One month to go

The Bears are due to report for training camp at Olivet Nazarene University on July 25. Between now and then the players have time to rest before the start of the season. However, Bears management has work ahead of them.

The Bears have a recent history of not getting their first-round draft picks into camp on time. Of their last four top choices three have held out. Curtis Enis, Cade McNown and David Terrell all missed practice time, while contracts were being negotiated. Enis is out of football and McNown has since been traded twice, while Terrell had an average rookie season. Brian Urlacher was the only first rounder ready to go when camp started.

Obviously, being in camp on time helps in several ways. It's a bonding experience for a team, especially for rookies, who are still getting to know teammates. It's educational for players learning a new system. Last year Terrell missed about of week of camp, which may have helped him learn the "X" receiver position. So, when Marcus Robinson went down he could have filled in, but the coaching staff didn't feel comfortable with him there because he didn't have enough snaps.

This year Marc Colombo comes to the Bears with less fanfare then previous choices. It's part of the territory for an offensive lineman, but still getting a contract done early is critical. Colombo is still adjusting to the left tackle position as he played almost exclusively at right tackle during his time at Boston College.

Colombo is behind Bernard Robertson on the depth chart at this point, but a lot can change once the team reports to Bourbonnais. Last year Rex Tucker found himself in a battle for a starting job with Jerry Wisne. Tucker emerged in August and in the end Wisne was released.

Colombo's agent, Ken Kremer, met with general manager Jerry Angelo in late May and the sides are expected to begin negotiations on a contract in early July.

Currently only two first-round picks have agreed to terms, Houston's David Carr, the No. 1 pick, and New York Jets defensive end Bryan Thomas, the 22nd pick.

Marc Colombo has a month to digest what he's learned before the Bears can get a good idea of what they have in their first-round draft pick.

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