Where can I start? We were on a short field today. We ran mostly all red zone work today. I think the guys are excited, I think we all are excited to get a practice road game, get practice going on a road game, playing a preseason on the road at night in a great environment to learn more about ourselves as a football team. I think the guys are aware of the matchups, particularly that are going to be there in the first half. Two teams that like football. I think we all are excited to see what happens and we're not going to take too much out of it one way or the other but we certainly are going to be competitive with a highly competitive team. And it will be fun to see what happens.
You know this is the first day. He just got work in individual, so I haven't even talked to the trainers about that one.
Jay will work certainly into the second quarter and we'll make a decision during the second quarter what we're going to do: through it or are we going to go through halftime and then bring him out in the third quarter. That will be dependent on a number of different things. And then after that we'll have Jordan, so expect Jordan to play the third quarter and Jimmy to play the fourth. We'll continue to rotate these guys around. We've got another week after this one and that's the way we'll operate this week.
Today you saw Ryan was out. We worked all the guys in. Chris got a bunch of work back there as well. And we'll make a decision on the other aspects of how we're going to play them by the end of the day and into tomorrow. But we'll rotate them around and still keep working this process of figuring out who they're going to be.
ANYTHING TELL YOU KYLE LONG IS A SECOND-YEAR PLAYER OPPOSED TO A ROOKIE?I don't know that I look at anybody that way.
Quite honestly, we watch them every day. The 35-year-old Garzas are working the same as the first-year guys that are just working fundamentals and techniques and trying to get better. Kyle has played 16 games. He's got a lot more experience than he did a year ago. And I'm sure he'll tell you that he's got a lot to learn but we all do. So I don't know if I can answer it any better than that.
WHAT ENCOURAGES YOU MOST ABOUT CHRIS CONTE’S PROGRESSION?
Just having him out here, having him working. He's had a good week of practice. He's running around. He's involved in terms of what we're doing. So we'll see. He's going to play. It looks certainly that he's going to play. And we haven't decided how much yet. But he'll be out there and he'll be competing and he's back in it to try to show us what he can do and we're excited to have him back.
I really don’t know. I’d like him to dress. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him and where he is. As I said yesterday, we want to get him in there as quickly as possible. We also want to respect him and do the right thing. We don’t want to put him in a position where he can hurt himself or hurt our football team. We’ll have that talk, I’ll talk to Mike Groh about it and I’ll talk to Santonio about it and see how he feels about getting some playing time on Friday night.
WILL PALMER/CLAUSEN BATTLE FOR NO. 2 COME DOWN TO CLEVELAND?
It’s a great question that I’m not going to answer right now. It’s certainly a good question, Rich. We know we’re going to have to find some way to play them, but we just decided to rotate them this time. Jimmy had the first shot last week and we flipped it and we’re giving Jordan the shot this week, and we’ll see how that evolves through next week and into the game in Cleveland.
HOW FAR HAS ALSHON JEFFERY COME?
I think part of it is the chemistry he has with this team. His work ethic hasn’t changed – that’s a good sign to be able to stack a good year on a good year. He’s done it for one year, he knows he’s got to prove himself, he’s got to stack years and years together to be a great player like Brandon has. I think he’s certainly confident he can do it, he knows he can compete at this level and compete at a high level, and he’s confident in his team and the guys around him and the offense. We’re excited to see where he goes with this as well. That’s really all there is with him. It’s just one day at a time. If you could see him work here on a daily basis, he’s doing all the right things to put another good year together.
DOES BACKUP QB COMPETITION AFFECT CUTLER’S WORK?
Jay got the work he needed. He practiced in almost a season-like progression this week. He got nearly 30 reps a day, which is consistent with what we give him during the season, and then we split up the reps with the other guys.
HOW ABOUT IN THE GAME?
He’s certainly gotten more reps this week, he got reps of a guy who would play four quarters, so he’s certainly had more than enough. Maybe I didn’t answer your question.
He’s practiced this week and should be ready to play.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO SEE FROM WILLIAMS?
We need to see him be productive. He was when he was playing the last time as a receiver, he made some plays, and he was productive in practice. We want to see that certainly come into play again on Friday night. Hopefully we’ll give him an opportunity to get a couple returns and see what he can do with the ball in his hands as well.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.