Optimism is the key takeaway from Bears minicamp

Optimism is the key takeaway from Bears minicamp
2010 minicamp cutler peppers.jpg

Its a great time to be in Chicago. The Blackhawks just earned a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Bulls seem to be the front runner in the LeBron James sweepstakes and the Bears started minicamp this weekend.

There's a lot of optimism and buzz around minicamp for the second straight year. Last year, obviously, the center of attention was Jay Cutler. This year it's all about Julius Peppers and Mike Martz in what could be a make or break season for Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo.

Here are a few notes from minicamp:

Brad Biggs, Vaughn McClure and Dan Pompei - Chicago Tribune
Peppers immediate impact - Peppers
drew a false start on one of the first snaps from scrimmage on Friday
and there were at least three by offensive players opposite him before
the day was over. When linemen weren't jumping, Peppers was turning the
corner and going by them. - BB

Brian Urlacher about the defense - "Exciting man,'' Urlacher said. "We're fast. We get to the football.
We fly around. Guys know that if they don't get to the ball, they're
not going to play, so dudes were flying around. Lots of talking, lots
of chatter, which I like. Just a lot of fun.'' - VM

Transitioning to Martz's offense -  to Instead
of bottle-feeding the Bears their new offense this spring, Mike Martz
and his staff are force-feeding them. No one is singing ABCs to these
guys, either. This is a system that uses numbers, not letters. - VM

Matt Forte about the addition Chester Taylor - "I'm
glad he's here,'' Forte said of Taylor. "(Competition's) going to make
me better, it's going to make Chester better and the whole team better.
And I think the two-back system prolongs your career.'' - DP

Charles Tillman update: As best as Charles Tillman can tell, the minicamp switch at cornerback of him and Zack Bowman is permanent.

If the move to the right side bothers Tillman, he didn't say. - BB

Jeff Dickerson and Michael Wright, ESPN Chicago
Charles Tillman update - Absent from
voluntary offseason workouts until this past Monday, Tillman spent most
of the morning with the second team while Tim Jennings took reps with
the starters opposite Zack Bowman. But during 11-on-11 drills at the
session's conclusion, Tillman returned to the first unit. - JD

Cutler and Martz relationship - Martz
said he's been especially impressed with how quickly Cutler has been
able to transition from playing in a West Coast offense last year, to
the club's new timing-based system, which calls for the quarterback to
throw to a specific area -- in anticipation of a receiver being there --
as opposed to waiting until he can actually see a receiving target
break open. - MW

Starting wide receivers - Devin Hester and Johnny Knox took the first-team
repetitions, while Devin Aromashodu, Rashied Davis and Juaquin Iglesias
spent the majority of their time with the reserves. - MW

Offensive link concerns - There also appears to be some uncertainty at left guard with Kevin Shaffer, Lance Louis, and Johan Asiata in the mix for the starting job. Josh Beekman, who has started at left guard, is working with the first team at center as Kreutz's replacement. - MW

Mullin, CSN Chicago
Earl Bennett update - Wide receiver Earl Bennett also had
minor knee surgery and is practicing on a limited basis. - JM

Tight ends role in the new offense - Desmond
Clark and Greg Olsen had solid practices in sessions focused on first
and second downs only. What was notable was the number of times the
offense went with them in double-tight-end packages, not what Mike Martz
offenses are renowned for. - JM

Neil Hayes and Sean
Jansen, Chicago Sun Times
Tommie Harris update - Bears defensive tackle Tommie
Harris only participated in one of two
practices Friday as the club opened it's mini-camp. But Harris said he
feels "great." - SJ

Nick Roach update - Linebacker Nick Roach did not practice on
Saturday and will not practice Sunday because of a sore hamstring. - NH

Lovie Smith about Chris Harris - "We
were looking for that when we brought Chris back," Smith said. "We
needed a voice back there. Chris is that. He's a smart player. He's the
quarterback of our secondary. He knows what's going on on our defense.
He's a impact hitter. We're expecting big plays from his this year." -

Situation at safety - Don't sleep on Craig Steltz as a possible starting safety, as I pointed
out in a Q&A late last month. He doesn't get mentioned a lot, but he
certainly didn't hurt himself over the last three days. He fired up his
defensive teammates by picking off a Caleb Hanie pass for Earl Bennett
on a deep cross today. He also had a nice pass break-up earlier in the
day. Didn't help that Chris Harris flat dropped a Cutler pass for Hester
a few plays earlier, drawing the wrath of coaches and teammates. - SJ

Filed under: 4th Phase, Bear Down

Tags: 2010 season, minicamp


Leave a comment
  • Don't we hear this same rosey BS every training camp? Deeds, not words...

  • In reply to MadLithuanian:

    Yes... but at the same time do you think the roster is better than last year's? Maybe even better than the Super Bowl year?

  • In reply to Bears STH:

    The QB is better, no doubt. We had Chris Harris and a real FS in Mike Brown at safety. Ced Benson and TJ in the backfield. We'll see come week one what we have for real. Just worried the receivers will be even more lost at seas than they were last year with an extra 500 plays to learn and a 1000 new ways to call them. We need a vet WR who isn't also a smurf.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Worries me a bit that our best receiver isn't getting first team reps though.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Agreed. Bennett looks like he might be 4th on the depth chart. I wonder if he'll be an interchangeable piece, rotating with Hester or Knox.

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Meet The Blogger


    The Chicago Bears need all four phases (offense, defense, special teams and the fans) of the game to work together to pave the way to victory. This is the unofficial 4th Phase blog. You can follow the blog on Twitter, @4thPhase or #4thPhase.

  • Get Your Bears App for iPad

    The Tribune's iPad app covers the Bears, with features including Matt Bowen's "Progression," Don Pierson's histories of Bears' opponents, players pages, video, fantasy football and more. Download here.
  • Instagram
  • Verizon Voices

  • Recent posts

  • Tags

  • Categories

  • Monthly Archives

  • Advertisement: