Training Camp Report: Day 7

This is what the Chicago Bears had in mind. After a terrible display of offense Monday, both QBs looked solid Tuesday and moved the ball well against what is shaping up to be a top defense again. Bear Report had a front-row seat Tuesday for all the action in Bourbonnais and made these observations ...

Pick Six
The Monsters of the Midway may have set back offensive football about 50 years in Monday's practice, but both Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton obviously came to work Tuesday determined to put that nightmarish performance behind them. Grossman ran the first team, and he completed 17 of 20 passes without an interception. His best throw of the day came during goal-line drills, when he orchestrated a beautiful play-action fake and hit Desmond Clark in the back-left corner of the end zone behind Lance Briggs. Orton also threw the ball tremendously well, hitting on 16 of 19 throws and a near-perfect 10 of 11 in 11-on-11 action. He was picked off twice, but he also delivered touchdown strikes to Mark Bradley and Kellen Davis through heavy traffic over the middle during red-zone practice. ...

Olin Kreutz was finally activated off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and participated in Tuesday's session, and his arrival didn't come a minute too soon. Almost instantly, the offense went through 11-on-11 with much more attitude and aggressiveness, probably because Kreutz was sick and tired of watching the defense dominate when he was out of action. While Josh Beekman has to shout "Huddle!" before every snap so his offensive mates know where to gather, Kreutz doesn't have to because everybody knows where he's going to be. ...

Just seven days into training camp and with two practices on the schedule for Wednesday, many of the players looked like they were going through their positional drills with heavy legs already. The receivers are starting to drop more passes than they were early on in training camp, as Brandon Lloyd was guilty once and Devin Hester actually let two hit the turf in the span of three reps. Darling rookie Earl Bennett couldn't handle a punt during special teams work, but that shouldn't come as a surprise since he has no business being back there – he wasn't even a return man in college, so why the Bears have him fielding punts is a mystery. ...

The Bears mercifully put an end to the Nick Hill era, as the undrafted free agent quarterback was waived before Tuesday's practice. The former Southern Illinois signal-caller didn't impress at either rookie minicamp or OTAs at Halas Hall, so it was a miracle he got an invitation to Bourbonnais in the first place. Caleb Hanie, another undrafted free agent QB, is now all by himself at No. 3 on the depth chart, and while he's looked pretty good, he's there more because Hill was simply terrible as opposed to his own stellar play. ...

One of the most fun-to-watch periods Tuesday was 3rd-and-1 practice, and the offense emerged victorious more often that not – both the first and second unit. Rookie Matt Forte showed the power to bang between the tackles as well as the speed to make a play on the edge, outracing Briggs around the left side to move the chains and getting an f-bomb out of the Pro Bowler as a result. A few snaps later, Orton hit Fontel Mines on a flag route for about a 20-yard gain on Kevin Payne thanks to some solid play-action at the line of scrimmage. ...

Everybody always wants to know how the rookies are doing each and every day, and fifth-rounder Zack Bowman just keeps making plays over and over again. He came up with the most amazing interception of training camp thus far, a leaping-and-tumbling effort in the back-right corner of the end zone to take an Orton pass away from Mines. Forte was quite impressive once again and is clearly a better every-down option than Adrian Peterson right now, although he did drop a pass in the flat from Grossman near the goal line in 7-on-7 – he may have heard some footsteps from Brian Urlacher.


QB Caleb Hanie
Warren Wimmer Photography

Injury Report
You can add another name to the list of injured players, as Dan Bazuin watched Tuesday's practice from the sideline. Bazuin missed all of last season with a bum knee, so the last thing he needs is for that problem to flare up again because he's already swimming dangerously close to bust waters as a second-year second-round pick. Chester Adams (stomach), Dusty Dvoracek (calf), Kevin Jones (knee), and Chris Williams (back) continue to be held out of action. Charles Tillman was once again an excused absence. Anthony Adams, however, was back in the mix after being excused Monday for personal reasons.

Stud of the Day
You have to give both Grossman and Orton a lot of credit for the way they threw the football Tuesday, especially considering the fact that their confidence could have been shattered after Monday's abomination. The two of them combined to complete 33 of 39 passes on the day, and Orton's two INTs came on a circus catch by Bowman and a batted ball that ended up in the hands of fellow rookie Craig Steltz. It's a lot easier to move the ball through the air with Corey Graham opposite Nathan Vasher instead of Tillman, but that shouldn't take away from what was a feel-good performance under center.

Dud of the Day
For all that we've heard about Payne ever since he was drafted in the fifth round two Aprils ago, the second-year safety has been invisible in training camp so far. Not once has he showcased a big hit, come up with an interception, or even knocked down a pass. Payne has been one of general manager Jerry Angelo's favorites for some time, but Steltz has made more plays at the safety position from Day 1.

Quote to Note
"No, I ate a lot of sunflower seeds. I don't do evaluations around here. I worry about myself. I worry about playing center." – C Olin Kreutz on whether or not he watched the other offensive linemen practice during his absence.

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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