As the Chicago Bears conclude training camp this week there are quite a few players who have stood out and some more who will need to show something to make the team.
For the Bears, this is a training camp is quite different from previous years. It is new head coach Marc Trestman's first with the Bears, which means it's the first time he's seeing most of his players in pads.
A lot of emphasis has been placed on the improvement of the offensive line with a number of new bodies, including first round pick Kyle Long. The Bears also have brought in a lot of new pass catchers. Not counting former receiver Devin Hester—who will now only play special teams—the Bears have 12 receivers in camp. Some of them are making plays, while we haven't heard much about the others.
Training camp is a time where young players get to strap on the pads and try and impress the coaches for the first time. It's also a time where coaches might start to notice veterans have gone down hill faster than they anticipated.
Stars are expected to make plays during practice, so it's hard for their stock to rise. If they're playing poorly, however, it's easy to notice.
Here is a list of some players who have helped their stock and others who might have put themselves in a little trouble early in training camp.
It seems that whenever he's been given a chance, Anderson hasn't failed to impress.
Anderson told the team website that he's tried to pay extra attention to what the more experienced players at his position are doing for tips on how to improve.
"I treat myself like a sponge," Anderson said. "I stand around [watching] those guys and soak in so much because they've been in the game longer than me."
It's something that made his boss make note of in the same story as it appears he may already be locking up a spot on the team.
"He's had a good camp," said coach Marc Trestman. "He's shown strong hands. He's shown the ability to get open in tight coverage. He's coming out every day to compete and he brings added value because he's a good special teams player as well."
While Joe Anderson has stood out, we haven't heard much of anything about Aromashodu and that's not a good thing for the veteran receiver.
In early July I thought Aromashodu could help the team this year. That, however, was predicated on him being a better wide receiver than Anderson. So far, that has shown not to be true.
It isn't just that Anderson has shown the ability to make plays, it's that Aromashodu has not. Add to the fact that Anderson is younger, cheaper and brings more to the table on special teams and it doesn't look like the Bears will have a tough decision.
The common thought has always been that Aromashodu isn't a great practice player and that may be what's happening here. However, if he doesn't show the coaching staff more soon, he may never get a chance to make plays in a game.
Long only started four or five games—depending on who you ask—at Oregon last year and had to miss much of the Bears' offseason program due to NFL rules. However, that hasn't prevented him from making a good impression.
The Chicago Tribune's Dan Pompei singled out how much he stands out physically, saying he "looks like a man among boys in terms of brute strength."
Pompei also noted how Long has been dominant at times, saying, "When Long gets it right, he doesn't just block a defender. The son of Howie Long manhandles him. It's something to see."
While Long's lack of experience in college and inability to attend much of the Bears' offseason program, offensive coordinator/line coach Aaron Kromer doesn't think that will be a major hindrance.
"He's smart strong and tough, so I don't think it's going to take him to long to catch up," Kromer said in an interview on the team website.
While it was widely expected that Kyle Long and James Brown would battle for the starting job at right guard, nobody expected Slauson wouldn't start. That may be how it ends up, however.
Slauson came to the Bears with a pretty solid resume. He's started all 48 games for a very good New York Jets offensive line over the last three seasons. In 2012, he didn't give up a sack or commit a single holding penalty, according to STATS.
It seemed as if he was a lock to start, however, the Bears mixed things up at training camp on Wednesday, with alineup that did not include Slauson, according to Zaidman (via twitter).
Perhaps it was just a different look to try something new as Marc Trestman said they would an interview on the team website.
However, the fact that the Bears are entertaining the idea that Slauson may not be a part of that group is a clear sign that he hasn't stood out to them. It seems like a player with as much experience as he has shouldn't have an issue beating out an undrafted second-year player and a rookie.
When Tim Jennings was injured late last season, Kelvin Hayden got the nod to replace him. This week, however, it has been Bowman, according to ESPN Chicago's Jeff Dickerson.
Jennings has been excused from practice the last couple of days for personal reasons. Hayden has still been working as the Bears' slot corner in their nickel package, but Bowman replaced him on the outside.
Bowman was the Bears' starting cornerback in 2009 when he intercepted six passes, however he's struggled since then and has been relegated to special teams.
Then-coach Lovie Smith gave him an opportunity to show he could still play the position at the end of the 2011 season, but he struggled. He then signed with the Minnesota Vikings, but they released him and he returned to Chicago last October. However, he was limited to the Bears' special teams, even after Jennings was injured.
Whether Bowman remains as the Bears' third corner remains to be seen, but the Bears are giving him a chance.
It might not be entirely his fault, but Scott has to show the new coaching staff he can play to stick.
Scott missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday with knee soreness. With starting left tackle Jermon Bushrod also out, the Bears have had to try some new players at the position.
He's a veteran who has experience at both tackle positions and started seven games for the team at right tackle last season. However, the Bears' starting tackles are entrenched and others are getting a chance to show they can play better than Scott.
One of those players is Eben Britton, a former high second round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars. According to Zaidman (via Twitter), Britton got the nod at left tackle Wednesday. If he proves he can hold up there, Scott's roster spot might be in jeopardy.
Britton was signed to play guard and has worked there in camp also. As Aaron Kromer told the team website, versatility is going to be important for them.
"I think it's always good to have versatility because you have seven guys dressed on game day so you need a guy that can play back up guard and center and a guy who can play back up guard and tackle as well," Kromer said.
Scott has been strictly a tackle with the Bears, so if Britton can play both guard and tackle adequately, the Bears may keep him instead.
Perhaps the team's biggest offseason addition has earned a lot of praise since camp opened up.
"He's a joy to play with. On and off the field, he brings a little bit of energy, brings some edge to the huddle," Jay Cutler told the team website. "He's like a Brandon Marshall. He's really smart out there, understands defenses, knows where the holes are. He makes it easier on me."
Bennett can be seen making plays on just about any of the Bears' training camp highlight videos that they put on their team website.
His size and speed make him hard to defend as a receiver, but he isn't a one dimensional player, as Aaron Kromer pointed out.
"Martellus Bennett is a good blocker and a receiving tight end. There are very few of those guys. There are a lot of receiving tight ends and a lot of blocking tight ends," Kromer said.
If Bennett can continue to develop chemistry with Cutler, he could become a big playmaker for the Bears this season.