The Chicago Bears this morning conducted the fifth practice of 2016 Training Camp.
The Monday crowd was larger than I expected, with fans three deep lining Field 3. Temperatures hovered in the low 80s throughout practice, with not a cloud in the sky. It was warm but not unbearable.
The following Bears did not practice:
Zach Miller (concussion protocol)
Kyle Long (calf)
Roy Robertson-Harris (heat illness)
Nick Kwiatkoski (shoulder)
The following players were limited:
Khari Lee (shoulder)
Terry Williams (shoulder)
Leonard Floyd (shoulder)
Kyle Fuller (ankle sprain)
The following Bears exited practice early:
Eddie Royal (concussion protocol)
Derek Keaton (leg)
Josh Bellamy (ankle)
Ben Braunecker (ankle)
Marquis Jackson (hamstring strain)
Day 5 Notebook
-During the first set of 7-on-7 drills, WR Alshon Jeffery ran 12-yard out route and easily beat CB Kyle Fuller out of his break. QB Jay Cutler fired a pass that hit Jeffery in the hands, yet the ball squirted through and fell incomplete.
I can honestly say this is the first uncontested pass I've seen Jeffery drop this year.
-A few plays later, Fuller redeemed himself. Jeffery ran a deep cross but Fuller stuck in his back pocket, then reached in front of the receiver to tip the ball in the air. The ball floated to S Harold Jones-Quartey for the interception.
This was an impressive play from Fuller because it came in man coverage, which has been his Achilles heel.
-With Zach Miller on the shelf, Tony Moeaki and Greg Scruggs split first-team reps at tight end.
-During team drills, WR Daniel Braverman ran a shallow cross and created immediate separation from CB Sherrick McManis. Braverman caught the pass in stride and turned up-field. McManis closed on the receiver, reached around his body and knocked the ball away. S Deon Bush recovered the fumble.
This might be the first bad snap for Braverman since joining the Bears. It was also a solid job by McManis to recover and still make a positive play.
-Today was the fifth straight day of practice in relentless heat, and things boiled over.
Early in the day, OLB Christian Jones pushed OT Adrian Bellard as the play was ending. This didn't sit well with G Ted Larsen, who attacked Jones immediately. This created one of the biggest player pileups in recent history.
Teammates came flying in from every side, with Willie Young doing his best Superman impression as he dove into the pile. After the smoke cleared, Young had Bellard pinned to the ground, while DL Mitch Unrein had Larsen in a choke hold a few feet away.
Later, WR Deonte Thompson and S Deon Bush got into a pushing match.
The final shoving match came following a catch in the right flat by TE Gannon Sinclair. S DeAndre Houston-Carson pushed Sinclair out of bounds after the catch. Unfortunately for Sinclair it was on the defensive side of the field, and S Harold Jones-Quartey put a hard shoulder into him on the sideline. Sinclair turned around and shoved HJQ, and was then pushed by half the secondary standing on the sidelines.
Tomorrow is an off day for the players and it couldn't come any sooner.
-On one of the early snaps in team drills, OLB Leonard Floyd flew right past RT John Kling for a sack. Floyd's quickness and speed-rush ability is definitely noticeable.
-The wide receivers and cornerbacks worked in 1-on-1 drills today. Here are some highlights:
Jeffery worked 15 yards up the field and broke toward the sideline. CB Tracy Porter slipped on the break and Jeffery was able to make the diving grab.
WR Josh Bellamy ran a 12-yard out route. McManis was in his pocket and knocked the pass away. Good play by McManis.
WR Kieren Duncan beat CB De'Vante Bausby on a deep fly route and made the over-the-shoulder catch for a touchdown. Duncan can fly.
Bellamy easily worked around Fuller at the line of scrimmage, as Fuller made no effort to reroute him off the snap. Bellamy then flew down the field and created three yards of separation. He made the deep catch for a 50-yard TD.
WR Marc Mariani worked over McManis on three different snaps.
Braverman ran a go route and beat CB Kevin Peterson. Braverman made the tough sideline grab for the TD.
WR B.J. Daniels elevated on a back-shoulder pass and climbed over Jones-Quartey to make a tough grab.
-While the CBs and WRs were battling, the interior players ran box run drills. Here are a few highlights:
DE Akiam Hicks easily worked past RT Bobby Massie and swallowed up RB Jeremy Langford three yards in the backfield. Hicks was pumped up after the play.
RB Ka'Deem Carey ran like a beast throughout the drill, pummeling defenders between the tackles.
On a gut run, RG Ted Larsen drove DL Donovan Williams six yards off the line of scrimmage.
On an off-tackle run, DL Jonathan Bullard shot the gap so quickly, he was on the quarterback before he could even make the handoff. Impressive.
ILB Jarrett Grace shot the gap from the backside and took down RB Senorise Perry at the line of scrimmage.
