Training Camp Report: Day 12

How did Jay Cutler look after a one-day hiatus? Is there anything to worry about with Robbie Gould? JC had the ideal angle for Chicago Bears training camp Tuesday and made these observations:

Pick Six
On a terribly muggy evening at Ward Field only a mosquito could love, neither of the quarterbacks threw the ball particularly well. Jay Cutler wasn't too bad in red-zone 7-on-7 work, connecting on 9 of 12 throws and being credited with five touchdowns, but he was only 7 of 16 in 11-on-11 action and fired a pair of interceptions in the span of four plays. Running the second-team offense in Caleb Hanie's absence, as the third-year pro got the night off, rookie Dan LeFevour was 7 of 12 in red-zone 7-on-7 (three TDs) and 8 of 18 in 11-on-11. Although both of them got a Robbie Gould field goal in the two-minute drill, a 43-yarder on the Cutler drive and a 46-yarder on the LeFevour drive, Cutler was an uninspiring 2 of 6 and LeFevour dinked and dunked his way to 4 of 7. LeFevour should have had a TD, but Zeke Markshausen flat-out dropped the ball in the end zone after beating fifth-round pick Joshua Moore. ...

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. ...


DE Corey Wootton
Jonathan Daniel/Getty

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.

Injury Report
The list of non-participants was again lengthy Tuesday, although it wasn't as bad as it was the day before: Olsen, Knox, Earl Bennett, Hunter Hillenmeyer, Brian Iwuh, Brandon Manumaleuna, Antonio Robinson, Pisa Tinoisamoa and Harvey Unga. Josh Bullocks, Danieal Manning and Nick Roach all returned after abbreviated absences. Freshly-signed defensive tackle Mick Williams was carted off the field and did not return.

Stud of the Day
Good as Gould. While he hasn't done a lot of kicking in team drills in Bourbonnais, Gould was money in the bank when called upon both times in the two-minute drill. One of the more consistent kickers in the league, the Bears continue to be in good hands (feet?) when it comes to three-point attempts.

Dud of the Day
Maybe taking that day off Monday wasn't such a hot idea after all. Cutler started off strong in 7-on-7 but was never impressive in 11-on-11. Bowman and Chris Harris ended up picking him off, and both passes were somewhat tardy and of the high-risk variety. He just didn't have it. Since this was the only practice of camp under the lights at Ward Field, Cutler is even more deserving of downward-pointing thumbs.

Quote to Note
"It's a long season. We've got 16 games and the playoffs. You need that because running backs go down every now and then. So we need depth at running back." – RB Chester Taylor on sharing the backfield with Matt Forte.


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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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