To the surprise – OK, shock – of everybody on hand Wednesday, Brian Urlacher was unexpectedly in attendance and went through the entire session from his middle linebacker position. And as expected, Urlacher trotted off the field following practice without speaking to reporters, so we have no initial indication as to why exactly he decided to show up after being so steadfast in his stance to skip any and all voluntary workouts. However, it's reasonable to assume that some sort of agreement with regard to his contract situation is imminent, as the team usually does not negotiate with players unless they are on the reservation. ...
It's possible that the quarterback derby between Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton, which was supposed to bring out the best in both of them because of the vacancy at the top of the depth chart, is actually making them worse instead of better. Neither Grossman nor Orton has performed particularly well since minicamp, when the not-so-dynamic duo took turns firing interceptions. Grossman was picked off Wednesday by Charles Tillman, although it looked like Mike Hass ran the wrong route, and Orton somehow had a quick out to Kellen Davis wind up in the mitts of undrafted free agent defensive end Nick Osborn, who had dropped into coverage. ...
Rookie Matt Forte got almost all the reps with the first team Wednesday, as the offense continues to move ahead without Cedric Benson. Forte is most impressive as a receiver right now, and we'll get a better look at him running the ball once they finally put the pads on in Bourbonnais. Garrett Wolfe had a pretty good day with the increased reps he got, especially catching passes out of the backfield and making plays in open space. ...
Brandon Lloyd continues to look like the best wideout on the field every day, but it was Marty Booker who was making plays in the passing game Wednesday. Booker made one particularly tough catch over the middle on a pass that was a foot and a half behind him, and he also blew past both Tillman and Brandon McGowan to reel in a fly pattern from Grossman. He walks around between plays like he's 90 years old, but apparently he did that back when he was a rookie, too. ...
WR Devin Hester
Warren Wimmer Photo
Bears fans have another reason to be excited, as Devin Hester was lined up at tailback for a few snaps Wednesday. The only play he ran was the toss sweep to either side, but that's certainly a wrinkle offensive coordinator Ron Turner would be wise to work into the game plan – even if Hester is only used as a decoy. That being said, imagine the mismatch Hester could create if he ever ran a wheel route out of the backfield and got matched up with a linebacker. ...
Marcus Robinson retired as a Bear on Wednesday, ending his career with 325 receptions for 4,699 yards and 43 touchdowns. He was simply incredible for the Midway Monsters in 1999 when he put up 85 catches for 1,400 yards and 9 TDs, but he was never quite the same after that as injuries plagued the rest of his time in Chicago. During his press conference Wednesday at Halas Hall, he made some comments that don't bode well for the Grossman-and-Orton situation:
"I think that as I went to a different team and played with a different quarterback, the best quarterback I played with was Daunte Culpepper by far. To be able to have that – where you can talk to a guy, he can talk to you, you kind of feel each other out instead of you going back and forth with different quarterbacks – I think that is a huge key for a receiver and quarterback."
Adrian Peterson had an appendectomy Tuesday night and will miss the rest of the offseason program in all likelihood, but he should be back to 100 percent by training camp. Mark Bradley was the only player in attendance who did not participate in drills, although Lance Briggs, Ricky Manning Jr., and Brad Maynard where nowhere to be found. Hunter Hillenmeyer, Israel Idonije, and Patrick Mannelly were all there after being absent Monday, and Trumaine McBride was back in action after missing Monday's workout with an undisclosed minor leg injury.
Stud of the Day
Good for the Bears getting Briggs at a bargain-basement price this offseason, but it's just a shame there's no room for Jamar Williams in the starting lineup. While he's ready to be a full-time defender for just about any team in this league, he'll simply be the primary backup at all three linebacker positions for this defense in addition to his strong work on special teams. But if something goes wrong with the Urlacher-Briggs-Hillenmeyer trio, Williams can step in at any spot and perform right away.
Dud of the Day
Hass did not have a very good day, and he may be coming to the realization that his window of opportunity in the Windy City is closing in a hurry. Not only did he have that miscommunication with Grossman which resulted in an easy INT for Tillman, but he doesn't look to be better than either of the rookies, Earl Bennett and Marcus Monk, at this point. Putting Hass on the practice squad again makes little sense, so he could be looking for work before too long.
Quote to Note
"I can't speak for what he was thinking and what he was feeling. Obviously, I'm saddened and disappointed that it did happen to him and that we had to let him go. Because I've kind of been in a little situation before, where you want things to happen for an individual that's had a little difficulty and it hasn't gone right. As a coach, you really can't control everything. All you can do is tell them what they should and shouldn't do and hope they do it." – Running backs coach Tim Spencer on comparing Cedric Benson to Maurice Clarett, whom he coached at Ohio State.
John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.