The biggest offseason addition on the defensive side of the ball, Pisa Tinoisamoa, got the majority of the snaps with the first unit at strong-side linebacker even though he wasn't promised the starting job when he signed as a free agent. He made a nice play in coverage despite being overmatched on a fade route against Olsen, cutting off the tight end's desired path down the left sideline. But Nick Roach apparently isn't going down without a fight, defending another fade for Olsen – this one down the right sideline – equally well. ...
With Matt Forte ready to explode in Year 2 after a sensational campaign as a rookie, even he understands how important a healthy Kevin Jones is to the overall success of the Chicago running game. Not only does everyone say Jones is in much better shape now than he was at this time last year, but he proved it on Day 1 with a strong showing from start to finish. He was lining up with the first unit quite a bit, and he caught several passes out of the backfield with relative ease. ...
After teasing the organization for the better part of three years with his incredible athleticism and enviable work ethic, Danieal Manning is expected to carry a heavy workload in his fourth season as a free safety, nickel back and kickoff returner. Coach Lovie Smith expressed confidence in the former second-round draft pick Thursday at his camp-opening press conference, but Manning tweaked a hamstring at some point during positional drills Friday and did not participate in either 7-on-7 or 11-on-11. Craig Steltz is supposed to be fighting Kevin Payne for playing time at strong safety but was forced to line up at free safety for the duration, and then Corey Graham got all the first- and second-team reps in the nickel package. ...
There were a few nuggets of interest with regard to the depth chart, most notably the fact that Olsen now appears to be the starter at tight end ahead of Desmond Clark – both of them were used in two-tight end sets regularly, however. Second-year tight end Kellen Davis was watching a lot while backups Michael Gaines and Fontel Mines got plenty of reps, which could be a sign of bad things to come for the notoriously not-so-hard-working Davis. Along the offensive line, it was Josh Beekman opening with the first team at left guard, with free agent signee Frank Omiyale relegated to second-team duty. ...
While there weren't any interceptions during either 7-on-7 or 11-on-11, each backup signal caller got picked once on the afternoon during positional work – coincidence or not, both passes were in the direction of Devin Aromashodu. Nathan Vasher got the first one off Hanie on a deep out pattern near the left sideline, and Woodny Turenne got the other off Basanez on a similar route.
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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.
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