Training Camp Report: Day 4

Jay Cutler isn't going to look like a Pro Bowl passer every day. Monday was not the strong-armed signal caller's best effort to say the least. But on defense, another Pro Bowler was awfully impressive. Bear Report had a front-row seat at Chicago Bears training camp and made these observations ...

Pick Six
With several national-media types like John Clayton of ESPN attending Monday's workout, Jay Cutler put together the first practice of training camp that could be described as less than impressive. While he was decent during 7-on-7 drills, including a bullet of a deep cross to Devin Hester in front of Kevin Payne, the majority of his 8 completions in 12 attempts were of the check-down variety. And then in 11-on-11, Cutler was borderline erratic at times in a 9-of-16 performance, with a few balls being tipped by defenders – he was not intercepted, however. Brett Basanez was again running the second-team offense, as it looks like he and Caleb Hanie are now alternating days with the twos and threes, and he had his best practice of the summer hitting on 10 of 13. Hanie didn't get a lot of time, but he was solid for the most part during his 7-of-10 outing. ...

Most people are talking about Marcus Harrison and Dusty Dvoracek since both are recent draft picks of this franchise, but Anthony Adams continues to be an underrated player in the middle and is the leader in the clubhouse to start at nose tackle. A relatively quiet guy in the locker room, Adams brings a lot of energy to the huddle and always seems to be smiling about something after the play. He got a chuckle out of the fans Monday when he made his way through a sea of blockers to blow up a screen from Cutler to Matt Forte, hollering "Boom!" as he pantomimed his tackle on the running back. ...

Speaking of Forte, the second-year ball carrier again took a limited amount of reps and gave way to the likes of Kevin Jones and Garrett Wolfe. Jones in particular looks like a different player than he was a year ago, cutting in and out of would-be tacklers but making sure his shoulders are square to ensure he's always going forward – he seems to be a little trimmer than last season, too. As for Wolfe, he was again picking himself up off the turf regularly during 9-on-9, while Adrian Peterson is a third-team afterthought at this point. ...

The kickoff-return team was a focus of Monday's practice for the first time, with Danieal Manning showing his usual explosion upfield and running with an authority rarely seen from a returner – although he did hit the deck once after unsuccessfully trying to jump over one of the coverage guys. Hester took a grand total of one rep behind Manning, so he probably won't be utilized there at all this season, but three rookies got at least one return each on the afternoon. Neither Juaquin Iglesias nor Johnny Knox looked very natural catching the kickoff, but D-end Henry Melton, who was a tailback his first season at Texas, caught one and rumbled the other way like he knew what he was doing. ...


Knox and Basanez both looked sharp Monday.
AP Images: Nam Y. Huh

While the passing game was worked on extensively the first few days of camp, offensive coordinator Ron Turner was leaning on the running game more than usual during Monday's workout. Jones had more good-looking runs than Forte, although he definitely had more reps too, and Chris Williams in particular was keeping Adewale Ogunleye at bay almost every snap. On the other side of the ball, third-round pick Jarron Gilbert knifed his way into the backfield a few times playing three technique, probably because Frank Omiyale got knocked to the ground on more than one occasion trying to block him. ...

We saw the two-minute drill for the first time to conclude Monday's session, with Cutler completing 3 of his 5 passes but watching helplessly as Earl Bennett dropped a potential TD down the seam from about 30 yards out – although it would have been a great grab. Basanez started off with a long completion down the left sideline to Knox, before finding Wolfe on a slant and then Rashied Davis on a quick out pattern. Robbie Gould hit a 49-yard field goal on Cutler's possession, while Richmond McGee split the uprights from 38 yards on Basanez's drive.

Injury Report
The Monsters of the Midway have been incredibly fortunate on the injury front thus far. Harrison and Charles Tillman continue to be the only ones not suiting up, with Harrison battling weight issues and Tillman coming along slowly after back surgery. Linebackers Lance Briggs and Hunter Hillenmeyer were held out Sunday with general soreness, but both were back in the mix Monday.

Stud of the Day
After missing the last two Pro Bowls, Brian Urlacher could be on the verge of a bounce-back year since he didn't have to rehab any injuries during the offseason for the first time in a while. The future Hall of Famer looks like his old self so far at middle linebacker. While he didn't get an interception Monday, Urlacher was credited with a few passes defensed and played great in coverage.

Dud of the Day
While Dud of the Day might be somewhat harsh considering what he's done so far in Bourbonnais, Cutler wasn't overly impressive Monday – some days, you just don't have it. At various times, he airmailed his intended receiver on back-to-back throws, made a bad exchange with Forte on a shotgun draw and barely moved the offense in a two-minute situation. Nobody is saying the Bears need to get Jeff George on the phone any time soon, but Cutler has seen better days.

Quote to Note
"We always say we got off the bus running the football, and that's what starts our offense and that's what we're going to continue to work on hard. There's going to be games where the running game is going to be predominant. There's going to be games where it's not going to be and the passing game is going to be going. We have to be working hard at all aspects of the game and see what comes out on top. From week to week, things can change." – G Roberto Garza on if there's too much talk about the passing game and not enough about the running game.


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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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