Some Early Training Camp Feedback

Discussion in 'Front Page News' started by JustAnotherBearsFan99, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I just got back from training camp and thought I'd post a few brief comments about today's practice (their 6th practice of TC). It was a beautiful day with perfect weather. Most years it's brutally hot out there, but the players have sure had ideal training camp weather this year.

    It seemed like there was a lot going on at once so I tried to focus on some individual players. Here's what stood out to me, FWIW. Lance Briggs looks just fine. I was a bit worried about him coming off the shoulder injury, wearing a brace, and with his age creeping up on him, but he looked like the player we've seen play at a pro-bowl level in years past. He's obviously got some left in the tank.

    I guess the player who stood out to me most, in a positive sense, was Shea McClellan at LB. He looks like he's a perfect fit at LB. Watching him play today, the first thing that jumped out at me was the fact that he looks big for a LB compared with guys like Bostic and Briggs. He looked very fluid, strong and athletic, especially in drills against the run. You watch him play and he looks like he "belongs" out there as a starter at LB. I'm hoping he can leverage what he learned as a DE, and quickly ramp up as a LB. The only other LB who stood out to me was Christian Jones. Jones could be a great pickup for us.....clearly he's got the physical tools.

    [​IMG]

    I also watched our rookie DT's work, Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton. At 6' even, and 310-315 pounds, these guys both look pretty stout and powerful. Ferguson just looks incredibly powerful with strong (and long) arms. He just seemed to explode and manhandle guys. He didn't show a lot of technique (that I saw anyway) but he's a rookie so obviously he'll need to work on a lot this year to develop the NFL-level skill he'll need. But athletically/physically he looks the part.

    The guy who really astounded me was Jordan Palmer. And not in a good way. He threw noodle arm passes and with pitiful accuracy. I have to believe his receivers must have blown their routes, or maybe they just were not on the same playbook at times. There were plays where Palmer threw to areas on the field where there was NO receiver within 10 yards and the ball just bounced on the grass. And the passes are like watching the local high school QB throw - some pretty feeble stuff, IMHO. Maybe he's playing hurt, or maybe I just caught him on a horrific day (which could be). But I was stunned to watch him throw today. Stunned.

    I did not get to watch Clausen at all, so I can't comment on his play today. But Palmer really doesn't look like an NFL-level talent.....not even a backup level talent if today was at all representative of his skill set as a QB. I've gotta believe he's not going to be our #2. If he does end up being Jay's backup, pray for Jay's health. This guy is no McCown.

    I watched Jordan Lynch as a RB a bit. He looked good, but Carey Ka'Deem looked better. Lynch probably has an uphill battle to make this team. Today anyway he looked like what he is - a college QB trying to be a RB in the NFL. Could be tough to pull off. I would love to see him make the team though.

    I guess that's "it" for players who seemed to stand out. Oh, one more guy stood out. Alshon Jeffery was amazing. You could hear the crowd ooh and ahh when he made great catches. The guy is pure stud at WR.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
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  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I'd give it a big old Bear Down as well but it only let's me do one rating so the BEAR DOWN is here. Glad you got chance to see them work out. Strockrocks is there as well so I hope to get some reports via text too. Wear your DaBears beanie and maybe the two of you can locate one another.

    I'll add some comments ;

    Briggs; Are you ready to stop worrying now? :4 6 218v[1]::rofl2::13 4 9[1]: I consider this very good news. We need him.

    McClellin; I'm really glad to hear that from someone with a first hand point of view. There really hasn't been all that much written about him compared to the other LBs. He's nearly the size of Urlacher and I've thought ever since we drafted him that he would make a good MLB someday if they gave him a shot at it. Hopefully he'll start at SLB this year and then maybe move to MLB next if Bostic doesn't take to it.

    Jones; More good news. I posted and article about how well the LBs are taking to being coached by Reggie Herring and in that article it mentions that Herring played college ball with Jones dad so you just know he's gonna take a special interest in the kid. He can't be a whole lot smaller than McClellin either right? This is another guy who could play all three LB spots so it'll be interesting to see how this shakes out because I think along with Bostic and McClellin he's got a good chance to become the third starter in another year or two.

    Rookie DTs; Sutton's weight is down and his agility is up but on article said he's getting manhandled pretty good by the vets when they can latch on to him. Sounds like he needs some work on weights to build up some strength and learn how to disengage and that may not happen for another year. Collins is showing up better so far. Nice to hear about Ego's length and strength. That's why Emery drafted him. To control OLinemen.

    Palmer; Not exactly a shocker although I have to wonder if that pec strain he got in OTAs isn't still a factor. His arm didn't look that bad last summer. With as well as he knows the offense if the ball is going where people ain't you have to think about guys not knowing their routes or adjustments and being that it's camp he may be directed to throw it where the play was supposed to go. All of the media guys on SportsTalk Live feel that physically Clausen is ahead of Palmer. It's just a matter of him getting as much of the offense down as possible during the preseason.

    RB; Lynch has always been a long shot to make the roster but since he dropped some weight my thinking is that he's gonna try to make it off his STeams play. Is Carey as nifty an inside runner in person as he looks on all of his vids?
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  3. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I thought I'd post this for anyone looking for a really good place to eat that's near training camp. My wife and I found an incredible place to eat in Kankakee (about 5 minutes from training camp). There's an old-time type cafe with incredibly good (and reasonable food). It's called the "Blues Cafe" and it's like going back in time to the '50's or 60's when these type places were everywhere. But now it seems like they've all long disappeared. This place has all homemade food - and the pies in particular are to die for.

