The Chicago Bears wrapped up the third and final day of their mandatory minicamp on Thursday, culminating the first offseason program under new head coach Marc Trestman. Let’s check the notebook and see the news of the day:
Making an Big Impression
The Bears wouldn’t have just traded Gabe Carimi away if they didn’t think they had a lot of depth along the offensive line. One of those guys is second year guard James “Hot Tub” Brown, who’s made a pretty big impression on his new coaching staff:
“James has ascended during camp, and I’ve talked to [offensive coordinator/offensive line coach] Aaron [Kromer] and [assistant offensive line coach] Pat [Meyer] about that almost each and every day,” coach Marc Trestman said after the final day of minicamp Thursday. “He’s locked in, and he’s grown as a player.”
Let’s just remember that before he got injured, Mike Tice called Gabe Carimi the Bears’ best offensive lineman, so take it with a grain of salt.
It’s a Question of Trust
One of Marc Trestman’s disciples was on-hand for the final day of minicamp. Former Raiders quarterback Rich Ganon, who earned an MVP under Marc Trestman’s tutelage emphasized the importance of the relationship between Cutler and Trestman:
“That’s really important to be able to trust the guy on the other end, that he’s got your back, and not only that but that he can trust you; in critical situations you’re going to do the right thing. I think that’s going to be really important in terms of how the Bears start the season and how they finish the season, that relationship between Marc and Jay.”
I just can’t help but think of past relationships that Cutler had with his coaches and coordinators and think that all this advice is falling on deaf ears.
Jay Cutler needs to get rid of the ball a lot quicker. Marc Trestman wants to drill it into his head any way he can:
“I just want them to have a sense of urgency up there making the calls, assessing the defense, those types of things,” Trestman said Thursday. “We’ll have a clock in training camp so it will be easier on the voice. But I want them to get to the line of scrimmage. It’s like any other quarterback in the league, time is of the essence. We’ve got a lot of work to do before the snap. It’s the same everywhere. We just want to make sure we have that sense of urgency with every single play.”
It’s clear that the Bears are exhausting all options to protect Cutler and cut down the number of sacks and it’s not just on a O-line.
Earning Their Keep
The pressure will be on a couple of specialists to prove their worth and earn spots on the roster. Devin Hester is no longer playing wide receiver and is purely a special teamer. If the Bears want to keep a roster spot just for a returner, he’d best be exceptional.
Another specialist under the gun will be punter Adam Podlesh. Normally, punters aren’t a big focus of the offseason or preseason. But Podlesh was signed to a big money deal a couple of years ago and had a down year in 2012. He did suffer a hip injury, but the Bears will push him and could try to shave a bit off their salary cap in newcomer Tress Way can push Pods.
“I view him as a competitor,” DeCamillis said of Way. “He has some positive things. He has a chance.”
On the Fringes
Dan Pompei continues to prowl the fringes of the Bears roster. A few weeks ago, he gave us a fine piece on journeyman tight end Fendi Onabun, who will struggle to make the roster. Today, he gave us a hard-hitting article on Joe Anderson, a wide receiver who will struggle to make the final 53-man roster. Dan, focus on the guys who might make an impact, OK?
Head coach Marc Trestman reflected on the offseason program and looked ahead at his first training camp in Bourbonnais:
“I think you could see the energy was high from start to finish, which is exceptional. It’s going to be hot down there. I think our conditioning will be measured at that time more than any other. We had a hot day early this week. You saw it, and I think it caught us by surprise a little bit. But I think the guys bounced back. Our practices will look very similar to what they did today.”
It will be really interesting to see how the team responds to this pace in the heat and humidity of central Illinois in late July and early August. Think back to Lovie’s first camp. There were a lot of pulled hammies. Something to keep an eye on…