo Novelli age 9 from Elgin Il, joined him for about the final 10 minutes of stretching. Marshall ran the rookie through his paces knocking him off balance during several exercises as part of the hazing process.
The big news was Martellus Bennett was back with the team and he was a more subdued and focused person. His production picked up right where he left off and Jay Cutler found him open in the seam deep a couple of times. Zach Miller looked good once again and he looks to make an impact on the roster this year.
Jordan Mills was on the sideline today wearing a boot and rookie Micheal Ola played with the first team. Ola looks much more comfortable on the right side but still has a little trouble with the speed rush and blitz pick up on the outside edge. The rest of the line was excellent today providing good protection for Jay Cutler in 11 on 11 drills.
Jimmy Clausen took most of the reps with the second team and looked more confident than he has all camp. At times he is still slow going through his reads and needs to feel the pressure sooner but overall he is looking good. His biggest critique from this author is his tendency to hold the ball to long and not move as the pocket collapses around him.
The two-minute drill today was a Josh Morgan highlight reel. One particularly nice play he snagged a deep in pass with one hand in stride drawing cheers from the capacity crowd. The defense was able to keep the offense from the end zone with Jared Allen sacking Cutler once and Lance Briggs forcing a higher than normal throw to Martellus Bennet on another play.
Defensive back play was solid with veteran Charles Tillman breaking up one pass and nearly intercepting another. On the near interception by Tillman he performed 10 push ups in a move normally reserved for the offense for the dropping of a pass. There were no obvious breakdowns in coverage today and Chris Conte saw his first action on the field. Look for Conte to see some playing time this Thursday as the competition for starting safety heats up.
Two days of camp left in Bourbonnais and they move back to Lake Forest. Fans here will be disappointed but this season surely will not be for the Chicago faithful. Looking forward to tomorrow and another day of Camping with the Bears.