The Chicago Bears completed their fifth training camp practice (and third padded practice) on Wednesday. Their first preseason game is just 9 days away, against the Philadelphia Eagles. Pretty awesome, huh?
As Izzy Mandelbaum would say, "It's go time!" So let's get to the links to get caught up on the latest Bears happenings in Bourbonnais, as well as some nice Bears takes from writers around the web...
Bears Camp Report: Day 5- Michael C. Wright recaps the events at Bears camp on Wednesday. (Michael C. Wright; ESPN Chicago)
Day 4 Training Camp Notes- Our buddy Matt Eurich was in attendance at Bears camp on Monday and wrote a nice summary on the day's events at Bourbonnais.
I also got a chance to talk to Matt today and he told me that he was particularly impressed with two newcomers to Bears camp, rookie first-round pick Kyle Fuller and former CFL wide receiver/returner Chris Williams. Matt said that "Williams seems to just fit in seamlessly", and Cutler "seemed pretty high on him (Williams)".
The 26-year-old Williams came into camp as the favorite to take over Devin Hester's duties as the Bears' main return man, and it seems he's only helping those chances so far. The main question marks have been in regards to whether or not Williams is a worthy No. 4 or No. 5 receiver, as you'd like to have the guy be able to be more than just a returner if he's going to be a part of the 53-man roster. But, he's been impressing in that area so far in camp. (Matt Eurich; Sulia)
Chris Williams Could Be Devin Hester's Flair Apparent At Returner- More on Chris Williams. Also, nice headline. (Mark Potash; Chicago Sun-Times)
Long Cleared To Begin Conditioning- Bears second-year guard Kyle Long appears to be ready to go in camp after missing all of camp so far with a viral infection. (Larry Mayer; ChicagoBears.Com)
Eben Britton Sidelined By Hamstring Injury- Versatile Bears offensive lineman Eben Britton (primarily a tackle) was carted off Wednesday's practice with a left hamstring injury. However, he believes the injury isn't a big deal. Let's hope not because his versatility is key with the Bears' offensive line rotation, and it's possible he could even challenge Jordan Mills for the starting right tackle job before long. (Michael C. Wright; ESPN Chicago)
Brandon Marshall: Jay Cutler Will Be MVP In 2014- The reactions to this one will be fun!
Also in this link is Michael Irvin getting together with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Marquess Wilson, and Martellus Bennett in camp, so check that out. (Marc Sessler; NFL.Com)
Durkin's Training Camp Notebook: Rookie Class Playing Meaningful Reps- Dan Durkin writes how Bears rookie defenders Kyle Fuller, Brock Vereen, Will Sutton, and Ego Ferguson are getting lots of reps in camp. (Dan Durkin; 670 The Score)
5 Players Turning Heads At Bears Camp- (Ross Read; Bleacher Report)
Bears Add WR Dale Moss To Roster- It sounds like Terrence Toliver may have a fracture in his foot, in which case bringing in another receiver to camp certainly makes sense. (Brad Biggs; Chicago Tribune)
Bears WR Wilson Grabbing Some Attention- This could definitely be a breakout year for Marquess Wilson, who figures to be the Bears' No. 3 wide receiver. (Bob LeGere; Daily Herald)
McCray Enters Mix In Bears' Safety Dance- Veteran safety Danny McCray got some work in with the Bears' first-team defense on Wednesday. This race is wide open. (Chris Emma; 670 The Score)
Ford, Carey Eager To Prove Themselves In Running Back Battle- Could Michael Ford have the edge over Ka'Deem Carey in the running back race so far? Both are capable backs and it will likely come down to which one the Bears feel is the better pass blocker. Look for this race to go deep into the preseason. (James Neveau; NBC Chicago)
Bostic Hopeful Versatility Translates To On-Field Success- (James Neveau; NBC Chicago)
Jay Cutler Building Rapport With Backups- Jay Cutler is taking some reps with the second-string guys more this camp, in an effort to familiarize himself more with guys like Marquess Wilson and Chris Williams. (Sam Householder; Windy City Gridiron)
