Training Camp Report: Day 14

The biggest news of the day occurred before practice, when Obafemi Ayanbadejo was handed a four-game suspension by the NFL. On the field, Hunter Hillenmeyer returned to action after the previous day's sprained ankle, but Thursday evening's practice was mostly about the scout teams. BearReport.com had a front-row seat for all the action at Olivet Nazarene University and filed this report.

BLIPS, BLURBS & BLASTS
The Bears have two practices scheduled for Thursday, but for some reason, head coach Lovie Smith decides at the last minute that he does not want the media to have access at the first session. After walking all the way from Howe Hall to the practice field, we have to turn right back around as we essentially have our morning wasted. I highly doubt Smith converted the team to a 3-4 defense or installed the run-and-shoot on offense, but we still have no idea why Smith changed his mind so suddenly like that ...

Linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer's ankle injury obviously was no big deal just like he said it was considering he's back on the practice field the very next day. Fellow linebackers Brian Urlacher and Micheal Okwo are again out of action on Thursday night, which is now three days in a row for both of them with the proverbial "general soreness." Fullback Jon Goldsberry is watching from the sideline as he has pretty much since Day 1 in Bourbonnais, and rookie offensive tackle Aaron Brant is also being held back ...

Defensive tackle Tommie Harris is participating once again, but I can't remember the last time he actually finished a practice. He's been held out altogether several times since the team is being extra cautious with him coming back from last season's severe hamstring injury, but you have to wonder how healthy he truly is based on what we've seen in person every day. After positional drills and a few reps with the first team, Harris is back on the sideline with both of his knees heavily wrapped with ice. I'd be absolutely shocked if he suited up for Saturday's preseason opener at Houston, and I also doubt Urlacher will give it a go. Newly-acquired Darwin Walker has been getting a lot of snaps at the three-technique position, while Dusty Dvoracek has been exclusively at nose tackle ...

Fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo is having a rough day to say the least. First, the NFL announced that he has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season because he tested positive for a banned supplement. He'll still be eligible to compete the rest of training camp and in the exhibition games, but he can't even enter the team facility once the regular season begins and won't be allowed back until Oct. 1. If that wasn't bad enough, he and receiver Mike Hass accidentally collide running pass patterns from opposite sides of the field. While Hass appears to be fine, Ayanbadejo takes a few awkward steps before falling to the ground in obvious pain. He spends most of the rest of Thursday evening's practice on the sideline with his left knee wrapped in ice ...

Undrafted free agent receiver David Ball is also having a tough time today. Not only has he been somewhat of a disappointment in camp so far, but he just got yelled at by receivers coach Darryl Drake for running the wrong route in 7-on-7 goal line drills. With Ball split out wide to the right, quarterback Kyle Orton takes the snap and immediately looks to throw a quick slant his direction. The problem is, Ball runs a fade pattern instead and isn't even looking for the football. Orton shows his frustration and doesn't even get a throw off on the play, resulting in a likely sack had that occurred in an actual game ...

Perhaps the highlight of the day involves All-Pro center Olin Kreutz. As the first-team defense is lining up against the scout team offense in goal line drills, Kreutz lines up at tight end for one snap. Quarterback Chris Leak lobs a pass for him down the middle in the back of the end zone, but Kreutz is not able to reel it in and drops it just like receiver Drisan James would have ...

Speaking of Leak, he might be having his worst night of training camp so far which is really saying something considering how unimpressive he's been overall. First, safety Brandon McGowan intercepts him in the middle of the end zone during goal line drills. On the very next snap, linebacker Danny Verdun Wheeler picks him off at the plane of the end zone on a throw intended for tight end Fontel Mines. Then on the very last snap of the night, safety Tyler Everett again comes up with an INT of Leak in the end zone. A lot of Bears fans were hoping he could challenge Orton for the No. 3 QB job this season, but it hasn't even been close because the former Florida Gator looks nothing like an NFL signal-caller ...

There have been an exorbitant amount of dropped balls the last two practices or so, but the pass-catchers appear to have gotten that bug out of their collective system. Ball can't find the handle on one or two throws and looks nothing like the player that broke Jerry Rice's receiving records in college, and Mines also lets an easy pass from Orton hit the ground. Unfortunately for Leak, the defense is having a tremendous night catching passes for INTs – most of them are his ...

Dvoracek is sporting a new look this evening. He has a bandana rolled up and wrapped around his head, so he looks a little like Danielson in The Karate Kid standing on the sideline with his helmet off. Dvoracek has been given very little chance of winning the starting job next to his former Oklahoma teammate Tommie Harris since Walker was obtained in a trade, but he'll certainly be in the rotation up front and should get a long look on Saturday night against the Texans ...

I'm starting to feel bad for the people who came from all over creation just to be here and watch tonight's practice. Essentially, the first team offense has been facing the scout team defense most of the night, and it appears that the scout-teamers are pretty much letting the starters do whatever they want without putting up much of a fuss. On the other side of the ball, the starting defense has been facing the scout team offense the majority of the evening. At one point, the scout team offense faces the scout team defense, which elicits a fair share of yawns and ho-hums from the crowd on hand. I can understand Coach Smith wanting to take it easy on his money players two days before the first preseason game, but to tell the truth, it just looks like the Bears are disinterested and going through the motions tonight.

FYI: Friday's practice is simply a walk-through and will be closed to the media. The team flies to Houston late Friday afternoon ahead of Saturday's preseason opener against the Texans at Reliant Stadium.

QB Rex Grossman and RB Cedric Benson (M. Spencer Green /AP Photos)

NOTABLE QUOTABLES
FB Obafemi Ayanbadejo
On if this particular banned supplement is available over the counter:
"Yeah, it is. It's something you can buy at a Nutri-Sport, a GNC, something like that. There's a lot of things that are sold over the counter that fall into the NFL drug policy that are banned. And you would think someone like myself wouldn't end up in this perdicament, but I'm human. I'm not perfect. I make mistakes. It was just a bad case of not doing my homework and making sure that something I ingested wasn't going to get me in this kind of trouble."

On if he believes the NFL's policy is too strict when it comes to supplements:
"I believe that the lack of ability to disseminate someone's intent and what someone does [that] is actually wrong is rough. I think that the crimes don't always fit the punishment. But I understand that when you're policing the greatest game in the U.S., it's important and I kind of understand why it's that way."

Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo
On what it says about the Bears that they still gave his brother a chance:
"Well, it says a lot. It says that they're willing to risk they're name because they think my brother's a stand-up guy. I think the Bears realize that my brother made a mistake. He wasn't trying to cheat. It's just one of those things where he made a mistake, and also the supplement company didn't really list everything that was on the product. So my brother has some issues with them, as well. It shows a lot about the Bears. They're willing to take a risk on my brother. They know he's a stand-up guy, but they know there's going to be some backlash for what he did."

On if he's familiar with this supplement and if he's ever used it:
"No, I've never used it. I don't even know what it is."

Head coach Lovie Smith
On if he knows for sure if Tommie Harris and Brian Urlacher will play Saturday:
"For sure or not, we haven't made those decisions. We have a few thoughts in mind about who will play, playing time and all that. But we'll finalize that in the next day."

John Crist is the Editor in Chief of BearReport.com and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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