The first practice of a long training camp is underway for the Chicago Bears. Here are a few takeaways from the action.
Kyle Fuller is already making a statement
It didn’t take long at all for fans to become very excited about who the Bears got in the 1st round of the NFL draft. In just his first training camp practice as a pro, cornerback Kyle Fuller showed that he belonged on the field when he intercepted not one but two passes during 11-on-11 drills. It was clear validation that he has a nose for the football and is more polished than a rookie corner typically is. In fact scouting reports stated quite clearly he plays with instincts, field speed and good hands to take away the football. One practice in and Chicago is seeing those same traits.
Jordan Palmer gets the jump on Jimmy Clausen
Among the many roster battles the Chicago Bears front office has deliberately worked to create, none may draw more attention than the one being waged at backup quarterback. Given Jay Cutler’s injury history and the success Josh McCown had replacing him for five games in 2013, the job is going to become quite coveted. Entering camp the man in the lead was Jordan Palmer, a 29-year old veteran who came on as a third-stringer for the Bears last year. His primary competition will be Jimmy Clausen, just 26-years old and a former 2nd round pick for Carolina who never quite reached his potential there. Based on early returns, while Clausen has the attention it was Palmer who got off to the hot start. One of the highlight plays of practice was when he found receiver Chris Williams down the sideline for a long touchdown, beating Kyle Fuller. Clausen will need similar such plays in the days and weeks to come to stay in the race.
Marc Trestman is doing everything to prepare for game situations
Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman said one of the things he wants to do during practices is prepare his players as much as possible for game-type situations. That includes running at a faster, longer pace, piping in crowd noise, refusing to let the same players run a play if there is a pre-snap penalty. Most recently people got to experience another part of his formula when blaring music could be heard across the practice fields, including some AC/DC. When asked why he does it, Trestman answered openly that before games the stadiums play similar types of music. By doing so in practice it will get players used to the atmosphere. While it may be impossible to predict how much doing that affects the actual play, one can at least say Trestman refuses to skimp on the details for Chicago.