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Write Now Blog

Anderson continues to impress

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 6, 2013 – 7:38 pm

Receiver Joe Anderson continued to shine in training camp Tuesday, catching a long touchdown pass from Jay Cutler down the middle of the field in an 11-on-11 drill.

“We’ve been throwing him in there quite a bit, and he’s taken advantage of every opportunity,” Cutler said. “He caught a big ball today. He’s in the right spots. He’s blocking well. I think he’s doing really well on special teams. So that’s what you like to see; when a guy gets a chance like that to step in with the first unit to go ahead and take advantage of it, and that’s what he’s done.”

Anderson has been getting first-team reps throughout camp, subbing at times for Brandon Marshall, who has had two days off; Alshon Jeffery, who missed part of one practice with a tight hamstring; and Earl Bennett, who has been sidelined since Saturday while being evaluated for a concussion.

Anderson joined the Bears last year as an undrafted free agent from Texas Southern. He spent the first 14 weeks of the season on the practice squad before being promoted to the active roster and playing in the final three games, primarily on special teams.

“There are a lot of guys that have impressed us in this camp [and] Joe is one of them,” said offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. “There are guys who are fitting into the system and the system is fitting in around them. It’s going to be a great opportunity in these [preseason] games to show what each guy can do. We’re looking at everybody, from a practice-squad guy to a first-team starter, and hopefully one of these guys will be an All-Pro player.”


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Bush, Allen get more practice reps

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 6, 2013 – 7:23 pm

With starting running back Matt Forte given a veteran’s day off Tuesday, backups Michael Bush and Armando Allen received more opportunities in practice.

“I thought they got some good work, a good change of speed with a downhill runner like Michael and being able to catch the ball outside, and then Armando at the point of attack and outside as well,” said coach Marc Trestman. “I thought our run period was really strong today.”

Trestman was pleased with the effort and physical play on both sides of the ball.

“We kept our pads down today,” Trestman said. “Some of the mistakes we made [Monday], we corrected last night and we carried it over today and cleaned it up. I thought that was good.

“I thought our effort to the ball was very good, particularly in our defensive perimeter in the back end. You’re seeing Tim Jennings run all the way across the field to cover a run. You’re seeing Charles [Tillman] do the same thing. These guys have a plan. There’s no doubt about it. The guys who have been around here defensively have a plan.”

Defensive end Shea McClellin delivered the play of the day, leaping high at the line of scrimmage to intercept a Jay Cutler pass and then returning it for a touchdown.

Left tackle Jermon Bushrod participated in the entire practice after being limited Monday by a calf injury that sidelined him for a week. Tackle Jonathan Scott (knee) did not practice Tuesday after taking part in individual drills Monday.

Other Bears who remained sidelined included middle linebacker D.J. Williams (calf), nickel back Kelvin Hayden (hamstring) and receiver Earl Bennett, who continues to be evaluated for a concussion. Defensive end Julius Peppers was excused from practice.


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Shuffling linemen could pay off later

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 6, 2013 – 5:48 pm

Working their offensive linemen at different positions in training camp should benefit the Bears if they’re forced to make any changes up front during the season.

J’Marcus Webb and Eben Britton have played both tackle positions, Matt Slauson has lined up at both guard spots and center, and Kyle Long and James Brown have split first-team reps at right guard. About the only player who hasn’t moved around is veteran center Roberto Garza.

“Training camp is the time to get them playing multiple positions because you don’t want Week 5 to be the first time that somebody jumps into right guard or left guard,” said offensive coordinator/line coach Aaron Kromer. “Training camp is a time to move them around, get them a feel, understand the concepts of the plays and let them become a little bit comfortable while really trying to stick to a position that they’re going to be best at.”

With the Bears still having four preseason games to evaluate their players, Kromer isn’t concerned about the line not being able to develop cohesiveness at this point.

“It’ll start to form as we go,” Kromer said, “and part of that cohesiveness is when guys move around, it allows them to understand the total concept, that the guy next to them affects them. So when you move them, they become more knowledgeable of what’s going on.”


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Tipped passes don’t concern coach

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 6, 2013 – 5:12 pm

Jay Cutler had a handful of passes deflected at the line of scrimmage during 11-on-11 drills in Tuesday’s practice, but coach Marc Trestman wasn’t very concerned.

“The tipped balls, I don’t get too caught up in it right now because the pass rushers stop because they don’t want to get in the way and their hands go up or they jump up in the air for the ball,” Trestman said. “We try to discourage jumping up in the air for the ball so we can complete plays and let everybody go to the ball and finish. But we allow the guys to keep their hands up.

“The downside of that from an offensive side is when they stop their rush, which they normally don’t do, we lose the pass lane. Certainly we’re disappointed that we didn’t get the plays off. We hope it doesn’t carry over to the season. It usually doesn’t because those lanes are created.”

Defensive tackle Henry Melton deflected two passes that resulted in interceptions. He picked off one himself, while the other was hauled in by nickel back Isaiah Frey, ending a two-minute drill. Defensive end Shea McClellin also leaped high to intercept a Cutler pass at the line of scrimmage.

“Batted balls are a lot of things, but in practice we’re not going to try to, up front, knock the defensive linemen down when they bat a ball,” said offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. “One of our rules is really don’t bat a ball in practice. Guys get excited and they can’t help but put their hands up and swat them. You live with it and you go on to the next play.”


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