Chicago Bears Training Camp Notebook: Day 8

We empty the notebook from the eighth practice of Chicago Bears 2016 Training Camp, a light session that featured strong linebacker play, the first interception of camp for Tracy Porter and much more.

The Chicago Bears this afternoon conducted the eight practice of 2016 Training Camp. 

Weather in Bourbonnais was overcast, drizzly and a relatively cool 75 degree. Despite the threat of rain, a large crowd showed up for Friday's practice. 

Former Bears WR Johnny Knox was in attendance. 


The following players did not practice: 

WR Eddie Royal (concussion)
WR Derek Keaton (knee)
TE Zach Miller (concussion)
TE Ben Braunecker (ankle)
OLB Roy Robertson-Harris (illness)
ILB Nick Kwiatkoski (hamstring) 
WR Alshon Jeffery (hamstring)
TE Greg Scruggs (lung)

The following Bears were limited today: 

OL Kyle Long (calf) 
TE Khari Lee (shoulder)
DL Marquis Jackson (hamstring)
DL Terry Williams (shoulder)
OL Adrian Bellard (knee)
OT Nick Becton (illness)
ILB Danny Trevathan (knee)

-Scruggs was in the hospital today after suffering a lung bruise yesterday, most likely when he was blindsided by Sam Acho running a crossing route in the end zone. 

"He’s actually in the hospital," head coach John Fox said. "He had a lung bruise but he should be dismissed today. They’re just in there for observations.”

-WR Kevin White was given the day off. 

"We do that periodically," Fox said. "We adjust the number of reps but that’s kind of the grind of camp.”

Day 8 Notebook

-RG Kyle Long did more team work today than he's done the past two days combined. He wasn't out there for every snap but he took well over 50 percent of the first-team reps. 

During 11-on-11 drills, two plays from Long stood out. The first was a zone run right in which Long cleared to the second level and tried to seal ILB John Timu inside. Timu extended his arms, then shot inside and underneath the block to make the tackle. 

On the next snap, Long again worked to the second level and this time locked up ILB Jarrett Grace. This time Long grabbed Grace, drove him five yards laterally and buried him to the turf. 

From what I can tell, Long is still not 100 percent. His calf injury isn't allowing him to anchor consistently, nor turn quickly enough to create proper angles on his blocks. He's getting there, as we saw on the pancake block against Grace, but he's clearly still recovering. 

Also, Timu continues to make plays, particularly against the run. 

-During team drills, WR Josh Bellamy ran an intermediate stop route and made a nice catch with CB Bryce Callahan wrapped around his waist. Bellamy has been working primarily with the first team the past few days and looks like he belongs with that group. 

"I think he’s improved his game," receivers coach Curtis Johnson said after practice. "I think he’s dropped a couple pounds and he’s really quick in and out of his breaks. I mean, he’s catching the ball really, really well. I thought in the spring he dropped a couple that he shouldn’t have, but now he’s really catching the ball well. He’s playing with some confidence."

-A few plays later, QB Jay Cutler was pressured on his drop back and had to step up in the pocket. He fired a quick pass to Bellamy on a deep cross but CB Tracy Porter read the play like a book, undercut the pass and picked off the ball for the interception. 

Cutler hasn't thrown many interceptions this camp and this might have been his worst ball of the past week. Yet Porter was in perfect position to take advantage of the errant pass. 

-During team drills, RG Ted Larsen cleared to the second level for ILB Jonathan Anderson. Anderson was able to easily work around the block before laying a big hit on RB Ka'Deem Carey. 

Anderson has been making plays with both the first and second team, and is also a core special teams player. He's a near lock to make the final 53-man roster. 

-One of the best blocks of the day came from TE Khari Lee, who drove DL Keith Browner seven yards off the line of scrimmage. Lee pushed Browner back so far that Anderson ended up getting tripped up as Lee drove Browner to the ground. 

In essence, Lee's dominant block took out two defenders. Lee made a good play as a receiver yesterday as well, so he's coming along and taking advantage of his opportunities with Zach Miller sidelined. 

-Here is the first-team kickoff unit: Bryce Callahan, Demontre Hurst, Sam Acho, Jonathan Anderson, Cornelius Washington, Chris Prosinski, Sherrick McManis, Lamin Barrow, Deiondre Hall, De'Vante Bausby. 

The Bears last conducted kickoff drills four practices ago. Since then, Derek Keaton, Jacoby Glenn and Josh Bellamy have been replaced by Washington, Callahan and Bausby. Most notable is Bausby, with his first appearance on a first-team special teams unit this camp. The 6-2 Bausby has been making plays at cornerback and is now getting important third-phase reps. It's clear he's climbing the depth chart. 

-During an 11-on-11 pass play, DE Mitch Unrein tried to use in inside swim move on LT Charle Leno. Leno shifted his hips inside and drove Unrein to the turf. It was an impressive block by Leno, whom offensive line coach Dave Magazu called one of the most underrated players on the roster. 

"I think he's so underrated that it's scary," Magazu said. "There's nothing wrong with being under the radar."

-RB Jeremy Langford ran a zone left run and as he hit the corner, Timu was there waiting for him. 

Langford then executed a wicked juke move that left Timu in his wake. I think Timu is still looking for his jock on the field. It was a very impressive 1-on-1 move by Langford, allowing him to pick up eight extra yards. 

-During team drills, Anderson blitzed right up the gut of the offensive line. LG Cody Whitehair, C Hroniss Grasu, RG Ted Larsen and RB Jeremy Langford all watched as Anderson went untouched for the sack. 

The middle of the offensive line - as well as Langford - has struggled on interior blitzes throughout the off-season. They were showing some improvement the past week but this play was downright pathetic. 

-Yesterday, S DeAndre Houston-Carson put a couple of good licks on ball carriers during live drills. 

Today, RB Jordan Howard hit the corner on a stretch run and turned upfield. Houston-Carson closed on him but Howard dropped his shoulder and ran right through the defender. This was our first glimpse at Howard's tackle-breaking potential. 

1-on-1 Pass-Rush Drills

-RT Bobby Massie is able to stay in front of two separate moves by OLB Christian Jones. Very good footwork and balance by Massie. 

-DE Cornelius Washington gains outside leverage on RG Kyle Long, who loses his footing at contact. Washington tries to work in the backfield but Long won't let go and drags him to the ground. Holding. 

-On the next snap, Washington smokes Long using a sick inside move. Sack. 

-C Hroniss Grasu stymies NT Eddie Goldman. Grasu is improving each day. 

-DE Mitch Unrein powers his way past LG Cody Whitehair. Sack. 

-Whitehair turns around and stuffs DE Ego Ferguson on a bull rush. 

-LT Charles Leno swallows up OLB Sam Acho on an inside rush. 

-NT Will Sutton explodes out of his stance and drives C Cornelius Edison backward and onto his butt. Sack. 

-G Martin Wallace rides Ferguson past the pocket. Good footwork by Wallace. 

-Leno is a brick wall against OLB Danny Mason's inside spin move. 

-Jones blows past RT Jason Weaver using an inside swim move. Sack. 

-On the next snap, Jones again shoots past Weaver, this time using an outside swim move. Sack. 


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