-Here is the first-team punt return unit (excluding gunners): Lamin Barrow, Christian Jones, Sam Acho, Jonathan Anderson, Chris Prosinski, Deon Bush, Jacquizz Rodgers, LS Patrick Scales, P Patrick O'Donnell.
Here is the gunner rotation: Sherrick McManis, De'Vante Bausby, Bryce Callahan, Jacoby Glenn, Brandon Boykin, Cameron Meredith, Darrin Peterson, Deiondre Hall.
-During team drills, OLB Lamarr Houston easily worked around LT Charles Leno for a sack. Up the middle, Hicks powered through a double team and cleaned up the sack.
Houston and Hicks have been borderline unstoppable since the pads came on.
-During 11-on-11s, LG Martin Wallace rode DL Ego Ferguson past the pocket, slowly working his body between the defender and the quarterback. As Ferguson tried to cut inside, Wallace dumped him to the turf.
Wallace hasn't stood out to this point but this was a very good snap for the third-yard player out of Temple.
-One of the best plays of the day came from the second-team offense. RB Ka'Deem Carey cleared from the backfield and ran a post corner route against ILB Jarrett Grace. Carey got a step and QB Brian Hoyer threw a beautiful pass over the top, hitting Carey in stride. Carey then made a quick cut inside and flew past S Chris Prosinski for the touchdown.
Hoyer had a great pass here but Carey's ability to track the over-the-shoulder deep ball, make the catch and then make a defender miss was even more impressive. Carey needs more plays like these to secure his spot on the 53-man roster.
-During team drills, the offense ran off-tackle left. DL Jonathan Bullard lined up B-gap on the backside but slid quickly down the line, cutting off G Dan Buccholz, who couldn't get out in front. Bullard closed laterally and tackled the ball carrier from behind.
Bullard's quickness and penetration ability is off the charts. He's 6-3 and 290 pounds but moves like a player much smaller.
-During an inside run, second-team C Cornelius Edison found ILB Jonathan Anderson and put him on his back.
Edison is a second-year player who has been pretty solid in camp to this point. He has good movement skills and decent power. He's worth watching as we move forward, especially if Hroniss Grasu struggles in the preseason.
-During live-contact run drills, one of the best run fills came from ILB John Timu. With RB Jordan Howard barreling up the B gap, Timu shot forward and stopped Howard in his tracks. The collision was massive.
Outside the team's starters, Timu is by far the best downhill inside linebacker on the team.
-In short-yardage situations, the Bears used a third inside linebacker, which today was Christian Jones.
1-on-1 Pass-Rush Drills
Here is each snap from 1-on-1 pass-rush drills today:
-OLB Willie Young goes right around TE Greg Scruggs for the sack.
-Scruggs squares up OLB Sam Acho and stymies him off the left edge.
-OLB Christian Jones rushed up the right edge but cuts inside and leaves RT Bobby Massie in his wake. Massie's feet were in quicksand.
-The next snap, Jones tries the same inside cut but Massie locks him up and stuffs him off the edge.
-DL Akiem Hicks drives RG Ted Larsen six yards deep into the QB for the sack.
-NT Eddie Goldman and C Hroniss Grasu have a stalemate after the snap. Ferguson is never able to get a hand on the QB. Good job by Grasu.
-DL Mitch Unrein uses a quick swim move and blows right past LG Cody Whitehair for the sack. Quick, impressive snap from Unrein. Whitehair continues to struggle.
-LT Charles Leno swallows up Acho off the left edge. Good punch, balance and hand positioning by Leno.
-Young uses a speed rush to go right around Massie for the sack. Young has been pretty impressive in both 1-on-1 and team drills this camp.
-Hicks uses a spin move against RG Donovan Williams. Williams shuffles his feet and is able to cut off the spin move but Hicks is just too strong and drive Williams into the QB.
-C Cornelius Edison slaps away NT Will Sutton's hands and drives his face into the dirt.
-LG Martin Wallace locks up Ferguson, who barely gets a hand on the QB. Good job by Wallace to never give up leverage.
-LT Nick Becton swallows up DE Marquis Jackson, who just gives up after Becton puts him in a bear hug.
-Jones flies right past Scruggs, who struggled in this drill.
-On the next snap, Acho uses an inside move and goes right past Scruggs. Sack.
-Acho uses another inside move, this time on RT Jason Weaver, which results in another sack.
-DE Cornelius Washington uses a quick spin move but G Dan Buchholz locks him up. Washington fights hard and eventually gets the sack, although it took over three seconds.
-DL Jonathan Bullard fires off the ball but Edison shifts backward and grabs Bullard by the shoulders, using his weight against him, and throws Bullard's face into the dirt. Great job by Edison to exploit Bullard's penetrative ability.