"I don't see it like that," he said. "A few games, maybe you have a little bit of trouble with the pass. I think we played the pass fairly well."
Cornerback Charles Tillman made his first Pro Bowl, but no one else in the Bears' secondary stood out and, as usual, the safety position was a revolving door. Eight different starting combinations were utilized, a trend that has become the norm throughout Smith's eight seasons in Chicago.
"It's crazy," he said. "I've been living out here for a year. I know this place. Coming to Bourbonnais (last July) I had never even seen Illinois before. But it was a fun experience. It's just nice being able to feel much more comfortable, knowing the guys, knowing what to expect."
"It's real good to see him back," special teams coordinator Dave Toub said. "He got back the last part of OTAs. We've had him the whole minicamp. He looks real good. He's running down on punts and protecting. He's in all the team drills."
QUOTE TO NOTE:"I feel like this is a pretty good football team on paper before we had a chance to get on the football field to start offseason work, and most of the stuff we wanted to get accomplished I feel like we have." - Bears coach Lovie Smith at the conclusion of last week's minicamp.
"I don't mean to be nonchalant, but it's mini-camp and it's OTAs," he said. "It's not football. It's not even a practice, excuse me Allen Iverson. We're sort of installing our preparation for practice. You can't get all 'yippy' and 'hurrah' and start thinking you are in a different spot with your team based on stuff that's not a true evaluation of talent or a true evaluation of where we are and where we are going to go."
"We are at a different point in our installation than we've ever been," he said. "We're in the fourth year with our offensive and defensive system, the third year of our special teams system. We've put some new wrinkles in, but we are not starting from scratch. After the first couple of OTAs we probably had in as much as we installed the entire offseason my first year. We're in a better spot."
"I like the group of guys we have," Mayhew said, referring to Jahvid Best, Mikel Leshoure and Kevin Smith. "If they are healthy, and that's a really big if, that's an outstanding group of players. But the injury question with all three is a concern. We talked about adding a guy in the offseason, but the more I see of these guys - of Keiland Williams and Joique Bell - I want to see how it plays out before I go in a different direction."
"I've been eating my Wheaties, man," he said, laughing about the extra inch. "Honestly I don't know how it happened. I didn't notice it. When I came back (for offseason workouts) coach (Matt) Burke said, 'Did you grow a little bit?' I said, 'No, I don't think so.' But he took to me to the training room and measured me. Sure enough."
Hogue measured 6-2.3 last season. This season, he's 6.3.5. His weight went from 230 to 245. "It's working out for me," Hogue said. "I am dealing with the weight well. I am moving with it."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're talking. We're still trying to get things figured out before camp. I want to be there long-term, I want to get a deal done. I don't want to play under the franchise tag. I've been with the team for four, going on five years. Started off a little shaky going 0-16 and I want to be with the team when we make the Super Bowl run. I would prefer not to play on the franchise tag but we have a lot of time in front of us. I think the deadline is July 16 and hopefully we get something figured out before then. I haven't really thought past that point." - DE Cliff Avril to NFL Network on his holdout.
Green Bay Packers
Said Moss of Hawk's 2011 season, "His year was just quiet. When he got in, there wasn't a lot of tackle production and there weren't interceptions so you look at his stat line and you say, 'Well, what the hell did he do last year?' A.J. is not a problem. A.J. is not an issue. A.J. didn't play poorly last year. He just didn't make those impact plays. I'm fine with what A.J. is doing.
"But on the flipside of that, you want your guys being impactful and making plays. He didn't do it last year and I'm sure he's not satisfied. He's going to respond accordingly."
Said Hawk, who had 10 passes defenses in 2010 to go with three interceptions, but had no interceptions and three defensed passed last season, "The year before I think I had three picks and got my hands on a lot of balls. Last year, for whatever reason, I didn't even get my hands on many. That's a difference."
For a reunion to happen, however, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would first have to reinstate Jolly.
For Jolly's part, the 29-year-old defensive lineman is ready to make a comeback after being out of football the last two seasons because of the indefinite suspension imposed by Goodell for repeat offenses of the league's substance-abuse policy.
