Training Camp Report: Day 6

The Chicago Bears deserve a lot of credit on D for how well they've performed in training camp so far, but it's an easier assigment having to face what is now a very bad offensive football team. Bear Report had a front-row seat Monday for all the action in Bourbonnais and made these observations ...

Pick Six
To say the very least, Monday was not a quality day for Rex Grossman or Kyle Orton at the game's most important position, as both made mistake after mistake from start to finish. Grossman fumbled the snap from center not once but twice during 9-on-9 drills, and he also had a pass intercepted by rookie Zack Bowman on an overthrown fly pattern to Brandon Rideau down the left sideline. Orton didn't fair much better, getting picked by Corey Graham on a deep ball to Greg Olsen that was simply chucked into a crowd of defenders. Although Orton probably delivered the best pass of the day, a touchdown strike to Mark Bradley in the back-right corner of the end zone during red-zone 11-on-11. One of the fans in the stands was holding up a "Will QB for food or gas" sign, and it's possible general manager Jerry Angelo might give her a call based on what he saw on the field. ...

The only player who stood out offensively Monday was the newly-rich Devin Hester, who put on a show all day long. During positional drills, he slipped and fell on his rear running a hook pattern about 15 yards downfield, but he still managed to reach up and share a bullet of a pass from Grossman to the delight of everyone in attendance. Then during 11-on-11 in the red zone, he took an end around from Orton, out-ran his lead blocker Josh Beekman, and actually clipped fellow wide receiver Brandon Lloyd on his way to paydirt – Lloyd gripped him forearm in obvious pain for a short time, although he appeared to be fine later. ...

There were a lot of absentees Monday at defensive tackle, so third-round pick Marcus Harrison was running with the first team alongside Tommie Harris. Harrison has all the ability in the world, and he has a chance to be a good one since Harris will be the one commanding double teams on most every snap. He played Harris' three-technique position at Arkansas for the most part, but Harrison is big enough to play the nose in this league and probably offers more of a pass-rushing threat than the likes of Dusty Dvoracek or Anthony Adams. ...

There's simply no other way to describe it: the offensive line looks flat-out terrible. Olin Kreutz is a six-time Pro Bowler and first-rounder Chris Williams might be a great one as a rookie, but both of them are out of action right now and forced to watch helplessly as their fellow big uglies get their collective butt kicked on most every snap. Beekman and Terrence Metcalf were getting shoved all over the place by the likes of Harrison and Matt Toeaina, who might not even make the final 53-man roster, plus Metcalf and rookie Kirk Barton were grabbing pass-rushers by the facemask on more than one occasion. ...

Mark Anderson hasn't necessarily had a great camp and probably isn't happy that he was asked to give his starting job back to Alex Brown, but he was a force to be reckoned with Monday. He got tremendous penetration on John Tait in 11-on-11 and batted down a pass from Orton, and then he beat Barton a few snaps later to swat away a throw from Grossman. While Anderson continues to rely on speed and quickness alone to chase after the enemy quarterback, he's quite effective when he can get an offensive tackle off balance ...

As for the daily rookie report, Bowman's interception was particularly impressive because it looked like Grossman was simply trying to throw the ball away, but the young corner was still able to make the grab over his shoulder thanks to a burst of speed. Head coach Lovie Smith likes what he sees so far out of Harrison, who is an intimidating physical specimen and got a lot of work Monday with the starting defense. A lot of experts loved the Marcus Monk pick in Round 7, but the 6-4 target hasn't done much to distinguish himself just yet.


QB Rex Grossman
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

Injury Report
Kreutz (Achilles) and Williams (back) could return to action in the next day or two, as both of them were running on the side early in Monday's session. So too were rookie Chester Adams (stomach) and Kevin Jones (knee), who claims he'll be ready for the season opener but is probably destined for a six-week stint on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Dvoracek (calf) and Israel Idonije (knee) were innocent observers. Desmond Clark and Marty Booker received a veteran's day off and watched from the sideline. Adams and Charles Tillman were excused for personal reasons.

Stud of the Day
A pair of young cornerbacks, Graham and Bowman, looked very good in coverage most of the day and both registered an interception. It remains to be seen how much playing time they'll see on defense since Tillman and Nathan Vasher are locked up with long-term contracts, but Graham and Bowman have solid size and above-average speed – prerequisites for this version of the Cover-2 defense. If Danieal Manning doesn't start to play better, look for Graham to get a shot at nickelback before long.

Dud of the Day
Not that this comes as any sort of news flash, but the Monsters of the Midway are in trouble under center. Grossman and Orton have each gotten worse as camp has progressed, which is not a good sign since the defense is usually ahead of the offense this early in the year – it's the O that's supposed to get a little better each and every day as more of the playbook is installed. Snaps keep getting fumbled, passes keep getting picked off, and f-bombs keep getting dropped.

Quote to Note
"Again, an imposing figure, too. Good size, good height, good ability for a big man. He's another good player for us inside. We need guys like that. You can't ever have too many defensive linemen, especially inside. Being low in numbers a little bit today with Israel out and [also] Anthony Adams, we had a chance to let him go against some of our veterans. And he's holding his own." – Head coach Lovie Smith on rookie defensive tackle Marcus Harrison.

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.


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