Rookie Minicamp Report: Day 2

Who made the best catch of camp so far? Which DB registered a pair of picks? Bear Report had a front-row seat at Day 2 of rookie minicamp for the Chicago Bears and made these observations:

Pick Six
The two quarterbacks didn't have to deal with quite as much wind Saturday as they did Friday, when Mother Nature was not in a very good mood at Halas Hall, but neither Dan LeFevour nor Juice Williams looked much better throwing the ball throughout positional drills. In 7-on-7 action, LeFevour did complete 12 of 16 passes and actually hit on his final eight to end on a high note. The highlight was a hitch-and-go pattern to Nick Merchut, a 6-5, 207-pound workout invite from Carthage College, who actually reeled in a pair of long balls on double moves. Williams got half as much work as LeFevour did on the day, connecting on 5 of 8 passes. While he did hit that deep hitch-and-go of his own to Merchut, his other four completions were less than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage and only one was to a wideout.

Among the 54 players on hand for rookie minicamp, a handful of the participants are not true rookies and have been a part of the Bears organization for a year or so in various capacities. Cornerback Woodny Turenne, who bounced on and off the practice squad in 2009 before making it to the active roster for the finale, is one of them, and he's taking advantage of the extra reps he's getting that he usually doesn't get when the veterans are on the field. Turenne come up with a pair of interceptions Saturday, the first one off LeFevour on a fly down the left sideline intended for Antonio Robinson, and the second off Williams on an out meant for Eric Peterman hugging the same left sideline. ...

Even though there are nine receivers on the rookie minicamp roster, five of them are undrafted free agents – including Peterman, who is actually a UDFA from a year ago – and the other four are workout invites. Receivers coach Darryl Drake keeps waiting for one of them to step up and be noticed, specifically local product Freddie Barnes, but instead he has been forced to watch Greg Mathews and Justin Buckhalter try to catch the ball like they don't have thumbs. Northwestern product Zeke Markshausen, however, made the best grab of the first two days of practice during 7-on-7 work, a diving effort on a skinny post from LeFevour. ...

Bears fans are going to like new tight ends coach Mike DeBord, as he is a fiery guy and doesn't mind giving players a piece of his mind if they deserve it. Workout invite Craig Carey kept making the same mistake over and over again, and DeBord had finally had enough about half-way through positional drills. "You take off and run!" DeBord screamed when Carey loafed back to the huddle, before he realized he was in trouble, turned around and finished his route properly. "I'm tired of telling you!" ...


QB Juice Williams
Warren Wimmer Photography

Getting most of the first-team snaps at free and strong safety, respectively, are top draft choice Major Wright and undrafted free agent Quentin Scott. Wright talks a good game and his vocal leadership is already taking shape, barking various signals before the snap and doing his best to relay what he's seeing to the rest of his defensive teammates. Scott is a monster of a safety prospect at 6-4 and 219 pounds, and hard-core Bears fans are curious if he can play after seeing he runs the 40 in the 4.4 range, but since the QBs aren't airing it out much, neither Wright nor Scott has gotten his hands on the ball yet through two days. ...

Cornerback Joshua Moore missed out on an opportunity to make a big play, as he was unable to come up with a pick on a throw from LeFevour to Peterman in 7-on-7 time. LeFevour was looking to hit Peterman on a quick slant from the right side, but he hesitated and threw the timing of the route off, which led to the ball being fired into traffic and almost ending up in Moore's grasp. Not that it's going to matter on a team featuring Danieal Manning, Johnny Knox and Devin Hester already, but it's worth noting that Moore was also the primary kick returner Saturday.

Injury Report
No significant injuries were reported on Day 2 of rookie minicamp, although defensive end Lawrence Wilson was limping after positional drills and seemed a bit frustrated as a result.

Stud of the Day
No question about it, the best player on the field for Day 2 of rookie minicamp was Turenne. Now he should be ahead of the game since he spent the better part of 2009 with the club and knows what the coaches are asking these players to do from drill to drill, but two INTs in 7-on-7s is nothing to sneeze at no matter the circumstances. Turenne has a realistic shot to make the 53-man roster this year.

Duds of the Day
The wideouts as a whole have been terribly disappointing, specifically Mathews and Buckhalter. Vic Hall also had a tough Saturday and saw a few easy catches bounce off his body, although you expect that from an athlete with no true position to play – he was primarily a cornerback at Virginia but also played some quarterback. At least Merchut stood out on Day 2.

Quote to Note
"Sometimes, you bring in a veteran guy with somebody like me who is set in his ways and who wants things done a certain way, and I have to spend too much time breaking bad habits, and sometimes you can't break those bad habits because veteran guys want to tell you how they do things and how they want to take care of things. At this stage of my career, I don't want to do that. I want to be with guys who will do things the way I'm asking them to do it and buy into what I'm selling and move forward and put together a really great line." – Offensive line coach Mike Tice, on the idea that he needs another veteran blocker.


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John Crist is the Publisher of BearReport.com, a Heisman Trophy voter 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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