Fourth rounder Corey Wootton saw a lot of action with the first-string defense Tuesday at defensive end. With Israel Idonije not doing much of note to date in Bourbonnais, the former Northwestern Wildcat is stating his case to be a part of the rotation up front. A giant of a man at 6-6 and 270 pounds, when he lines up opposite Julius Peppers, that's a lot of wingspan capable of knocking down passes at the line of scrimmage. While Wootton will likely never be a plus pass rusher, he has a nice all-around skill set and a refreshing attitude. It was reported recently that general manager Jerry Angelo made the decision on Wootton over Georgia defensive tackle Geno Atkins in Round 4, and while the early word on Atkins so far out of Bengals camp is quite positive, Angelo may have hit a solid double with Wootton. ...
Offensive coordinator Mike Martz apparently hasn't sufficiently scratched his Wildcat itch, again lining Matt Forte up in the shotgun formation Tuesday. Upon taking the snap, Forte faked an inside give to the left to Chester Taylor, but instead of tucking the ball and rushing to the right, Forte actually dropped back to pass. Rashied Davis was running a post in the middle of the field and had half a step on Charles Tillman. But it didn't matter, as Forte overthrew everybody by about 10 yards. Now seems like a good time to point out that Hall of Famer Walter Payton registered eight TD passes in his 13-year career. ...
Back on the practice field after missing Monday's workout because of a bruised knee, Zack Bowman picked up where he left off as the best cornerback on the team. If you are looking for a first-time Pro Bowler on the Bears this year, the third-year cover man out of Nebraska might be the betting-odds favorite. Handling Davis man to man in 11-on-11, Davis started on the right side of the formation but ended up running a deep crossing route all the way over near the left sideline. Bowman was in his hip pocket the whole way and baited Cutler into making the throw. Once the ball was in flight, Bowman closed quickly and made the interception. ...
Greg Olsen failed to participate in the workout, and while story after story has been written about Martz not making the tight end position a priority in his passing attack, you could tell that something was missing Tuesday. Maybe not in the red zone, where Cutler exploited the back corners of the end zone and also went top-shelf to Devin Aromashodu under the goal post, but 11-on-11 was far from crisp. Perhaps the absence of Olsen as a security blanket had something to do with it. Only once did Cutler connect with a tight end in full-squad action. Although it was pretty, with Kellen Davis running a flag and getting behind Brian Urlacher for what would have been a 20-yard gain or so. ...
Memo to fans attending training camp: When it's time for special teams and the punt-return team or kickoff-return team is on the clock, please refrain from going crazy when Devin Hester or Johnny Knox fields the ball and runs it back all the way down the sideline. Understand that the coverage units are doing nothing more than focusing on staying true to their lanes, and they are under strict orders to avoid actually tackling the return man at all costs. If Tim Shaw wanted to blow Hester or Knox up, believe me, he could just about every time. But based on all the oohs and aahs coming from the crowd Tuesday, you'd guess the Bears are due for at least one return touchdown every game this season. If it were only so easy.
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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.
Training Camp Report: Day 12
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