Gilmore flashes impressive ability

The Bears have four tight ends that could make an NFL roster, so the position will be one of strong competition in training camp. Although, Desmond Clark is the starter the battle for the backup roles is far from decided.

Midway through last year John Gilmore came off the practice squad and started the final four games of the season at tight end. Coming out of Penn State Gilmore had a reputation for being a blocking tight end, but he showed that he could do more than that last year as he caught ten balls for an average of 13 yards per reception over the final month of the season.

In order to get the ball thrown his way, Gilmore has had to fight the label of being a one-dimensional tight end.

"I've always been labeled as a blocking tight end," Gilmore said. "I really don't know where or when I got that label, but I always felt I could catch the ball well. I know there is definitely some things I need to improve on in my passing game but as far as catching the ball I'm sure I can do it pretty well."

The Bears deemed Gilmore not ready to be a fulltime player, so in the offseason they signed Desmond Clark to be the starter.

Still, Gilmore could be the team's backup tight end and more, if keeps making catches as he has in this week's practices. The 6'3 265 pounder went up for a ball in the back of the end zone. The high throw glanced off his hands and popped in the air, but Gilmore juggled it until he came to the ground with the ball in his hands.

"I don't think you can ever do enough to impress the coaches," Gilmore said. "I did some good things (last year). I did some bad things. I know there are some things I need to improve on, but as far as my play last year I feel like I opened their eyes a little bit. At least I showed that ‘this guy can possibly be a player for us.' I'm in a good position where they're going to take notice and the rest is in my hands.

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