Chicago Bears OTAs: Latest Player Reports Analysis
Most of the Bears' OTAs are in the books. Early on we saw Gabe Carimi make headlines by not showing up, but there have been players who have made impressions on the field.
The team has been able to keep the action pretty tight lipped, but some players have been able to emerge into the spotlight.
Here are five guys who have made a strong statement during OTAs.
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For the first time in his career Lance Briggs is calling plays on defense. The leadership honor was inherited by Briggs after Brian Urlacher was not re-signed and subsequently retired.
Briggs has stepped into his new leadership role nicely and the team figures to have no drop-off in leadership and communication. The defense is stacked with veterans but Briggs' influence on guys like Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene is crucial.
During OTAs Briggs has taken command of the defense and made Mel Tucker's job a lot easier. Going forward it will be important for that to continue if this Bears defense is going to be successful.
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The buzz around how much Matt Blanchard has improved started in rookie minicamp. It has continued to OTAs and he now looks poised to be the backup to Jay Cutler at the start of training camp.
At 6'3'', 225 pounds, Blanchard has the physical tools to play in the NFL. Head coach Marc Trestman has clearly had an early influence on the undrafted quarterback from Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Blanchard has made smart and quick decisions with the football. He has thrown the ball with good velocity and has looked very good in throwing the deep ball.
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Matt Forte is healthy and seems reinvigorated by the new offense implemented. Forte sees his increased role and clearly that has excited him during OTAs.
Forte will be an intricate weapon in the passing game this season. Trestman wants Jay Cutler to lean on the back as the Bears look to go with an uptempo offense predicated on quick decisions from Cutler.
Expect Forte to be the focal point of the offense during the season. He is definitely walking the walk early on in OTAs.
Forte did miss one OTA but that was due to a prior commitment that he and Tim Jennings had with USO Illinois in Germany.
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Perhaps the most intriguing player during OTAs is tight end Fendi Onobun. Since being drafted in the sixth round in 2010 by the St. Louis Rams, Onobun has played in only four NFL games and registered two catches.
The way he's performing with the Bears you would think he caught 50 receptions last year. At 6'6'', 249 pounds, Onobun has shown tremendous athleticism and an ability to go up and get the football. He is quickly generating a buzz as a potential offensive weapon for the team.
Ononbun was a standout basketball player who never played a snap of football in high school or during his four years at the University of Arizona. He played a fifth year at the University of Houston where he caught only two passes.
He has a fan in Jay Cutler who has been working with the 26-year-old quite often. Cutler obvious sees the potential and so does the coaching staff.
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Last year Robbie Gould's season was cut short after rupturing a tendon during pregame warm-ups. The Bears turned some heads when they signed kicker Austin Signor to a three-year deal but don't count Gould out anytime soon.
Gould has worked hard since his surgery to make sure he can return to football activities as soon as possible. It has all come to fruition for Gould as he was expected to be medically cleared last week to resume football activates.
One might think the veteran kicker, who ranks second on the team's all-time scoring list, is upset over competition but he welcomes it and looks forward to showing he's still the same dependable player.