A Chance to Shine for Gilmore

Bourbonnais - John Gilmore has existed in relative obscurity in his three seasons with the Bears, but with injuries at tight end he's getting to work with the first team offense.

"As we went into camp the tight ends were really kind of grouped in a big bunch," said head coach Lovie Smith. "John is starting to make the move to stay up top."

In the run oriented offense of Ron Turner, Gilmore is the best blocking tight end on the roster.

"I take a lot of pride in it," Gilmore said. "I enjoy it. It's an attitude thing. You've got to go out there with attitude when it comes down to the blocking game and I think attitude supercedes technique in the long run, so it's something I enjoy doing. If I get a couple passes in, that's extra."

The question is he can be enough of an offensive threat to be an every down player. He has just 11 career receptions and just one in the past two seasons.

"I think I'm in a good situation with this offense," Gilmore said. "I think it's an offense that I'll be suited nice in. So I think it's a great opportunity."

Gilmore's lack of production isn't necessarily his fault. As a rookie, he showed that he has the ability to be a factor in the passing game. He caught averaged 13.0 yards on ten receptions.

At six-foot-5, 260 pounds Gilmore is never going to be an Antonio Gates type of tight end that will be able to beat safeties and linebacker down the seem of the field. Still he has good enough hands to make a catch in traffic, where his size can then make him a tough man to tackle.

Desmond Clark remains on the ???? with an ankle injury he suffered in May. Gilmore began his rise when Dustin Lyman missed time with a tweaked ankle. Now that Lyman is back they are both getting a chance to work with the first string offense.

"It's still a battle," Turner said of the competition. "Its' going to be a battle through these preseason games."

Something to Prove
Although the game will not count in the record book, don't expect either the Bears or the Dolphins to take Monday Night's contest lightly.

"We were 5-11 last year. We can't wait to get that bad taste out of our mouths," Smith said. "Every time you're competing you're trying to make a statement. We'll definitely be trying to do that and I'm sure they will too."

Limited Action
Mike Brown said he expects to be on the field for less than a quarter in the Hall of Fame Game. The safety has not been on the field since tearing his Achilles in Week 2 of last season. While Brown is excited about the regular season opener, he doesn't consider the match-up with the Miami Dolphins his true return.

"It's more like practice than a game," Brown said. "I'm one those guys that goes day by day, I'm trying to make it through practice."

Injury Update
Mark Bradley missed practice on Friday, as he is experiencing soreness in his left knee, which is the one that took a shot at the end of practice on Monday. According to Smith, Bradley should be ready to play on Monday.

Defensive lineman Israel Idonije had to leave practice with a muscle strain in his side. Tight end Gabe Reid sat out with a strained calf muscle.

Marc Colombo returned to practice after missing two days with a skin infection in his left knee.


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