When asked after practice what the defensive end lining up opposite Julius Peppers must to do get the starting job, coach Lovie Smith said that player had to be capable of winning "one-on-one matchups." That's exactly what Mark Anderson was doing Sunday, in what turned out to be his best performance in Bourbonnais thus far. On the second snap of 11-on-11, he blew past Chris Williams for a would-be sack on Cutler, although the play continued and ended up being a failed post pattern to Hester with Brian Urlacher in coverage. A few series later, Anderson lined up on the other side of the defense and knocked down a bullet from Cutler. On a luckier day, Anderson may have been able to corral his own deflection and come up with the INT, as the ball harmlessly hit the ground just out of the fifth-year pro's reach. ...
Just hours after new offensive line coach Mike Tice praised him for being the best blocker of Saturday evening's workout, Williams took a step back Sunday and needs to regroup a bit. Anderson beat him once or twice during individual drills, and then Anderson got him again in 11-on-11, as described above. When asked about the three-headed monster at left guard, Tice said it was more of a two-headed monster in the form of Josh Beekman and Johan Asiata. According to Tice, second-year pro Lance Louis is spending most of his time at right guard and seems to be pushing Roberto Garza more than expected. Frank Omiyale continues to look much better at right tackle than he ever did at left guard, with Tice saying he reviewed last year's tape and felt from the start that Omiyale was playing out of position. ...
The highlights were numerous in individual workouts when the wide receivers were taking on the cornerbacks, and no matter who was watching, the defenders appeared to get the best of the pass catchers. On perhaps 20 total reps from either side of the field, the corners managed to come away with three interceptions, which is considered a lot in a one-on-one drill and the offense having an edge by design. Corey Graham, Joshua Moore and Tim Jennings recorded the picks, and all three elicited plenty of cheering from the capacity crowd. Graham's INT was of the one-handed variety on a fly route from Hanie to Rashied Davis, and Moore also beat Hanie-to-Davis on a go pattern. But Jennings' pick was nothing short of gorgeous, as he made up ground on Juaquin Iglesias with the ball in the air and sprawled out to take it away. ...
Greg Olsen knows he must become a better blocker if he wants to be on the field in Mike Martz's offense, but he is yet to move a defender impressively on a running play. On one particular snap in 11-on-11, Olsen lined up in the backfield as a pseudo-fullback and was charged with leading the way through the hole for Chester Taylor. But instead of putting a hat on a hat in convincing fashion, he simply ducked his head in the general direction of Nick Roach. All Roach had to do was sidestep Olsen on his way to the ball carrier, which he did and stopped Taylor for a minimal gain. Maybe that has something to do with Olsen getting a few reps with the second team Sunday. ...
With Chris Harris sitting out Sunday's practice due to a back issue, and likely to be gone a while getting treatment three times per day, rookie Major Wright got some snaps with the starters at the free safety spot for the first time. Danieal Manning initially lined up next to Josh Bullocks, with Craig Steltz also on the field here and there. It's amazing to see the 180-degree difference in Al Afalava. As a nobody sixth-round pick last year, the coaching staff fell in love with him right away and made him a starter. But nowadays, he's lucky to get second-unit reps with the likes of undrafted free agent Quentin Scott.
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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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