Bears training camp digest — 5 observations from Day 3Continue reading.
Martellus Bennett is ‘day-to-day’; Bears ready for a game — Training Camp Digest
The Bears clearly were tapering two days before their preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday night at Soldier Field. Here’s a capsule look at Practice No. 11 on Wednesday in Bourbonnais:
1. Martellus Bennett is “day-to-day.”
The Bears seemed to move at least a step in the right direction in resolving the Martellus Bennett affair when coach Marc Trestman reported that he had “a positive conversation” with the suspended tight end Tuesday. Trestman offered no further details on Martellus’ status with the team — other than to say he is “day-to-day.”
“We just touched base with each other and I think I’ll just leave it at that,” Trestman said. “We’ll see how things are [Thursday]. Friday is two days away an we’ll talk today [Wednesday] and see where we are with him.”
2. Trestman sends a message.
Responding to a big-picture question from Sun-Times columnist Rick Morrissey about training camp philosophy, Trestman seemed to be sending a message to a certain tight end who is not currently in camp.
“The overriding philosophy is to get to know each other, to develop levels of trust between each other, coaches-to-players, players-to-coaches and to define our behavior through respect and humility,” Trestman said. “We’re going to respect everybody around us. We’re going to treat them in high regard and we’re going to understand what humility means, which is that we’re part of something that’s bigger than ourselves. It’s really that simple. If you understand the definition of those three things and you love football and want to play it and are a baller, we’ll find a place for you.”
Maybe he wasn’t talking to Bennett in particular. But then again …
“We don’t don’t expect everybody to understand that immediately,” Trestman continued. “That’s a transformational process. It doesn’t take one week. It doesn’t take one month. It may not take a year. It may take more. But that’s the day-to-day message we’re sending our coaches and I’m sending our players — that if we do that we’re going to be in a better [position] to win football games.
“You can have one without the other, but it helps to win football gams with that kind of environment and it’s not perfect — it never will be — but it doesn’t take an entire stadium to make a wave either.”
3. The preseason opener can’t come soon enough.
The first preseason game is hardly tell-tale, but at this point of practice, everybody on every level is ready for a game. The Bears opened practice in pads for individual drills but were without shoulder pads and in shorts for the remainder of practice. They are at the point where there is only so much you can evaluate by playing against your own teammates.
“We’re two days before a game so we tried to get a Friday tempo before a Sunday game,” Trestman explained. “We took the pads off to lighten the load a little bit. We asked them to keep the energy up and the effort level up throughout. I blew the whistle earlier today so we could do a little less running and I thought from start to finish it was a very focused, energetic and cooperative, competitive practice. I felt very good about that.”
4. Marquess Wilson returns to camp.
Wilson appeared in good spirits a day after having surgery on his broken right clavicle, but obviously is a long way from returning to practice. The Bears have not announced a timetable for his return. They likely will wait until the end of the preseason to determine if Wilson should be put on the reserve/physically unable to play (PUP) list. That would allow Wilson to be off the 53-man roster, but still eligible to return to practice after sitting out for the first six games.
The Bears signed 6-3, 202-pound wide receiver Greg Herd to give them 10 receiver in camp. Herd, an undrafted free agent in 2013 who was cut by the Cowboys and Seahawks, was at practice Wednesday and was eager to learn the playbook. He’s the Bears’ tallest receiver after Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
Trestman confirmed reports that the Bears worked out former Steelers and Jets receiver Santonio Holmes on Tuesday. “I did not see [the workout]. I’ve got it on tape. [But] I haven’t looked at it,” Trestman said.
5. Tight ends taking advantage of Bennett’s absence and other bits and pieces.
Tight ends Dante Rosario, Matthew Mulligan and Zach Miller all made contributions in practice Wednesday as Bennett’s absence opened up reps. Rosario arguably has the best blocking/receiving combination — his one-handed grab of a Jay Cutler pass to beat Charles Tillman in the red-zone drill was the highlight of the day. Mulligan clearly is the best blocker but also has some pass-catching ability and better wheels than you think. Miller might be the best downfield threat — he caught a long touchdown pass from Cutler in a 7-on-7 drill. Still, it’s a steep drop from Bennett. … With Jordan Mills sitting out with a sore foot, Michael Ola played with the first team at RT and again held his own. … Kyle Long missed practice because of a minor ankle injury. Brian de la Puente got first-team reps at RG. … CB Tim Jennings was out again with a quad injury. Jennings has missed seven of the nine practices in pads and had limited participation in the other two. The Bears don’t appear concerned about that injury. … Isaiah Frey was walking gingerly on is pulled hamstring. It might be awhile before he returns. … For what it’s worth, Ryan Mundy and Danny McCray were the starting safeties in team drills, with Adrian Wilson and Brock Vereen behind them. … Trestman said he did not know which veterans might not play Friday or how long the starters would play. But it sounds like the first-team offense will make only a token appearance.