Mini-Camp Observations

It's difficult to tell what kind of year a team will have based off a three-day mini-camp, but there were several notes to come out of Halas Hall over the weekend. What players helped or hurt their cause?

  • WR Mark Bradley: The Bears are banking heavily on the fact that Bradley will be able to come off knee surgery and be the second option in the passing game. Although receivers coach Daryl Drake said he would have preferred Bradley stay off the field, the second year wideout looked good in practice and should be ready to go at full strength when training camp opens.

  • WR Airese Currie: The 2005 fifth round pick failed to play a down as a rookie because of injuries. Currie seems to be off to a similar start this season, as he missed the bulk of the practices with a sore quad. The injury isn't serious, but Currie needs to prove something to the coaching staff in order to make the team.

  • WR Rashied Davis: The transition back to offense will take time. The Bears are looking for a wideout to fill the slot, but Davis is a long shot to make the team unless he wins a return job. He's added 10 pounds of muscle in the off-season and is healthy after battling hand injuries all of last season. Still, he dropped a ball clearly in his hands and will need to improve quickly to stick around.

  • WR Reggie Harrell: A true unknown coming into mini-camp, Harrell made several nice receptions. While he's not a burner, at six-foot-3, 210-pounds he offers a solid target and could compete for the fifth receiver spot. However, many prospects have looked great without pads and then disappear once the hitting starts.

  • QB Brian Griese: Coming off knee surgery, Griese didn't have a lot of zip on his passes. His ball seems to float more than expected and allows defenders to catch-up to wideouts. A few more months of rehab could solve the issue.

  • P Joel Stelly: Brad Maynard is going to face his most serious challenge since coming to Chicago in 2001. Stelly has a strong leg and if he finds consistency in his game Maynard could become a surprise cut.

  • FB J.D. Runnels: Seems to be a natural pass catcher out of the backfield. The question is he a strong enough blocker to compete for the starting job, something that can't be answered until training camp. Bryan Johnson continues to be sidelined with foot problems so the fullback job is wide open.

  • MLB Brian Urlacher: The reigning Defensive Player of the Year is looking to get his hands on the ball more often in 2006. He has just one interception over the past three seasons, but closed mini-camp with an impressive pick similar to his interception of Jake Delhomme in the playoff loss to Carolina.

  • DB Dante Wesley: The six-foot-, 210-pound cornerback played the ball better than expected. Known as a special teams ace, he could challenge for playing time in the nickel package.

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