Jolly told the National Football Post that he recently sent a letter to Goodell for the purpose of applying for reinstatement.
"I know that the NFL doesn't need me," Jolly said in the online report. "I need it way more than it needs me. I really want to be a part of it, and I am hoping to go back and show that I am a good, reliable citizen that the league and others can depend on and trust."
The Packers have held Jolly's rights since he was suspended before the 2010 season in the wake of being arrested and charged for possession of codeine. Jolly is on the reserve/suspended list.
Repeated run-ins with the law the last couple years landed Jolly in prison in his home state of Texas. He served six months of a six-year sentence before being released this May on what the judge ruled "shock probation" for enduring the shock of being behind bars.
Jolly received 10 years of probation for the early release.
Saying he's a changed man, Jolly is focused on playing again in the NFL. He said he worked out regularly when he was in prison and continues to be diligent about getting into football-playing shape with the hope of dropping 10 pounds from his current weight of 332.
Jolly is hopeful the Packers will take him back, provided he's reinstated by Goodell.
"I think they would," Jolly said. "I am dedicated to really make a change in my life and come back and be a positive role model. I think I have a great shot at going back to those guys. They're a great organization. The coaches are very good; the players are good. I know they have supported me 100 percent."
Whether the Packers would be interested in giving Jolly a second chance in football is uncertain.
The only public comments that have been made by a team official since word circulated about Jolly's application for reinstatement came from President Mark Murphy, who addressed the Milwaukee Jewish Federation at a luncheon June 19 in Milwaukee.
"At this point, we haven't heard from the league," Murphy told reporters. "The bigger concern is (for Jolly) to lead a productive life from here on out. He's been out of football for a couple of years."
The Packers took Jolly out of Texas A&M in the sixth round of the 2006 draft. He was a primary starter at tackle and end for Green Bay from 2007 to '09. He had an interception, a forced fumble and a career-high 10 pass breakups in 2009.
Green Bay's defensive line figures to be thin at the outset of the season with Anthony Hargrove (eight games) and Mike Neal (four games) suspended for league violations. Neal is trying to appeal his suspension for a second time. Hargrove was at NFL headquarters in New York City on June 18 for an appeals hearing, along with three former New Orleans Saints teammates who also were implicated in the Saints' bounty program.
Green Bay has just three quarterbacks on its 90-man roster: Aaron Rodgers, Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman.
As the understudies to reigning league MVP Rodgers, Harrell and Coleman have zero experience in a regular-season NFL game. Harrell has been with the Packers the last two seasons, primarily on their practice squad. The team selected Coleman in the seventh round of this year's draft.
"Graham's getting better," McCarthy said at the end of the minicamp June 14. "We've had Graham in our program for some time. Really, the preseason games will be the biggest challenge for Graham. That'll be his true test because the classroom, the fundamentals, he's hitting all of the targets that you like to see. But, I'm anxious to see him play in the games. Mentally, he's prepared himself, he knows the offense, he's done a very good job with the protection adjustments, just all of the little nuances of our offense that takes a little more time."
As for an early progress report on Coleman after two months into the system, McCarthy had mixed reviews.
"B.J.'s exciting," McCarthy said. "He's a whirl a minute. He has a lot of questions, he's always talking, a lot of energy. A talented young man, but he's got a lot to learn."
That's because the Bears manhandled the Packers by a score of 10-2 in the inaugural Rivalry Cup golf event played June 18 at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago.
"Not the best ... we got killed," Packers kicker Mason Crosby tweeted afterward.
Green Bay's team of eight players for the match-play competition included Murphy, Crosby, punter Tim Masthay, fullback John Kuhn, tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot, and former Packers players Lynn Dickey, Craig Hentrich and Bill Schroeder.
The Rivalry Cup, patterned after golf's prestigious Ryder Cup that will be played at Medinah in September, raised money for charity.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Does skeet shooting - the fine motor skill of hand-eye coordination of skeet shooting - help us win football games? I don't think so. But, the opportunity for those guys to be out there in a different environment and continue to build relationships, I think, is vital to team chemistry." - Head coach Mike McCarthy, on canceling a minicamp practice to take the team to a gun range for clay shooting.