Bears kick off training camp at 3 PM

July 23rd, 2008 - 8:40 am

Bears fans needn’t fret anymore; the Bears are back in town. Well, Bourbonnais, anyway. Players reported to Olivet Nazarene University yesterday and will practice for the first time at 3 p.m. today.

In his training camp eve speech to reporters, Lovie Smith expressed optimism, according to ChicagoBears.com.

Here’s a video from ChicagoBears.com of Lovie speaking.

Here are photos from ChicagoSports.com of Bears players arriving at training camp.

And here are some from SunTimes.com.

With all the hoopla over the beginning of training camp, the biggest news of the day may not be who is at training camp, but rather who is not. Vaughn McClure at ChicagoSports.com reports that rookie left tackle Chris Williams, who famously stated that “holdout” was not in his vocabulary following the 2008 Draft, has not yet been signed which could be a cause for concern for a young offense in need of stability.

Also some news from the Sun-Times, Devin Hester and Brandon Lloyd will start at receiver when camp opens. How long that pair remains on top remains to be seen. I expect Marty Booker to get his fair share of chances to be that possession guy, a position vacated by the departed Muhsin Muhammad. If I had to make a guess at this point, I think we’ll see Hester and Booker starting by opening day with Rashied Davis vying for time in the slot.

At running back, it’s widely reported that free agent acquisition Kevin Jones will miss some time due to his recovery from offseason surgery and will be held out of contact drills for the foreseeable future. Matt Forte and Adrian Peterson should carry the bulk to begin with, with scatback Garrett Wolfe filling in from time to time.

And, of course, in the ever-popular, never-ending quarterback derby, Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton will take turns with the starting offense, beginning with a coin toss to determine who gets the honor of kicking off today’s practice.

I will have more comments later.

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