First week of camp a success

The news from training camp on Friday centered on the return of running back <!--Default NodeId For Anthony Thomas is 741795,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:741795]>Anthony Thomas</A>, who had been sidelined for three days with back spasms. Thomas participated in most of the practice and seemed to be experiencing no ill effects from his earlier condition.

Head coach Dick Jauron and the Bears medical staff decided that Thomas was ready to rejoin the lineup and had suffered no permanent damage.

"I was glad to see him back on the field," Jauron said Friday. "Anthony got a clean bill of health this morning. Luckily, there were no repercussions as far as his level of play is concerned."

However, another medical issue surfaced midway though the morning practice session when rookie DE Michael Haynes left the field early with a slight limp.

"Michael tweaked his ankle a little bit," Jauron said. "We wanted him out so he could be checked. I really don't think that there is any cause for concern."

During his post practice press conference, Jauron gave a brief overview of the first full week of camp.

"You know the best thing about camp, It's the chance to get back to football," he said. "Somehow the offseason always feels incredibly long although in reality it's only a few months. I'm delighted to be back here in Bourbonnais and to have the chance to watch our guys play."

The team is now turning toward the first preseason game to be played in Champaign August 9 against the Indianapolis Colts.

"The whole purpose of training camp is to give us a chance to assess the skills of our players and to push them a little bit," Jauron said. "There's nobody here who couldn't improve to some degree. We don't want anybody to feel that this is all routine, or that it's unnecessary to put forth some effort. We need the best possible player at each position."

Jauron mentioned impressive play by WR Bobby Wade, CB Jerry Azumah, WR Ahmad Merritt and rookie RB Brock Forsey.

"I see some explosiveness there which will give us great potential for a variety of situations. Now we need to decide how to utilize these players to best serve the team's needs."

Moving on up
As a rookie Bobby Gray contributed more than any other draft pick, before going down for the season with a dislocated wrist in Week 3. Now he's healthy and looking to regain form.

"I'm back on the field at last and my wrist is feeling great," Gray said. "No player wants to miss most of his first season. I kept going to meetings, but not being out there with the guys was not the way I had planned things to be. The worst times were when I'd be at Halas Hall just watching as the team bus left without me on the way to a game.

Gray is working with the first team defense because Mike Green, the current starter at strong safety, left practice Thursday with a groin pull.

"Bobby was a player that jumped off tape at you when you studied him," Jauron said. "Those players don't come along that often-a player on tape that goes by his teammates to make a lot of hits, that wants to be in on the play, and that's what Bobby showed. That's why we wanted him last year in the draft."

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