As the first day of the 2009 training camp comes to a close, let’s take a look at some of the news, observations, sights and sounds from Bourbonnais.
Cutler has slow start: New Bears quarterback Jay Cutler began training camp practice a little slow today and didn’t quite connect with his receivers in individual drills. That’s not to be taken too seriously as almost every NFL player probably shows some rust on the first day of training camp, not to mention with a new team. Cutler did warm up considerably as the practice went on, connecting with Devin Hester on a deep pass down one sideline and with Greg Olsen down the other sideline.
Harrison watches from sideline: Promising second-year defensive tackle Marcus Harrison was placed on the non-football injury list for arriving at camp overweight. The fact that Harrison was a mere 10-15 pounds over the coaching staff’s desired weight for him sounds a little fishy. The Bears have never been openly candid about personal affairs, so we may never know if there is more to this story.
Harris finally healthy? Tommie Harris was reportedly granted full participation today which means the coaches and training staff obviously feel he is at or near 100%. I’m sure as a precautionary move, they’ll give him sporadic time off over the next 44 days until the regular season opener.
‘Interceptor’ picks off Hanie: Two things to comment about here. First, I bet “Hania” is a lot less fervent at training camp than it was last year. After all, now that a Pro Bowl quarterback is on board, there should be exactly zero fans rooting for Caleb Hanie to become the Bears’ starting quarterback. Secondly, Nathan Vasher recorded the first interception of training camp by stepping in front of a Hanie pass intended for Devin Aromashodo. Hanie to Aromashodo… take that interception for what it’s worth. In fact, Brandon Rideau beat Vasher deep after that.
Beekman starts over Omiyale: It may only be temporary, but Josh Beekman started at left guard on Friday ahead of free agent Frank Omiyale. That may just be an instance of a newcomer having to begin at the bottom of the depth chart behind a veteran holdover who started last year. Omiyale might eventually take that spot from Beekman.
Hester No. 1 receiver? It’s looking like Olsen: While Devin Hester may be on top of the depth chart at wide receiver, it’s looking increasingly like tight end Greg Olsen is becoming Cutler’s preferred receiver of choice. They seem to be developing a good rapport.