Bears fans will be happy to know that Tommie Harris took the first snap at the three-technique defensive tackle position in 11-on-11 work, although he still gave way to everyone from Israel Idonije to Matt Toeaina to rookie Jarron Gilbert at some point. Coach Lovie Smith repeated after practice that Harris simply needs some time to get back to full strength and there isn't any reason to be concerned about the three-time Pro Bowler for the long term, although it's evident he's not going to be an every-down player in 2009. We know Smith likes to rotate his defensive line liberally, so look for more of the same – perhaps more than ever – this season. ...
They're a long way from being Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, but Bennett and Devin Hester both caught a ton of passes Tuesday and look like they deserve to be in the starting lineup for just about any team in the NFL. Cutler targeted Hester 11 times throughout the practice and connected with him seven times, and Hester also caught the D off guard by breaking a big gainer off a reverse after a toss sweep to Matt Forte. While Bennett was only targeted four times, he delivered four catches and was running every route on the tree effectively. ...
The coaching staff finally released the depth chart, and in typical Bears fashion, there are some nuggets that can be described as Lovie-esque. Tinoisamoa, Nick Roach and Jamar Williams are all listed as co-starters at strong-side linebacker, with rookie Marcus Freeman bringing up the rear as the fourth-team Sam. Mark Anderson is the co-starter at right and left defensive end, supposedly sharing starting duties with Adewale Ogunleye and Alex Brown, respectively. Behind starter Danieal Manning, Josh Bullocks and Craig Steltz are co-backups on the second team at free safety. And with Charles Tillman and Zack Bowman each nursing an injury, Graham and Trumaine McBride are co-starters at left corner – typical Lovie-speak. ...
For some reason, the coaching staff is going about the competition at left guard much differently than they are at the strong-side linebacker position. While Tinoisamoa and Roach have flip-flopped back and forth between the first and second unit most of training camp so far, Josh Beekman got every first-team rep until Saturday's Family Day practice at Soldier Field. But ever since then, it's been Frank Omiyale with the starters and getting every rep available – Smith mentioned after practice that keeping the offensive line cohesive is key and the reason why he does it that way. ...
Manning was simply all over the field defensively Tuesday, coming up with the lone interception of the workout when he stepped in front of a pass down the middle from Cutler to Hester – Manning likely would have scored on the play. He was also credited with a pair of forced fumbles, the first after Desmond Clark reeled in a curl and the second on Olsen following a connection on a crossing pattern. Perhaps most importantly, with Manning back on the field, Kevin Payne was able to get most of his work where he rightfully belongs at strong safety.
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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.
Training Camp Report: Day 12
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