Taking It Up A Notch

Bourbonnais - With one week of practices down, several players are standing up to the level of competition. Here are five names on offense to keep an on eye as training camp progresses.

Terrence Metcalf
He came to Bourbonnais as the starting right guard. In order to keep the job, he has to continue to play the way he has in practice. On multiple occasions during one-on-one pass rush drills he stood up defensive tackle Tommie Harris.

"Metcalf's a good offensive lineman, real good," Harris said. "A very solid athlete and a guy that I love working against. I get better every day going against him."

Mark Bradley
According to receivers coach Daryl Drake, Bradley has caught more balls in practice than any other wideout. Coming into camp, the second round pick had been branded with a reputation for fighting the ball. However, he's starting to show up on consistent basis.

"Mark Bradley might end up being the guy (to start opposite Muhsin Muhammad), if he continues to improve," Drake said.

Keith (Thump) Belton
He's a relative unknown and still would be if it weren't for a rash of injuries at fullback. He has taken the majority of reps with the first team offense. He has soft hands and the ability bring the wood as a blocker. Bryan Johnson is clearly the starter when healthy, but until then Belton is taking advantage of the opportunity.

"I'm pleasantly surprised," said running backs coach Tim Spencer. "In spring ball you really can't tell because you don't have the pads on, but he's done a good job of things we've asked him to do and I like what I see."

Ron Johnson
He has been playing tight end for a few months and still might be the best option the team currently has at the position. He is able to make himself available in the passing game because of his instincts as a converted wide receiver. While he may not be an every down option because he's limited as a blocker, if he produces it will be difficult to give up on a potential diamond in the rough.

"We definitely think he has the capacity to play some tight end for us and also running back," said head coach Lovie Smith.

"We're trying to get him involved as much as possible."

Eddie Berlin
Although the Bears went after Berlin because of his ability as a special teams contributor, he has made several impressive receptions. They have come primarily against the bottom half the secondary, but knowing that he can be a factor on offense is an added bonus the Bears weren't expecting.

"Eddie has done some really good things, made some great catches and is doing a lot better now than he was in the OTAs," said offensive coordinator Ron Turner. "I think he's more comfortable."

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