The bears began their practice under the lights in a short condensed version of practice. The team started out in individual drills to begin the night and no one was really standing out during them. As you looked around you were bound to see numerous coaches yelling to motivate the players to pick up the performance. This was foreshadowing of what the night would become as the performance was less than stellar. Both sides of the ball came out lethargic and neither really had any pop in their play during the practice. A few players strung out some good plays, but overall no one had a dominating performance to catch anyone's attention.
However if there was a leading candidate for a special performance on this night, it would have to be Nick Moore. This guy is just making plays plain and simple during scrimmaging. He will usually have a play that draws some oo's and ahh's from the crowd and then go unnoticed for a little while, and right as the offense starts to forget about him, he will burn them for a turnover or a big loss on a play. He has a great tendency to hit the point of attack hard and also has a unique ability to make quick reads on a spread offense. Along with fellow linebacker Moore, Paul Tolbert has made some big hits as well during the team scrimmages. He followed this reputation nicely Monday night as he delivered a huge hit on Cordney Smith. If there is one word to describe the linebackers so far it would be aggressive. While this sounds like a big compliment and sometimes it is, it can also serve as an Achilles' heel. It is noticeable during play that sometimes the linebackers will over pursue and get burned on trick plays and long passes. However, at least they are full throttle at all times and that's a trait you want your linebackers to possess.
In the battle of the trenches tonight neither side really separated themselves on the line of scrimmage. A few plays the defense would have a great rush to get to the quarterback and then the offensive line would recover nicely in the next few plays by getting a strong push and dominating the d-line. It is fair to say that both sides are improving as the spring goes on, but neither have garnered consistency yet. Jason Smith seems to have fit in nicely with his new position and showed that tonight. He was able to open a couple big holes for Jacoby Jones. On the defensive side, Julian Hill has really come on the last week and he was able to carry some of that momentum to make a few nice plays tonight; including a broken shuffle pass where he leveled the Mario Price before the ball got to him causing a turnover for Paul Howard to recover.
When the two sides began full team play both sides started out sloppy. There was a couple false starts, a couple blown coverages and some dropped passes to go along with the faults. Both sides of the ball were guilty and found themselves on the receiving end of some chewing out from coaches. Trent Shelton was able to kind of kick start the atmosphere as he made two really nice grabs from Shawn Bell, which allowed the offense to get in a little bit of a rhythm. Thomas White followed with a nice grab and then Dominique Zeigler had a couple ten yard out routes which gained first downs. However at the end of the night the offense was only able to complete one touchdown which came on the last play. Carl Sims was able to get by the defense as Josh Bell fell running with him and Sims made a 40 yd catch for the score.
Monday's Practice Pictures
Spring Practice Recap and Pics
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