Bears Notes: Defense Shows Energy On Day 1

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by riczaj01, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/07/25/bears-notes-defense-shows-energy-on-day-1/

    Bears Notes: Defense Shows Energy On Day 1
    July 25, 2014 2:06 PM

    Chris Emma
    Chris Emma covers the college sports scene for CBSChicago.com,...
    Read More

    By Chris Emma-
    BOURBONNAIS (CBS) – With the tents pitched and grass freshly cut, the gates to Bears training camp in Bourbonnais opened up for thousands of supporters Friday. Football officially returned to its eager fans.
    “2014 is here,” yelled one excited fan as he sprinted toward the front of the ropes to get a good view.
    For a Bears team with high hopes for success[​IMG], training camp at Olivet Nazarene marks the dawn of a new day.
    Second-year coach Marc Trestman was pleased with the opening of practice, which saw a strong start for his new-look defense — two impressive interceptions, including one by rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller, plus a successful ball punch.
    The tone was set for training camp with a productive[​IMG], fast-paced practice on a breezy morning.
    “A lot of good things happening,” Trestman said in summary of the work. “A good ebb and flow to practice. The guys had to pick themselves up when things weren’t going well and manage the success they had as well, so that was good.”
    To maximize[​IMG] productivity during the nearly three hours on the field, Trestman divided the team on two parallel fields, attempting to get each player as many reps as possible. Thursday’s conditioning test was to prove which players are in shape, but each practice will work as a reminder, too.
    How would Bears newcomer Jared Allen describe the practice?
    “Long,” he said with a smile. “Goodness, I flashed back to (former Chiefs coach Dick)Vermeil. Three hours? Whoa.”
    Added Fuller, one of 43 Bears offseason additions: “The pace is cool. You’re out there getting reps, quick and fast, and then you’re back in there. It’s definitely getting my conditioning up.”
    Trestman primarily worked the starters in scrimmage action, attempting to gain a cohesiveness with the roster. Jay Cutler worked in the most at quarterback, while backups Jordan Palmer and Jimmy Clausen took snaps, too.
    However, it was the defense’s day, showing a new energy.
    “The fans and the media want to talk about what happened last year,” Allen said of the defense. “I wasn’t here last year, so for me, it doesn’t matter. I know how things can change in one year.”
    Perhaps that turnaround is coming. The opening of the gates in Bourbonnais marks a new beginning for the Bears.
    McClellin comfortable at Mike linebacker
    Wearing 50 on his jersey and sporting a new, slimmer physique, Shea McClellin continued his acclimation process at linebacker.
    McClellin, a former first-round pick as a defensive end, was moved to linebacker during the offseason, with an eye on the Mike spot but also perhaps on the strong side. Friday marked the start of his first training camp at the new position, one which felt like “home” to him.
    “It’s where I belong,” McClellin said of playing middle linebacker.
    This offseason has brought plenty of time for McClellin to learn[​IMG] the new position, and mini-camps and OTAs have helped to guide the process along.
    There’s great pressure for McClellin to find his fit at the linebacker position after a failed two years on the defensive line. He’s trying to drown out the outside noise and enjoy the change.
    “It’s definitely fun,” McClellin said. “I feel refreshed coming out here and playing linebacker now. I’m definitely very excited.”
    Day one of the move saw progress from McClellin. He seemed more comfortable and fit in his new frame, and he put together a strong showing. None of it came as a surprise to his coach.
    “I’ve seen it all through the offseason,” Trestman said.
    “We have a lot of confidence. We’re excited about seeing where this could go with Shea. Today is day one, and we’ll continue to watch him hopefully progress during camp.”
    Depth at the linebacker position will provide great competition for McClellin, making him an underdog to land a starting spot. However, he is optimistic in looking ahead.
    “I’m feeling good,” he said. “There are things I’ve got to work on still, and I’m ready to compete every day, work every day and do the best I can.”
    Difference in the defense
    Football isn’t a game meant to be played in a T-shirt and shorts, but the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement has cut down the number of padded practices allowed in training camp.
    A true evaluation is difficult without the contact included in game-like action, but the display of Friday’s practice showed a solid start for the Bears’ new-look defense.
    “I’d say there’s definitely optimism, but we have to take it day by day and get better,” McClellin said.
    A revival of the defense must start on the line, where numerous key additions such as Allen, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young will lead the unit.
    In the first practice, the Bears say their deep line is revealing itself as a strength.
    “The competition is hot,” defensive tackle Stephen Paea said. “It’s a blessing for our team. I just can’t wait to see how we’re going to do in the preseason and carry it over to the season.”
    The defense as a whole has quality potential, led by the front four. The mixture of veterans and youth can only improve at linebacker following a poor 2013 season, and the new additions in the secondary are welcomed after struggles.
    “It’s exciting to see the talent level we’ve got,” Allen said.
    Extra points
    – While there was plenty of praise flowing following the Bears’ first practice, Allen tempered the evaluation. “We’re still in shorts and T-shirts,” he said. “We haven’t put the pads on.”
    – Receiver Alshon Jeffery showed off his uncanny ability to bring in the ball with his trademark leaping catch, tearing one away from a defender. Jeffery has the star potential so many talk of.
    – Rookie corberback Fuller was the best player in Friday’s practice, intercepting two passes, one of which was returned for a touchdown. He had planned for a big day. “I’m pretty sure everybody comes out thinking that,” he added.
    – The first fight of camp came between receiver Eric Weems and cornerback Sherrick McManis, a brief skirmish that was quickly broken up by the coaches.
    – The Bears return to the practice field on Saturday at 9 a.m. at Olivet Nazarene.
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  2. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    Love hearing that Fuller is flashing his value.

