Bears Training Camp: Day 3 Recap

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The Bears focused primarily on special teams during day 3 of training camp and there weren’t any fights to report on like yesterday but there were still some interesting developments. Here is a recap of who stood out on Sunday.

  • DT Nate Collins looked fully recovered from his ACL injury last year and showed good burst in 1-1 drills. Collins has been a favorite of the coaching staff since joining the Bears in 2012, but he has struggled to stay healthy. He showed flashes of potential early last year and was having his best game as a pro (1 sack, 1 hurry, 1 QB hit) when he tore his ACL in week 4 last season. Collins should be a key member of the DT rotation this year if he can avoid injury.
  • With the retirement of long-time long snapper Patrick Mannelly the Bears will be looking for a new one for the first time since 1998. The Bears focused on special teams today giving new long snappers, Chad Rempel and Brandon Hartson, a chance to show what they can do. Rempel, a 10-year CFL veteran, is considered the favorite based on experience but he struggled today. He snapped one over the head of 6’4 punter Pat O’Donnell and bounced a snap on a field goal attempt. Hartson, in his 2nd year out of Houston, doesn’t have much experience but was consistent today. It’s early, but after day 3, I think Hartson has the lead on the long snapper job.
  • There were some grumbling from Bears fans when they spent a 6th round pick on punter Pat O’Donnell, but last year’s punter, Adam Podlesh, was so bad that the Bears needed to solidify the position. O’Donnell got off to a good start today, booming punts and out performing his competition, Tress Way, in every aspect. If O’Donnell can punt in games like he did today, then fans won’t be grumbling much longer.
  • The Bears brought in CFL KR/WR Chris Williams to compete for the vacant return specialist position. I think he is the favorite for at least the punt return job after setting a CFL record for punt return TDs last year, but he was also a dangerous receiver in Canada. Williams had 83 catches for 1,298 and 11 TDs as a slot receiver in the CFL last year and made some nice catches today. After Marshall and Jeffery, the Bears WR depth chart is wide open and Williams could make a play for the 3rd or 4th WR job if he continues to impress.
  • The Bears released undrafted free agent T James Dunbar from TCU.
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