    BLUE'S CAFE
    1190 W Station St, Kankakee, IL 60901-3449
    815-933-5315

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  4. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Thanks for the update JABF.

    One thought, I was scared Donald would have the same thing happen to him during the draft process that seems to be happening to Sutton. Just curious if Donald is having a similar experience transitioning to the NFL.

  5. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I thought that too, that the receivers were probably not running the right routes. That wouldn't be Palmer's fault, for sure. But his passes look pretty whimpy too. Maybe it is that pec strain hurting his ability to throw strong. Or maybe he was just having a bad outing today too. Also, Cutler has a canon for an arm, so when they trot out Palmer, it is a bit of a shock to see Palmer's floaties when Jay's were precision lasers hitting small windows with precision. Kindof a shock to see the difference.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  6. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Great report and thanks, JABF.
    Pretty much confirms what others have been saying. Sounds to me that Cut-Clausen-Fales is gonna be out final QB lineup. Love hearing the stuff about Briggs, Shea, and Jones--we may be stronger at LB than we thought. And I'm not surprised to hear that the rookie DTs have a ways to go. They're 2015 potential starters IMO, not this year.
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  7. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Yeah it would be kind of shock to watch both in comparison. Old story now but when Cutler was drafted and had just arrived in Denver right afterward some of the media, when comparing him to Elway, asked about his arm strength. Cutler said he though he might even have stronger arm than Elway. Well they all hooted at that until rookie camp and then after that there wasn't another peep out of any of them about his arm. Wish I could see him in person.
  8. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    Nice stuff JABF. Maybe @strockrocks can add a little color. With so much going on at the same time, I'm sure you were each focusing on different things.
  9. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Thanks JABF! Love your breakdowns when you go to camp.
  10. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Right now Cutler is showcasing both power and accuracy. He's in a zone with B.Marsh, AJ, M.Bennett & Wilson. I can't remember seeing a QB (in my lifetime) with a better combination of power/accuracy than what we're seeing with Cutler right now. He's a machine right now firing precision passes into tiny windows that the big/tall WR's just pluck out of space. DB's can't do squat to defend these kind of passes. They're not really defendable. The only thing that can stop this unit will be injuries. I'm not worried about any defense, but I do worry about injuries. Gotta keep these guys healthy all season.

    Speaking of injuries, I guess that thought is why it is such a shock when Jay walks off and they trot out a guy like Palmer to take his reps. The thought that came to my mind was of a local high school kid getting to toss a few balls with NFL players. He just craps his pants and the crowd looks on as if they're witnessing some horrible train wreck in progress. His floatie passes don't even look like NFL passes, and you ask yourself who in the heck was he throwing to? I wish I had seen Clausen work yesterday. No wonder they jumped at the opportunity to bring him in. Palmer really doesn't look half as good as McCown. Don't expect any McCown type performances if Palmer is our backup this year. DB's will eat him alive if he throws these kind of passes in an NFL game.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  11. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Wonder if that Pec tear wasn't fully repaired from OTA's and he rushed back b/c of Clausen's work.
  12. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Thanks for the run down of day 6 in Bourbonnais. I didn't have a laptop with me in my travels to Chicagoland so I didn't post much after attending Monday's practice (posting from a phone is tedious), but when I saw your post on places to grub I thought it appropriate to insert a trip highlight with brief player profile.

    Beyond the excellent weather and high-tempo practice, the overall memory I had coming away from Monday's training camp was how great a person Matt Forte is.

    After practice, Forte walked the Kid Zone autograph area and signed EVERY kids sport's memorabilia. There were approximately 300 kids or more present and he made his way, with multiple sharpies, through the entire lot of them. Considering most players didn't stop to sign on Monday - and I don't know that I blame them, those kids are ruthless - this really stood out to me.

    Then, following camp my brother and I went to Brickstone Brewery and had a few beers and some apps. This brew pub is a pretty trendy little place for a small town like Bourbonnais. Their beers were tasty, particularly their hopskipnimdrunk APA and their food options were well above average.

    After enjoying a few brews, my brother and I went to the car and standing right next to it holding a little baby boy was Matt Forte dressed in shorts and spandex tights. With him was Martellus Bennett. My brother and I left them alone and just watched as Forte and Bennett walked across the parking lot (Forte with a considerable post practice gait), got into a black SUV and took off.

    I thought this was really cool. Not only did Forte sign a ton of autographs, he made it into town to hang out with some fans and show his support of the town. Very cool.

    I would suggest, if you make it to practice this summer, to hit up the Brickstone Brewery. I remember reading somewhere prior to this year's training camp, that Lance Briggs is known to stop into a brewery (I'm assuming it's the Brickstone Brewery since I don't think there are any others in town) to have a beer and hang out with some fans.
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  13. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I think many fans still have a bit of a bitter taste in their mouths from the contract/hold out w/Matt and the franchise, and he doesn't always come off well in interviews...but it's good to hear that he's good w/the fans, especially the kids.
  14. shark86x

    shark86x Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    Speaking of bitter tastes in the mouth... The wifey and I generally eat out every Saturday in the Kankakee area, and we have been to Brickstone Brewery many many times. Although the beer is good and they have a good menu, we quit going there a while ago due to bad service. Since it had been a long time, we tried it again the weekend before TC started. The complementary loaf of bread came to us with dust bunnies and charcoal. The food quality had declined overall and the service was not very good. We won't be going back, even if Matt is signing autographs in the parking lot and Lance is inside tossing down a few cold ones.
  15. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Now that is a marketing masterpiece of a name. :10 7 4[1]: :bah:

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