The bears took the field today for what would be the final day of not being in full pads, although you wouldn't know it. Today was highlighted by big hit after big hit, with all of them followed up with some trash talking or some type of energetic gesture. At the beginning of the practice it started like any other day… calm, mellow, both sides of the ball keeping to them selves. However this would change in a sequence that took place in a passing drill.
The drill pitted the wide receivers and quarterbacks against the secondary and linebackers. On one play Trent Shelton caught the ball and headed downfield, when tight end Jordan Adams put a blind sided block on linebacker Paul Howard that sent him flying into the defensive sideline. This put all players on both sides of the ball into frenzy. The offensive side going crazy and getting pumped to continue the momentum, and the defensive side of the ball vowing revenge and claiming the offense were marked men. The next plays that followed were all ending with big hits and energetic responses.
In team play, both sides of the ball were ready to out due each other when the whistle blew. The offense was able to get first blood when Dominque Ziegler caught a pass from Shawn Bell and then threw one of his own to Trent Shelton for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. However, the offense would not repeat this success as often as the scrimmage played out. The defense was able sniff out every reverse, screen pass or any other type of play. The play of linebackers Antonio Jones and Paul Tolbert was stellar, but the catalyst for the defense on this day would be M.T. Robinson. He was everywhere in the offense backfield and also showed excellent mobility by being able to run down the running backs on two different tosses. M.T. was able to grace the audience with the biggest hit of the day as well. On a receiver handoff to Andrew Heard, Robinson was able to fire into the backfield and meet Heard head on behind the line of scrimmage giving the spectators something to cheer about.
Even though it sounds like things got out of hand a little with the unnecessary hitting and talking between the sides, one can argue that this is exactly what the team needed. Today with the increased energy, both ends of the football showed unity and leadership. There was encouragement whenever a big time play was made. For the fans, they were able to see the best product that the players could deliver, because there was a sense of competition in the air today. It was apparent that the players wanted to give the opponent their best shot and were disappointed in themselves when a play didn't go their way. Hopefully the Bears will be able to build off the added energy that today produced and really have lights out practice tomorrow, which will be the first in full pads. Only time will tell if the offense and defense really did take strides today as a team or if it was just an unnecessary pier six brawl.
Special teams did some work and Daniel Sepulvada connected on some huge punts and the fun part is that he makes it look effortless.
G.J. Kinne was in attendance again looking on in some offensive drills.
Spring Practice Recap: 3/24
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