Chicago Bears Rookie Minicamp Day 1 Notebook
May 10, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears fullback Keegan Wetzel (46), center James Ferentz (60), tight end Eddie Viliunas (87), tight end Corey Fuller (86), and wide receiver Marcus Rucker (18) warm up during the rookie minicamp on Friday. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Bears wrapped up the first day of their rookie minicamp and of course all the rookies and tryout players look great in their shorts and shells. Let’s get a rundown of the action from the intrepid Bears beat writers:
Pencil Kyle Long in at Right Guard
According to Brad Biggs, Kyle Long showed why the Bears chose him in the first round of the draft, showing off his power and athleticism. Here’s just a quick anecdote from Biggs’ report:
"Corvey Irvin, a third-round draft pick by the Panthers four years ago, tried to rush the passer upfield on Kyle Long, and there was nowhere to go.Irvin, at Bears rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, wound up on his butt behind the quarterback at the end of the play. He popped up and pushed Long, the first-round pick from Oregon. Long took a couple of steps toward Irvin but didn’t retaliate. Instead, he shared a few words.“I said, ‘Good play,’ ” Long said when asked after Friday’s practice inside the Walter Payton Center at Halas Hall."
Long will have these three days to soak up the environment at Halas Hall before he has to go back to work with Tony Wise while he waits for Oregon’s final exams to finish up and miss the next 13 practices after the weekend. Head coach Marc Trestman says the Bears will use technology, like webinars, to keep Long in the loop.
Change of Pace
The Bears coaching staff spent most of Friday teaching the rookies how to practice rather than what to practice. Marc Trestman runs a fast practice by Chicago Bears standards but it was quite a change of pace for incoming rookies:
"“The pace was different; a lot faster,” said linebacker Khaseem Greene, a fourth-round pick. “They say when you go from high school to college it’s faster. When you go from college to the NFL, it’s faster. That stood true (here). It was fun just to be out there. But the pace was definitely faster, and the work was a lot more taxing on your body. But at the same time, it’s on us to take care of our bodies.”"
Bears Get Better Look at Matt Blanchard
My pal Decon wrote about how the Bears are betting big on Jay Cutler. You might say they’re also betting big on second year quarterback Matt Blanchard, who’s currently the #3 quarterback behind Jay Cutler and Josh McCown. Since Blanchard turned heads and earner himself a contract as a tryout player last season, he’s stuck around on the practice squad, which made him eligible to participate in the rookie minicamp. Marc Trestman liked what they saw out of their #3 signal caller:
"“I like Matt,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “I think he’s got a good base. He throws the ball well and he’s very, very smart. He obviously has the aptitude to play the game and he’s very good with our system. That’s come to him very easily. He throws the ball very well.“He’s in shorts like everybody else is and he doesn’t seem out of place to any of us and that’s why he’s with us.”"
Not So Fast for Mark Harrison
The Bears were set to sign Rutgers wide receiver Mark Harrison as an undrafted free agent. The bad news for Harrison is that he failed the physical, still not fully recovered from foot surgery in March. The Bears could explore bringing him back down the road, but for now, they could use that roster spot for a healthy body. That gives 7th round pick Marquess Wilson a leg up on that last wide receiver spot that will be up for grabs in training camp.