First-round draft pick Chris Williams agreed to terms on a five-year deal only two hours or so before Wednesday's training camp-opening workout, but that news won't be the lead story in Thursday's newspapers thanks to the Hester dilemma. Williams was asked after practice why it took him so long to sign on the dotted line, but he simply highlighted the fact that he is here on time and won't have any excuse for not making an immediate impact up front. John St. Clair is still running with the starting offense, although it's just a matter of time before Williams gets the nod. ...
Head coach Lovie Smith begged members of the press after practice Wednesday not to ask about the quarterback derby between Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton each and every day, but that doesn't mean we can't report on their daily duel right here at BearReport.com – and, of course, we will. Grossman started off poorly and also ended poorly, missing receivers with erratic passes and looking genuinely confused on more than one occasion. However, he delivered the highlight of the day by connecting with Marty Booker on a fly pattern deep down the right sideline despite pretty good coverage from Corey Graham, and Booker even made the catch one-handed. Orton, as we've come to expect, took fewer long chances, but he did hit a big one down the middle thanks to an acrobatic grab from rookie Earl Bennett. On the downside, Orton did fumble one snap and also misfired on a handful of low-percentage throws. ...
One of the most dazzling draftees on Day 1 was fifth-round tight end Kellen Davis, who made a couple of tough catches downfield in heavy traffic. This offense needs a third tight end that can block in short-yardage and goal-line situations, and Davis is yet to prove he can be that guy. But he's a giant running through the secondary and has great athleticism at 6-6.5 and 262 pounds, so he has a chance to turn into a dangerous red-zone target one of these days. ...
With Charles Tillman excused from Wednesday's practice for personal reasons, Graham worked with the first unit at left cornerback opposite Nathan Vasher. The offense took notice right away, as passes thrown Graham's direction outnumbered those headed in Vasher's vicinity by at least three to one. Graham is clearly ahead of fellow second-year pro Trumaine McBride on the depth chart, even though it was McBride who started nine games as a rookie. ...
The defense didn't make too many big plays as a whole, coming up with just one interception Wednesday when Vasher got the best of Grossman early on in 7-on-7 action. Anthony Adams continues to play well at nose tackle, even though it seems like the organization always has somebody else in mind to start alongside Pro Bowler Tommie Harris. And it's apparently a done deal that Israel Idonije is indeed making a permanent move to the inside, which is a good thing since this team was accepting applications for defensive tackles at team headquarters in Lake Forest toward the end of last season.
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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.
Training Camp Report: Day 1
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