Monday at Bears Camp........................

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Bears practice report: Observations and thoughts from Monday

    By Rich Campbell, Tribune reporter
    9:54 p.m. CDT, July 28, 2014

    Here are some of my thoughts and observations from Monday’s Bears practice:

    1. Our Matt Bowen shared three of his observations in a separate post. Read his take on the backup quarterbacks, defensive end Lamarr Houston and receiver Marquess Wilson.

    2. Defensive end Willie Young showed off his length in one-on-one pass rush drills by getting his right hand into Eben Britton’s chest and punching him back. Britton was at right tackle, and Young got into Britton before Britton could reach him. On Sunday, Young batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage. Keep an eye on how his long arms help him once preseason games start.

    3. Some other highlights from OL/DL one-on-ones, a drill in which defensive linemen have an advantage:

    -- Nose tackle Stephen Paea clubbed center Roberto Garza off balance on one rush, but Garza recovered in time with quick footwork.

    -- Defensive tackle Nate Collins, who won twice with a powerful bull rush on Sunday, was stopped by guard Brian de la Puente. de la Puente won against that particular bull rush because his pad level was lower.

    -- Left tackle Jermon Bushrod beat defensive end Jared Allen’s bull rush by anchoring with a sound base. Bushrod stood Allen up at the point of attack. After the whistle blew, Allen gave Bushrod props by tapping him on the helmet.

    -- Rookie defensive tackle Will Sutton has such a quick first step and such quick hands that he’ll beat a lineman who isn’t balanced coming off the ball. That’s what happened when de la Puente appeared to lunge a bit as he went to set. Sutton’s quickness won the play.

    4. Staying in the trenches, two poor shotgun snaps stood out. Garza bounced one during team drills and second-stringer Taylor Boggs snapped one at the quarterback’s shoe tops. This was problematic at times in 2013. It’s detrimental because it either disrupts the timing of handoffs or takes the quarterback’s eyes off the defense.

    “That's certainly unacceptable,” coach Marc Trestman said after practice.

    5. Undrafted rookie strong-side linebacker Christian Jones continues to stand out because of how fluidly he runs, especially for such a big backer (6-foot-3, 240). The more I watch him drop in coverage, change directions and run, the more convinced I become that he’s going to make the 53-man roster.

    In one-on-one pass coverage drills, rookie running back Ka’Deem Carey tried to beat him with a double move -- an out and up -- and Jones stayed on Carey’s hip throughout the route. Jones has good feet and fluid hips. I’m very interested to see him tackle. During team drills, I saw him get stood up a couple times by offensive linemen at the line of scrimmage, but it’s difficult to know his exact responsibilities on those plays. Position coach Reggie Herring called Jones raw on Sunday, but the Bears really like his physical ability.

    6. The matchup between defensive end Lamarr Houston and right tackle Jordan Mills might be the most compelling of camp. In addition to the fact they’ve already fought each other a couple times, it’s interesting to watch Houston push the second-year lineman.

    Houston got past Mills in team drills with a strong slap down that shed Mills’ hands. Houston also bullrushed Mills back into Jay Cutler on one pass play. It would have been a sack. When Mills wins, it’s because his feet are quick enough to keep him square to Houston.

    “They’re both physical, strong, athletic guys, and it has been entertaining,” offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said. “They win some, they lose some. They learn from losing, and it’s beneficial.

    7. Cutler threw an interception during team third-down situation drills when he tried to fit a throw past linebacker Jon Bostic to receiver Brandon Marshall down the right seam. Credit Bostic with getting the necessary depth on his drop to tip the ball to cornerback Kelvin Hayden.

    Cutler’s throw was the type that has gotten him in trouble in the past—trying to force a ball into a window that’s not really open. Quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh has talked about the need for Cutler to make sure he’s progressing through his reads to find the open receiver instead of sticking with a receiver for too long, and Marshall wasn’t open on the play. Will he ever change? Maybe not. In fairness, though, it was practice, the ideal time for Cutler to test which throws he can make.

    8. Cutler hit Marshall for a touchdown earlier in practice during red zone team drills. Marshall ran a fade from the right slot and stayed inside rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller on the outside. It was an easy pitch and catch for Cutler, who put the right amount of air under the throw. Cutler knows how to take advantage of his big, athletic targets. This play was perfectly designed to exploit Marshall’s size and athleticism because he had so much space to work with in front of the sideline.

    9. Rookie Pat O’Donnell did not punt as well Monday as he did Sunday. O’Donnell didn’t hit the ball consistently cleanly. In the second punting period -- the one I charted -- Tress Way unofficially averaged 51 yards and 4.26 seconds of hang time on four punts. O’Donnell unofficially averaged 45 yards and 3.74 seconds on his four punts. And, no, there were no “Mega Punt” chants for O’Donnell on Monday.

    rcampbell@tribune.com
    Twitter @Rich_Campbell
    Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC
  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    A few more insights from a different perspective.

    2) Britton is now taking snaps at RT with the #2 unit while DLP and Ola got some time with the starters. Long is still out and maybe it's about time we got more info on what that viral infection is all about and what the prognosis is.

    Willie Young has a knack for getting up and tipping throws or knocking them down. He man be as effective at that as he is at rushing. The guy was a great pickup for depth and for the rotation.

    3) Both lines have gotten so much better than just practicing against one another is sharpening them up. Good to hear some comments on Paea and Collins too. Those two are often overlooked with all of the praise about Houston and Allen.

    Sutton is showing that same kind of quickness and hand fighting skills he did in college that made his such an effective penetrator and rusher. Hope he keeps it up because later in games as the opponents OL tires and their technique begins to suffer he should win some battles and get some big sacks. He and Ratliff could make a great tag team at 3 Tech.

    4) Booger. Looks like our OC and LS need some after practice practice.

    5) Nice to hear Jones is coming along. In another year or two I could see him, McClellin and Bostic as out starting LBs. If he and Greene can show some stuff in the preseason games and on STeams those two should win spots on the team and we'll have our young LB core developing behind Briggs and DWill. It would be nice if we scored on those two guys in addition to Bostic and McClellin.

    6) Houston is teaching Mills some lessons and that's good because it can only serve to make him a better OT. If he keeps his starters job it's not likely he'll be going up DEs any tougher than Houston this year. If he cab win even half these battles he'll win even more of them during the season. Ya gotta love the pride and the fight in the kid. He does not like to lose.

    7) Cutler is always gonna make a few throws a game he should never have attempted and half of them or more will be completions, a few will be TDs, and a couple will get picked. That's Cutler. Next.

    8) Rookies getting schooled buy the vets and it's all good.

    9) The opera ain't over 'til the fat lady sings but despite an off day O'Donnell is still the guy. Maybe he was just worn out after his mega-punts on Sunday. LOL
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014

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