It’s hard to get overly excited about dudes practicing football in shorts in May, but the Bears first offseason mini-camp offered a lot for Bears fans to digest.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights:
Julius Peppers lined up at both defensive end spots and scared the Bears tackles into a couple of false starts.
Brian Urlacher returned to the football field for the first time since breaking his wrist in last year’s season opener. No. 54 intercepted a Cutler pass in 7-on-7 drills Friday morning. Take that, Gale Sayers.
After struggling to coax quotes out of Lovie Smith’s mouth for 6 years, the poor Chicago media finally has a headline-generating personality in Mike Martz. It’s only May, but Martz is already dishing out some zingers:
- On what fans can expect from his offense: “Get there early. Don’t miss the first play. We’ll play fast and we’ll attack as much as we can.”
- On Devin Hester’s role in the offense: “I think he’s an elite wide receiver. There’s no question about that. We’ve got all kinds of new things for him. We’re moving him all over. You’ll see him line up anywhere. Shoot, he might line up as a tight end occasionally, who knows?”
- Martz on rookie QB Dan LeFevour: “He’s lucky to find the huddle from the sideline right now, so that’s kind of the way it goes really…but he’s very promising.”
Injured folks not participating included Olin Kreutz, Brandon Manumaleuna and Brad Maynard. Not surprisingly, Tommie Harris was held out of several practices for precautionary reasons.
As of May, it appears the Bears starting WRs – when they go with a traditional two-WR formation – will be Hester (Z or flanker) and Johnny Knox (X receiver). And Martz doesn’t want them learning other positions. “Our two starters don’t learn anything else but what they have. We want them to be as good as they can.”
Cornerback Zack Bowman had 3 INTs over the 3-day practices.
The Bears wore 99 decals on the back of their helmets to honor Gaines Adams, who passed away in January due to cardiac arrest. Marcus Harrison switched his jersey to #99 in honor of Adams, who he had become friends with when Adams joined the Bears.
Charles Tillman opened practices with the 2nd defensive unit, likely because Lovie was trying to send him a message for missing some ‘voluntary’ activities leading up to this weekend. Not surprisingly, Peanut was back with the starters later that day, where he was paired with Bowman.