Day one in the books

New and old Bears came together at Halas Hall Friday, as the team opened a three-day mini-camp.

Kordell Stewart had a chance to lineup with his teammates for the first time since signing as a free agent in March. The Bears starting quarterback is still grasping the offense, but has been part of the team's offseason program since its inception on March 24.

"He's got a good deal of the offense," said Coach Dick Jauron of Stewart. "Mini-camp for Kordell and for our other veterans is a great introduction to one another. They have to get used to his voice in the huddle. He has to take control of the huddle."

Stewart spread the ball around to a variety of receivers during the morning drills including David Terrell, who has been working out in Florida.

Establishing a bond between Stewart and his new batch of receivers will be important because of the quarterback's scrambling ability.

"If he trusts his receivers and he's scrambling and sees us getting open he'll just put it up and if he sees double-teams he might have faith in me or Book (Marty Booker) to just go up and get the ball and he'll just put it up in double team," Terrell said. "It's up to him to put it up and us to go get it."

Since the Bears have two new quarterbacks in Stewart and first-round pick Rex Grossman they will take the bulk of the snaps during the mini-camp, while Chris Chandler and Cory Sauter will see minimal action.

Less than a week after being drafted, rookies are called upon to perform within the team's schemes.

"A lot of the heads were spinning because we don't have a lot of time to install," said Jauron. "So, we take it right on the field and this first weekend will be difficult and demanding on those young guys. But, that's part of the process too just to see how they deal with all the stuff that we pile on them and how they respond to it. But, it was really fun, really great to have them back."

The speed of the game is often the biggest adjustment for players jumping from the college game to the NFL level.

"The speed of the game is like they said it was, it's faster, and I'm just trying to take it all in and learn," said CB Charles Tillman, the Bears second-draft pick."

Injury Update
Dustin Lyman, Rex Tucker and Ted Washington all participated in the team's first workout of the day, but sat during the afternoon session.

Keith Traylor was not in attendance as he was excused to attend to an illness in the family. Jauron addressed the chance of Traylor being cut before the team goes to training camp.

"We plan on Keith being an integral part of our football team as he was the past two years," Jauron said. "Keith did an outstanding job in 2001 and again last year. In a dismal year Keith did a tremendous job."

Marc Colombo and John Davis didn't participate because of medical reasons. Colombo had a procedure to cleanup his healing knee, while Davis is still bothered by back problems that forced him to miss the end of the season.

Family affair
Casey Urlacher has been given an extended tryout with the Bears. He will need to impress the coaching staff over the three-day mini-camp in order to be signed.

"We know a good deal about Casey, but he's got to standout just like any of those other players do." Jauron said.

Bear Report Top Stories