    Lol'd at first fight (in shorts no less) was between two guys who might just get cut.
  3. sluggobear

    sluggobear Veteran

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    Ric, thanks for sharing.
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Good to hear that Shea feels comfortable at LB, Fuller is already showing flashes, he actually had 2 int's on the day according to Zach Zaidmen. Chris Williams also reportedly brought in a nice deep ball.
  5. DaTreeBears

    DaTreeBears Pro-Bowler

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    The fans can feel it the players can feel it the coaches know it we got ourselves a real football team.
  6. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    as long as the D holds up the team could be pretty special.
  7. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    here's espn's day 1 notes:

    Bears camp report: Day 1

    July, 25, 2014
    JUL 25
    5:20
    PM ET
    By Michael C. Wright | ESPN.com
    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Here is a quick recap of highlights from Chicago Bears training camp at Olivet Nazarene University:
    • Welcome-to-the-NFL moments generally aren’t favorable, but rookie first-round pickKyle Fuller bucked that trend with a pair of interceptions during his first training camp workout.During the first session of full team work, Fuller broke on a pass from Jordan Palmer intended for Terrence Toliver, diving just before the ball arrived to make an interception worthy of a highlight reel. Later in the practice, Fuller picked off a throw byJimmy Clausen on a play when Terrence Toliver ran the wrong route according to Bears coach Marc Trestman.“Just playing my technique and fundamentals, and when the ball is in the air [I’m] just trying to go in and make a play,” Fuller said of his first interception.

      Positivity didn’t rule the day for Fuller, however. Chris Williams pulled in a bomb from Palmer, who dropped the ball right in between the bracket coverage of Fuller and safety M.D. Jennings for a touchdown.
    • Trestman introduced one new wrinkle the fans and players could appreciate at practice, as the team pumped music over the loudspeakers during warm-ups and individual periods. Trestman pointed out that during pregame at stadiums, music blares over the loud speakers during warm-ups, and the coach wants to simulate real situations as much as possible.Perhaps more interesting is the eclectic selection that included songs from Bon Jovi, Guns & Roses, T.I., Bob Marley and AC/DC. Trestman said the players pick the music.“It translates to games because there’s music before games,” Trestman said. “I just wanted to bring just a little more energy to practice.”
    • Chicago’s revamped defense definitely came out of Day 1 as winners, compared to the offense. But let’s remember, it was only the first day. In addition to Fuller’s pair of interceptions, cornerback Sherrick McManis picked off a Jay Cutler pass, and later stripped Marquess Wilson near the sideline before recovering the loose ball.There were also several instances in which the rush affected the quarterbacks enough for them to abort plays. Cornelius Washington also batted down a Cutler pass.“We looked great, came out here, got a few turnovers,” cornerback Tim Jennings said. “Defense came out with a lot of energy. I know some of the offensive coaches wish they could’ve had some plays back. We’re not at all disappointed with this first day.”
    • Non-participants at practice included guard Kyle Long (viral infection), and safetiesCraig Steltz (groin) and Chris Conte (shoulder). Conte started camp on the active physically unable to perform list. But the club decided late Thursday to add Steltz to the active PUP list and put Long on the active non-football injury list.Long is considered day to day, according to Trestman, who said, “We don’t anticipate it will be too long” before he’s released to practice.
    • Receiver Eric Weems and McManis became involved in a brief shoving match near the end of practice that was quickly broken up by teammates.

