- Adam L. Jahns at the Chicago Sun-Times passes on the fact that Isaiah Frey is out with a hamstring issue. The return of Kelvin Hayden and the pick up of first round draft pick Kyle Fuller already put a lot of pressure on Frey. This could be very bad news for a player who I thought might be on the bubble to begin with.
- I’ve wondered a couple times if quarterback Jimmy Clausen wasn’t still behind Jordan Palmer on the depth chart because he wasn’t giving the Bears the feeling that he’d be as good at protecting the ball. So I thought this report from Rich Campbell and Dan Wiederer at the Chicago Tribune was significant:
“Clausen’s push to be Jay Cutler‘s backup gains momentum with each practice in which he demonstrates greater command of the offense. On consecutive plays during team drills Tuesday, he connected with receivers Chris Williams and Josh Bellamy on short, safe passes near the left sideline. Coaches have been pleased by his mechanics and arm strength. For the four-year veteran, comfort in the offense and minimizing mistakes are the keys to winning the job.”
This quote from offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer also supports my point. Via Jahns:
“‘By no means are we looking for a superstar,’ offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said. ‘We’re looking for a guy who can read a coverage and throw it to the correct guy or work with the unit and make him successful.'”
- Campbell quotes grumpy old man Adrian Wilson before tomorrow’s game:
“‘It’s preseason. I don’t, I mean, it’s my 14th year. I hate having to (answer) questions about a preseason game. I just don’t feel like I have to prove anything to anybody. I’ve got (five) Pro Bowls, (one) first-team All-Pros, so why do I have to prove anything to anybody? I just don’t feel like I have to do that.'”
Well, I hate to break it to Wilson but he does have something to prove. He’ll be 35 years old in October and he’s coming off of an serious injury that caused him to miss last season. He also had a serious drop off in 2012. Those five Pro Bowls don’t mean anything in a “what have you done for me lately” league and nothing should tell that to Wilson more clearly than the fact that he was still available for the Bears to sign to a low risk contract in late June.
It’s possible, given the context of the answer, that Wilson was strictly saying that he didn’t have to prove anything to the fans and the media (which is absolutely true). But if Wilson’s attitude really is that he doesn’t have to compete for a job, there’s a good chance he’s not going to have one. In fact, he might not make it past the first cut.
- Wilson’s attitude is in direct contrast to that linebacker D. J. Williams, who implies that he, at least, will be putting forth some effort against the Eagles. Via Matthew Paras at chicagofootball.com:
“‘Playing one of the opponents that I say personally embarrassed [us] last season, we’re eager to see how far we’ve come and still see what we have to do,’ Williams said. ‘I want to shut them out. That’s how you approach every game, whether it’s preseason, regular season or practice.'”
- I thought this exchange, as passed on by Wiederer, was rather humorous:
“[Kicker Robbie] Gould later stopped on his way to lunch to chat with a pair of young fans leaving the cafeteria with executive Brian McCaskey. After Gould walked away, it took one of the boys 10 seconds to realize what had just happened. ‘Oh my god! That was Robbie Gould?’ he shouted. ‘I had no idea that was Robbie Gould!’ Gould laughed and shouted back, ‘I had no idea either.'”
- Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers a question on a topic that continues to fascinate me.
“If Christian Jones continues to improve, is there any way he could he start at strong-side linebacker? If so, would Shea McClellin or Khaseem Greene be cut? — @steveoatms from Twitter
“Jones has been an intriguing player to watch in training camp because of his combination of size at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, and his athletic ability. But he’s still raw and I’d be surprised if he pushes for a starting job. Now, maybe he lights it up in preseason but my hunch is he will take some time to develop. A better question right now would probably be can Jones push for a spot on the 53-man roster and based on the practices, I think he has a shot. I doubt seriously McClellin will be let go and figure Greene makes it as a reserve and a core special teams player. But we’ve got the entire preseason ahead of us.”
The Bears will have to carry an extra linebacker if they want to keep all three along with special teams ace Jordan Senn. That won’t be easy to do and the easiest out for the Bears would be to try to stash Jones on the practice squad. The Bears may end up having to release a good player here and its’s going to be a position to watch closely.
- Rick Morrissey at the Chicago Sun-Times reports Bears head coach Marc Trestman‘s response to a question about the culture he’s trying to build with the team. Not surprisingly, its a pretty windy speech. Here’s the gist of it:
“‘It’s really that simple. If you understand the definition of [trust, respect and humility] and you love football and want to play it and are a baller, we’ll find a place for you. We’re also in a position where we don’t expect everybody to understand that immediately. That’s a process; that’s a transformational process. It doesn’t take one week. It doesn’t take one month. It may not take a year. It may take more.'”
“Given how long that quote is, you might think that Trestman has hijacked my column. I think he just explained the heart of the trouble with [suspended tight end Martellus] Bennett, without getting into specifics. Bennett apparently has been showing only trace amounts of trust, respect and humility lately.”
I’d say Morrissey has it right on the button. However, Morrissey goes on to question whether Trestman isn’t over-reacting to Bennett’s problem. I think that, even after noting Trestman’s soliloquy on team building, he might be missing the larger issue at stake. Related to that, I thought this quote via Jahns was to the point:
“Bennett’s suspension — and how he reacts when it concludes — figures to remain a storyline for some time. Left tackle Jermon Bushrod said, ‘You can’t go against what the head coach and management do [in these cases].
“‘If they feel like [a suspension is] in the best interest of the team [and] the individual, then so be it. We have to learn from it. He has to learn from it. Everyone who is [watching] has to learn from it.'”
- I’d be curious to know what was behind this little piece of insanity. Via Liam Ford at the Chicago Tribune.
One Final Thought
Paul Bessire at predictionmachine.com suggests on Sports Talk Live that Bears fans temper their expectations. It will surprise no one who knows me that I tend to agree: