Training Camp Report: Day 6

The Midway Monsters have a potential breakout star on offense this year. But on the other side of the ball, one of their most decorated defenders has not made much of an impact just yet. Bear Report had a front-row seat at Chicago Bears training camp and made these observations ...

Pick Six
All eyes continue to be on new QB Jay Cutler, who is already being protected from too much media exposure by the organization – he's only speaking to reporters on Wednesdays and Saturdays during camp, which would have been unheard of as recently as last year. Cutler completed 8 of 12 passes during 7-on-7 drills and then 13 of 17 in 11-on-11, and he also marched the offense down the field in the two-minute drill to end practice. Two of his best throws in 7-on-7 connected with Greg Olsen, both of them down the seam for big gainers. He also fired a picture perfect deep fade down the right sideline that hit Devin Hester in stride, although Trumaine McBride had pretty good coverage on the play. Brett Basanez directed the second unit and completed 11 of his 14 attempts, while Caleb Hanie was sharp with a 10-of-12 effort that included a chunk of yardage down the right sideline to Johnny Knox on his first play of the two-minute drill. ...

While Cutler has gotten the lion's share of the attention on offense, Zack Bowman has stolen the show on defense and could end up being a real player after sliding all the way to the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. But Bowman does have a lengthy injury history – remember he played just once last year before being shelved on IR – and came up lame Wednesday yet again. Coach Lovie Smith said after practice that Bowman has a hamstring strain and should be considered day-to-day at this point, so McBride took over the rest of the way with the starters because Corey Graham was getting a look at nickel back. ...

Along the offensive line, based on some of the comments made by general manager Jerry Angelo in the offseason and what happened on the field throughout OTAs, most everyone assumed free agent addition Frank Omiyale would unseat Josh Beekman at left guard. But six days into training camp in Bourbonnais, Beekman has received all of the first-team reps while Omiyale has been relegated to the second and third unit. On one particular play during 9-on-9 action Wednesday, Omiyale looked a little on the awkward side pulling around right end and didn't get a very good block on rookie linebacker Marcus Freeman. ...

As far as the strong-side linebacker position is concerned, incumbent Nick Roach is getting just as many reps as newcomer Pisa Tinoisamoa. Roach provided the biggest hit of the day when he absolutely destroyed Jason Davis when the fullback was trying to open up a hole for Adrian Peterson, drawing all kinds of "oohs" and "aahs" from the 7,500 – it was another huge crowd Wednesday – on hand for the proceedings. Tinoisamoa is still making the adjustment from the weak side to the strong side in this defense, as now he's asked to cover the tight end more when he's used to dealing with fullbacks and tailbacks. ...

Bennett is looking more like a starter each day.
Getty Images: Jonathan Daniel

Cutler ran the hurry-up offense for the first time Wednesday, and he appeared to be quite comfortable barking signals and directing traffic quickly in between snaps. The former first rounder began the drive with a wide receiver screen to Earl Bennett, before moving on to the aforementioned fade to Hester and an out pattern to Olsen. Unfortunately, the middle of the drive was bogged down by a false start from Orlando Pace and a Bennett drop of what could have been a big play down the middle. ...

On the rookie front, seventh-round pick Derek Kinder made his first sizeable splash of training camp reeling in a ball deep down the seam from Hanie with sixth-round safety Al Afalava just a step behind him. After somewhat of a slow start, Juaquin Iglesias is beginning to get noticed a bit more these days and has caught most everything thrown his way – including a diving effort Wednesday along the right sideline on an out route from Hanie. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner is searching for ways to use Knox's speed, sending him on a slant-and-go against D.J. Moore that was overthrown by Basanez even though the wideout got some separation.

Injury Report
Bowman's bad hammy is a big blow to a young player clearly establishing himself as a star on the rise, plus the depth chart at cornerback with be thinned even more since Charles Tillman is far from ready to return from back issues. Hunter Hillenmeyer developed a calf problem in positional drills and observed the rest of the day after getting some treatment. Desmond Clark might as well have taken the day off since he did next to nothing on the sideline in a baseball hat.

Stud of the Day
While he has deserved consideration most every day of camp thus far, Olsen was a force to be reckoned with Wednesday and made a lot of big plays. For some reason, Olsen spent a lot of time his first two years running quick outs toward the sideline – he has only averaged 10.4 yards on his 93 career catches. But he's being utilized down the field much more often than he was in the past, and Cutler is getting him the ball with bullet-like and feather-soft passes alike.

Dud of the Day
Not only is Tommie Harris taking it a little too easy in Bourbonnais and not making many plays when he is out there, but the same can be said for Adewale Ogunleye. Six days into camp, he's yet to come up with a pressure, bat down a pass or force a fumble. For a player on the wrong side of 30 going into the last year of his contract, perhaps he should be putting forth more of an effort.

Quote to Note
"No. Whenever we need to stick it in there, it's going to be coming fast. And the receivers know it and the tight ends know it. This game moves fast, and the faster I can get them the ball, the more time they have to make a move. They understand that. Earl [Bennett] has caught my ball for a long time. It's just something they're going to have to adjust to." – QB Jay Cutler when asked if he needs to take some velocity off of his throws.

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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 and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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