Martellus Bennett Working On Yards After Catch- YAC! Martellus Bennett was very good for the Bears last year and he's looking to get more big plays in an offense that was already going to have a ton of them. Good stuff. (Patrick Finley; Chicago Sun-Times)
Audible At The Long Snapper?- Phil Emery and Marc Trestman may be trying to get Patrick Mannelly to come out of retirement soon. (Jeff Hughes; Da Bears Blog)
Punter O'Donnell Emerges As Fan Favorite- MEGAPUNT! (Michael C. Wright; ESPN Chicago)
Nate Collins Stars In Bears' Pass-Rush Drill- Nate Collins is kind of a forgotten guy when it comes to the Bears' defensive line in 2014. An underrated all-around contributor at defensive tackle and he was very missed when he tore his ACL last season. He's impressing so far in camp, and should be a key part of a rotation that could feature Jeremiah Ratliff, Stephen Paea, Will Sutton, Ego Ferguson, and Lamarr Houston (on passing downs). (Jeff Dickerson; ESPN Chicago)
Offensive Continuity Critical For Marc Trestman & The Chicago Bears- Good read here from Ryan Wooden on how crucial year two is in Marc Trestman's offense. (Ryan Wooden; Chicago Bears Huddle)
New Top-Secret Bears Defense Is No Joke- (Adam L. Jahns; Chicago Sun-Times)
Bears Look Like Monsters On Offense- (Jon Greenberg; ESPN Chicago)
Bears Wanting Cutler To Take More Control Of The Offense- (John Mullin; CSN Chicago)
Bears Linebackers Coach Reggie Herring Receiving Rave Reviews- Great to hear. (Mark Potash; Chicago Sun-Times)
Chicago Bears' Projected Roster- Michael C. Wright with a very early projection on the Bears' 53-man roster. A few of his picks may surprise you. (Michael C. Wright; ESPN Chicago)
The Bears Should Bring Back Kyle Orton- Sam Householder at Windy City Gridiron writes how the Bears should bring back free-agent quarterback Kyle Orton to be the No. 2 quarterback in Chicago. And I 100% agree, as long as Orton would be in full-on football mode and have his heart in it. All of the speculation was that the 31-year-old Orton planned to retire, and that's why it was assumed that the Cowboys released him. But, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently said that Orton still plans to play and that they really liked Weeden as their No. 2 quarterback (choosing him over Orton would be a bit questionable in my opinion).
The bottom line, though, is if Orton wants to play, Phil Emery should be in contact with him. On the surface at least, Orton is a far better option than Jimmy Clausen, Jordan Palmer, and David Fales as the Bears' No. 2 quarterback. (Sam Householder; Windy City Gridiron)
Bettors Hammering Over On Bears' Season Win Total- 95% of bettors on Bovada are picking the Bears to win over 8.5 games. Given that the Bears went 8-8 with the worst defense in the league last year and return an offense that should only be improving, that seems like a good bet on the surface, right? (670 The Score)
Shutdown Corner: Bears Have Offense, Just Need Better D- Frank Schwab of Shutdown Corner (Yahoo Sports' NFL blog) has the Bears ranked seventh in his preseason power rankings. That's ahead of everyone else in the NFC North. Schwab concludes his article with the following:
The only reason I'd pick Green Bay over Chicago in the NFC North is Aaron Rodgers. While that's no minor reason, I think the Bears defense will improve a ton and the offensive talent is pretty ridiculous. I think Trestman will be even better in his second year, and while I'm a bit skeptical on Cutler, I do think this is his big season we've all been waiting for. They win the NFC North, although matchups will dictate how far they go in what will be an incredibly competitive NFC playoffs.
(Frank Schwab; Shutdown Corner)
Tweet Of The Day
Technically it's from three days ago, but whatever. ESPN Chicago's Michael C. Wright (who has been following the team daily for years) on the Bears' defense:
It's still early, but based on what I've seen, I'll be SHOCKED if the D doesn't turn it around this year.
— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) July 27, 2014
Video Of The Day
Alshon Jeffery returned to Bears practice on Wednesday, after missing Monday's camp activities on the field with a foot injury. And it looks like Alshon's foot is feeling just fine (via @Rich_Campbell):
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