    Tolliver was the intended WR for both int's by Fuller, wonder if that will not look good for him. Meanwhile Chris Williams made a nice play.
    Keep forgetting about Sherrick McMaaaaanis, but he's been a mainstay for the St's, and had a good play of Cutler.
    Corny had a positive play also.
  8. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    one more from chicagofootball.com

    http://www.chicagofootball.com/2014...usic-playing-at-bears-first-practice/a3pupdj/

    Notebook: Defense strong, music playing at Bears' first practice

    By KEVIN FISHBAIN - kfishbain@chicagofootball.com - Friday, July 25, 2014 3:49 p.m. CDT

    Bears coach Marc Trestman runs upfield to watch receivers on the first day of training camp Friday in Bourbonnais. (H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com)
    BOURBONNAIS – At 9:52 a.m. Friday, the Bears broke a huddle and began team drills, 11-on-11s, what the fans want to see, and a giant roar came from the crowd. It signified the start of training camp and a 2014 season with high expectations for coach Marc Trestman’s team.
    “It’s always great to have the crowd. Obviously they’re excited. You can feel their energy certainly from the start,” Trestman said after practice at Olivet Nazarene University. “I think it’s great for our team to have our fans around us. It makes for a more fun and entertaining way to get our work done.”
    A few changes in the Bears’ practice philosophy visible in minicamp carried over to Bourbonnais. Trestman has multiple team drills going on at once in order to increase reps for players, mainly those reserves fighting for roster spots.
    Fans also were treated to some music during individual drills, songs such as “Thunderstruck” and “Living on a Prayer.”
    “I’ve talked a lot about this with guys around the league. I just wanted to bring something to practice – just a little more energy to practice,” Trestman said. “Talking to the players about it, that we would do some work in individual when we can coach them close up and still get our job done and still get our job done, but have a little fun as well with just getting them going. And it translates to games because there’s music before games.”
    Early glimpse at ‘D’: Like minicamp, the Bears’ first-team defense featured Brock Vereen and Ryan Mundy at safety and a defensive line of Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Stephen Paea and Jeremiah Ratliff. Lance Briggs and Jon Bostic were the nickel linebackers, while Shea McClellin and D.J. Williams joined Briggs in the base. McClellin did get work with the first-team nickel group as well.
    The other corner standout: The day belonged to rookie Kyle Fuller, who had two picks, but Sherrick McManis had a strong performance as well, picking off a pass on a ball dropped by Josh Morgan and stripping Marquess Wilson. McManis did get into a brief shoving match with Eric Weems.
    Throw and catch: Taking a look at the wide receiver battle, Josh Bellamy had two drops, Morgan had one, and Terrence Toliver made a nice catch on an impressive rollout throw from Jimmy Clausen. The best play of practice came on a long pass down the sideline from Clausen to Chris Williams. Nothing has changed with Alshon Jeffery and his strong hands. He made a great grab on the sideline, high-pointing a ball with Isaiah Frey in coverage.
    Quick hits: Eben Britton filled in for Kyle Long (viral infection) at right guard. … In his first practice, safety Adrian Wilson mainly took reps with the third team and a few with the second team as he gets acclimated to the Bears’ scheme. … Defensive linemen Willie Young, Trevor Scott, Houston and Ratliff showed good burst off the snap to get penetration and disrupt the offense. … Matthew Mulligan got a few reps with the first team as a second tight end. … The Bears have another practice without pads Saturday morning before putting them on and starting to hit Sunday.
  9. Akuma2000

    Akuma2000 Veteran SuperFan

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    Good to see Kyle Fuller showing flashes this early in training camp, just hope he keeps it going and it translates during preseason and most of all the regular season.
  10. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    yeah... Fuller is impressive his first day. But it's just the first day. Still, I've not seen that often on a first day. The guy has legit talent.

    Emery has found a lot of talent everywhere. We are defintitely STACKED!

    [​IMG]
  11. Akuma2000

    Akuma2000 Veteran SuperFan

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    Yea i'm loving the depth as well, we have quality players at the 2nd and 3rd string that we didn't have last year.

    It's so refreshing to have a head coach and general manager who knows how to fill positions with players we need and the right players at that (not just the hyped up players who gets all the love from espn and the high ratings etc... that more than likely turn into busts).
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  12. Papa_Bear_7

    Papa_Bear_7 Veteran

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    I see what you did there. :thumb:
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  13. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I'm really hoping in the coming days to hear some good things about Ego and Sutton also, or at least not hear they are looking like Bauzine or Okwo. But a handful of new guys showed some promise, not just rookies. Williams also had a play of the day catch off Fuller and one of the S's.
  14. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    STACKED AND BUSTS..

    I see what you did there...
  15. dachuckster

    dachuckster Veteran SuperFan

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    he one thing I love about this board. You keep fully abreast of the situation!
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  16. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    This is better than the average board. Here we keep twobreasts ahead of the situation.

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