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Write Now Blog

Wootton striving to build on career year

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 14, 2013 – 12:25 pm

No Bears player will be happier to step on the field for Thursday night’s preseason game against the San Diego Chargers than defensive Corey Wootton.

After a strong start to training camp, the four-year veteran suffered minor hip and calf injuries that forced him to miss some practices and last Friday night’s preseason opener in Carolina.

“It’s definitely frustrating, especially the way I started the first two days and having to be out for some time,” Wootton said. “But it feels good now to be back out there and getting after it.”

After being selected by the Bears in the fourth round of the 2010 draft out of Northwestern, Wootton was slowed by injuries early in his career. But the 6-6, 270-pounder had a breakout season last year, playing in all 16 games for the first time with seven starts and recording seven sacks.

A year later, Wootton is competing for a starting defensive end position with 2012 first-round draft pick Shea McClellin, although both are expected to see considerable playing time regardless of who wins the job. Wootton also figures to get some reps at defensive tackle in passing situations like he did last season.

“The big thing is working on my hands and pad level every day,” Wootton said. “It’s a big thing for me, especially because I’m a tall guy. I’m just working on it every day and trying to be the best I can.”


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Wootton returns on limited basis

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 3, 2013 – 10:32 pm

Sidelined since “tweaking” his hip in Thursday’s practice, defensive end Corey Wootton participated in Saturday night’s Family Fest workout at Soldier Field on a limited basis.

“I’m feeling better,” said the four-year veteran from Northwestern. “I did individual [drills] today. I just kind of tweaked it. I’m just trying to get back in the swing of things. I’m trying to work through it, be smart at the same time and come back when I’m ready.”

After being slowed by injuries in his first two seasons with the Bears, Wootton had a breakout year in 2012, recording a career-high seven sacks while appearing in all 16 games with seven starts.

The 6-6, 270-pounder hopes to play in the Bears’ preseason opener next Friday night in Carolina.

“I’d definitely like to,” said Wootton, whose status remains day-to-day. “There’s still a lot more I want to prove out there. But the biggest thing is just to get healthy and be on the field.”


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Wootton exits practice with hip injury

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 1, 2013 – 2:09 pm

Bears defensive end Corey Wootton is day-to-day after leaving Thursday’s practice with a hip injury. He’s scheduled to undergo an MRI, but the injury is not believed to be serious.

Also sitting out Thursday were tackles Jermon Bushrod (calf) and Jonathan Scott (knee), middle linebacker D.J. Williams (calf) and defensive end Cheta Ozougwu (hamstring). Cornerback Tim Jennings was excused for personal reasons and linebacker Lance Briggs was given the day off to rest.

“We’re in a little bit of a ‘next-man’ situation,” said coach Marc Trestman. “We’ve got young guys that are moving into roles, where they’re playing around more experienced players.

“We have high expectations for them. We don’t have freshmen here and we don’t have guys being redshirted. Everybody has got to be ready to play and the guys know that. They’ve got to step it up and they’ve got to be around guys who can help them learn it. We think we’re getting that done.”

Trestman put an emphasis on special teams Thursday and was pleased with the results.

“Our second-level and back-end players, our linebackers and d-backs and our receivers did an outstanding job in individual drills,” Trestman said. “It was highly competitive. They made it very important. We want special teams certainly to be just as important as our offensive and defensive periods, and the level of effort was simply excellent.

“A lot of veterans in those groups working, a lot of guys who have been around here working hard and not only physically exerting themselves but there’s a lot of coaching going on by veterans to help these younger guys get ready. It was very evident to me out there today.”


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