The Bears have made it through one week of training camp and are just a few short days away from playing their first preseason game against the San Diego Chargers. This camp has not been without several different storylines so far, some good, some bad, but overall, it looks like it’s been a good and promising camp that should have Bears fans excited about the upcoming season.
Many a coach has remained quiet about the happenings on the offensive line so far this training camp but after some close observation, there is some heavy competition at certain spots on the line.
The center position, manned by Olin Kreutz and the left tackle position, manned by Chris Williams, are pretty much set but the other positions on the line may be up for grabs. Roberto Garza should be able to maintain his hold on the guard spot for at least another season but look for there to be some heavy competition for the other spots. Nothing is set in stone.
Aches and Pains
Running back Harvey Unga continues to sit with a hamstring injury and may end up being out for quite some time. This has a direct effect on the competition for the third and fourth running back spot. That leaves basically Kahlil Bell and Garrett Wolfe to battle it out (although Brandon Minor is in there somewhere).
It appears as if the injury that linebacker/safety Brian Iwuh suffered isn’t as serious as first thought. He is currently listed as being day-to-day and could return to the practice field at the beginning of next week.
Safeties Chris Harris (back) and Major Wright (groin) continue to sit missing more and more practices. This should be of some great concern to coaches and fans because of all of the time that these two potential starters are missing learning the defense.
It was thought that Harris (at the least) would start and Wright, with a full camp, could become a starter as well. However, their development has been hindered by injury and hopes are high that they will come back from all of this soon.
Wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias started to run a little bit after sitting out several practices with a quadriceps injury. Quarterback Mike Teel also sat out with a hamstring problem, wide receiver Devin Hester was out with a leg issue, defensive end Barry Turner was held out due to a hamstring problem. Tight end Desmond Clark was rested. Hester and Turner should be back to practice very soon.
There is a definite battle going between Nick Roach and Pisa Tinoisamoa for the strong side linebacker spot. Both have shared time with the first string defense and right now it looks like the competition is close.
If anyone has an edge in camp after some observation, it would be Tinoisamoa. He looks calm and cool back there and doesn’t look like he gets confused when trying to diagnose and make the play. Tinoisamoa may end up getting the starting job at that spot.
Bruce on the Loose
The Bears have asked former St. Louis Rams wide receiver (and Mike Martz disciple) to come to camp to help tutor the Bears wide receivers. This opportunity should be taken full advantage of because the Bears don’t currently have anyone that they could call a true “veteran” wide receiver. Bruce should be able to help the receivers get used to the offense since he has such a broad familiarity with it.
Newly acquired defensive end Julius Peppers has been very good in camp so far and has players and coaches, as well as fans and members of the media, singing his praises. Watching him practice has been a “breath of fresh air” and hopes are high that he will improve the Bears' pass rush this coming season.
One of his biggest fans has been defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, who has had nothing but good things to say about Peppers. Hopefully he will be just as good during the season.