Mini Camp Report: Sunday

The Monsters of the Midway wrapped up veteran mini camp on Sunday afternoon with temperatures about 40 degrees cooler than the day before. Lovie Smith was asked a very poignant question after practice: Did Rex Grossman have an especially bad day, or did Brian Urlacher just have an especially good day? BearReport.com had a front-row seat at Halas Hall and got to see all the action up close.

  • I've never suffered from sunburn and frostbite on the same day, but today might be the first time I experience that curious dichotomy. It was so incredibly warm and gorgeous Saturday, and I definitely got some sun on my face and arms from being outside at practice for a few hours. But today, it's quite literally cold, windy, and depressing. I know the weather is crazy unpredictable in Chicago, and I already hear it's supposed to be in the 70s and beautiful again come Monday. Not even Mother Nature knows what to expect in this town.

  • Rex Grossman has performed pretty well in mini camp so far, although he's hardly set the world afire. Sunday was definitely his toughest day, but it's hard to tell if he was having a rough go of it or if Brian Urlacher was just showing off some of his former Defensive MVP form. Urlacher intercepts Grossman on a seam pass intended for Cedric Benson in the early going, and he's able to to get his hands on two more throws later in the day to break up potential completions in the middle of the field.

  • Here's the biggest question that has come out of this weekend's mini camp, at least for me: Is David Ball this year's Mike Hass, or is Mike Hass last year's David Ball?

  • I hate to say it, but Muhsin Muhammad hasn't found a cure for his every-now-and-then case of the dropsies. He lets a few passes hit the ground today, and as you'd expect, they all hit him right in the hands. Grossman needs to start intentionally throwing behind him or a foot over his head because 'Moose' always comes down with the highlight-reel grabs.

  • New quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton is getting rave reviews so far. One of the things he likes to do during passing drills is mimic a defensive end's rush and force his QBs to move around in the pocket just a little bit in order to deliver their throws, even during routine warmups with wide receivers. I certainly never saw Wade Wilson do anything like that, so hopefully these fresh ideas will help improve Grossman's below-average footwork.

  • Rashied Davis, who is looking much more comfortable as an NFL receiver so far in mini camp, just delivered one of the best plays of the weekend. With Danieal Manning in coverage on a post pattern down the field, Davis somehow comes up with a circus catch from Grossman for a big-gainer despite the fact that Manning had pretty good coverage and has a distinct size advantage. Davis will feel the push for playing time from Devin Hester on offense, but he's responding in the early going.

  • Tommie Harris looks nothing short of miserable watching practice over by the water coolers, sticking his hands down his pants in a futile effort to stay warm.

  • Undrafted free agent receiver Drisan James has had a lot of balls thrown his way today, and although he drops one sure completion along the right sideline, he's looked pretty good for the most part. It will take an incredible training camp performance for him to make this team, but he seems like a fine candidate for the practice squad this season. There's no telling how much longer Muhammad will be wearing a Bears uniform, and don't forget that Bernard Berrian is a free agent after this year.

  • Hass, another below-the-radar receiver, has been one of Sunday's stars and is catching everything thrown his way. Like Brandon Rideau, spending last season on the practice squad seems to have served him well, but he's still buried deep down on the depth chart and will have to blow the coaches away in Bourbonnais in order to stick around. I don't know if he has the tools to be an NFL wideout, but he's got pillow-soft hands, that's for sure.

  • That play right there is why having Hester in the mix could make all the difference for this offense. Benson just faked Ricky Manning Jr. out of his jockstrap at the line of scrimmage and ripped a long run up the middle. Manning froze initially because Hester came in motion on the play and faked an end-around from Grossman after Benson got the handoff. That split-second hesitation from Manning was all it took for Benson to blow past him and into the secondary with a full head of steam. Just having Hester on the field more often is going to be fun to watch, no question about it.

The Bears finish up their stretching exercises and break off for positional drills

LB Brian Urlacher
On how Jamar Williams has looked in place of Lance Briggs:
"Jamar's great. He's done a good job. He's moving around well. He's recovered from his pectoral injury. He's fast. He's learning the defense pretty well. He's got to get some experience on the field. That's the only thing he's missing right now."

LB Jamar Williams
On taking the place of Briggs and all the attention he's now getting:
"The Briggs situation has been unfortunate, but we all understand that every player is out to get the deal that is ultimately best for him. I don't think any less of him for that. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself on all of this. So much is unresolved. Instead, I concentrate on what I need to bring to the field each day. If I learn something, if I can improve, then I'm satisfied. If he returns to the team, then that's fine. If he doesn't come back, my job is to be ready to contribute as much as I can to the position."

LB Darrell McClover
On how he's handling the Briggs questions and his increased playing time:
"I'm enjoying the opportunity this year to get a little more time working out with the first team. It's way too early to see where this whole thing with Lance will end up, but I see it as my job and my responsibility to be prepared for however the coaches plan to use me. I've had time since last year to understand the Bears' system, and I feel that I'm ready to build on what I've learned already. I come in here every day just wanting to improve myself. I want to be noticeably better every day I'm out here."

S Adam Archuleta
On how he feels in a Bears uniform so far:
"Chicago is going to be a good fit for me. I feel this is a place where I can maximize my talent and put it to good use in the secondary. I don't expect anything to be handed to me, but I do expect to be very competitive. It's not that I have anything to prove, though some people might suggest that. It's just that I want to do my best all of the time I'm on the field."

Head coach Lovie Smith
On if Brian Urlacher had a good day or Rex Grossman just had a bad day:
"I saw Brian Urlacher having an excellent day, and I saw Rex Grossman having an excellent day. That's how you always see it in me."

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and Editor in Chief of BearReport.com. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

Bear Report Top Stories