Forgotten Man

Bourbonnais - The Bears dished out a $30 million to bring WR Muhsin Muhammad to Chicago, but he's not the only receiver the team added in free agency.

When Eddie Berlin signed with the Bears the team talked about his special teams skills being the reason he would make the team, but over the first week of camp he's made several impressive receptions.

"Moose is obviously well-deserved of all the attention," Berlin said. "I'm kind of flying under the radar, which is kind of how I like it. Hopefully I can come in and contribute. I know they brought me in for special teams, so I just need to find a role on this team and help out."

Muhammad is the only proven receiver on the roster, which puts eight other wideouts in the same position of trying to standout above the competition.

Berlin isn't a physical specimen at five-foot-11, 195 pounds. Coming out of Northern Iowa he didn't possess sprinters speed, but was athletic enough to high jump nearly seven feet. Still has had to fight stereotypes in order to remain in the league after being a fifth round pick by the Titans in 2001.

"It's kind of funny. Any white guy, there's not a whole lot of us out there, so usually you get comparisons with the five other white guys in the NFL. I've heard Don Beebe, (Steve) Tasker, short little white guys. Tom Waddle."

Mr. Peanut
Charles Tillman believes Muhammad is giving him an education in how to become a shutdown cornerback. If that's the case, Tillman passed his first test on Wednesday.

During a red zone drill, Tillman stuck to Muhammad on a pattern that took them into the end zone. Rex Grossman went to Muhammad, but Tillman leapt and tipped the ball to himself. He was able to retain his balance and return the interception the length of the field with Grossman trying to chase him down.

"He runs real good routes so he keeps me on my toes because the slightest little error, he gets you on," Tillman said of Muhammad. "So my technique is improving through each practice, through each rep, every time we go."

Not to be outdone, Muhammad came up with a full extension grab over the middle during a two-minute drill.

"I think it's good when you have that kind of competition and you're going back and forth," Muhammad said. " We're competing to a very-high level and we're having fun doing it. I think we're making each other better."

Down & Out
Marcus Reese dislocated his left shoulder toward the end of the morning practice. The injury occurred when G Steve Edwards drove Reese to the ground following through on a block. Later in the day Reese had his shoulder stabilized by a harness and could miss two weeks.

Although the Bears have two Pro Bowl caliber linebackers in Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, the depth behind the starters is thin.

"We really need to find our depth," said head coach Lovie Smith "Of course Marcus was one of the guys that we were really banking on to come around this year along with Joe Odom, Rodriguez Wilson those guys have to step up."

Injury Update
Safety Jerrell Pippens returned to practice after missing two days with a case of turf toe. FB Marc Edwards sat out because of a tender hamstring, while reserve center A.J. Ricker missed practice with an ankle injury.


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