There were all kinds of turnovers being committed by the offense with the dreary weather obviously a factor, starting with Danieal Manning stripping Rideau of the football after reeling in a shallow hook from Cutler. There were two interceptions on the day: the first on a pass from Basanez to Juaquin Iglesias that was tipped by the receiver and ended up in the hands of Woodny Turenne, and the second on a throw from Hanie to Michael Gaines in the red zone that was batted around before being hauled in by Josh Bullocks. Basanez almost threw another pick but Kevin Malast couldn't hold on, and Hanie escaped an additional INT when Craig Steltz came up just short on a diving attempt. ...
It was a good day to check out how the offensive and defensive lines were doing against each other, especially since coach Lovie Smith actually allowed tackling to the ground in 3rd-and-short drills. Alex Brown was able to get past Orlando Pace with a quick move to the inside on more than one occasion, and Mark Anderson blasted Kevin Jones in the backfield for a loss after slipping by Chris Williams – Anderson and Williams had gotten into a shoving match only a few snaps before. Rideau made another big play when Cutler sold a play-action fake, then dropped a beauty of a fade over the head of Nathan Vasher and into the streaking wideout's hands down the left sideline. ...
Just as the offensive play calls are beginning to get a little more complex, the defense is throwing more curveballs the last few days. Turenne got good pressure one time on a corner blitz, and Lance Briggs totally destroyed a play by timing his rush straight up the middle perfectly – Cutler put the ball on the ground because he was unable to field the snap cleanly due to Briggs being all over him. However, in terms of the alignment and personnel on the field defensively, this is still a straight 4-3 with the exception of the nickel package, so don't expect any 3-4 looks or dime defenses any time soon. ...
With Devin Hester being given the day off since Friday was the seventh straight practice outfitted in full pads, many of the lesser-known wide receivers had an opportunity to get an inordinate amount of snaps with the first-team offense. Rashied Davis got the "start" during both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 but didn't make a single reception until the last series of the day, while no-names like Rideau and Devin Aromashodu kept getting open and kept making catches. It might be time to take Aromashodu seriously because his number is being called fairly frequently these days. ...
Some officials attended the practice and threw flags when they were necessary, as the zebras are also in full preseason mode and looking to get sharp before Week 1. Jarron Gilbert was whistled for an offside penalty during 11-on-11 drills because Cutler did a good job mixing up the snap count. By the end of the day, it was sloppy enough that Basanez fumbled away a snap that was recovered by Ervin Baldwin and Hanie fell in the pocket to gift-wrap a sack for Henry Melton. ...
And you may have heard on local radio that yours truly was credited with an INT Friday, as Cutler airmailed an out pattern toward the left sideline right to me as I was taking notes – one fan even suggested afterward that I make the roster ahead of Davis since I made a clean catch.
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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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