One of the few position battles we are watching, at the No. 2 tight end spot, potentially got a new player on Friday. Veteran tight end Leonard Pope was in for a visit.
A 6-foot-8, seventh-year veteran, Pope played in every game from 2010-12 with the Chiefs and Steelers. According to the Chicago Tribune, the Bears are expected to sign Pope pending a physical.
Pope would challenge Steve Maneri, Kyle Adams and Gabe Miller to be the team’s blocking tight end behind Martellus Bennett — Fendi Onobun is more of a pass catcher. Trestman noted that the team has an ideal, three-down tight end in Bennett, but blocking is important at the position, and likely why Pope is getting a chance. “The tight end position demands that you initially have to block the point," Trestman said. "That's number one and from there we try to work with our skill sets the best we can."
Here are the other notes from Friday afternoon's practice:
Back-Shoulder Success: We saw a few back-shoulder throws by the quarterbacks today. The best one came early in practice on a throw from Cutler to Alshon Jeffery, who displayed great awareness to keep his feet in-bounds. “Jay and quarterbacks throughout this league are capable of doing that and it’s a very important gift,” Trestman said of the route.
Love for Frey: Second-year cornerback Isaiah Frey worked as a first-team nickel corner in practice with Charles Tillman taking the day off. Frey has had a very impressive camp. “[Frey’s] continually playing at a high level, making plays, knocking passes down, creating opportunities for himself,” Trestman said.
Soldier Field Debut: Trestman and the Bears head to their home field on Saturday night for “Family Fest,” an annual practice at Soldier Field that ends with autographs for the fans. Trestman made it very clear that this is just a regular practice. “We have a lot of guys who are competing for jobs on this team and we've got to remember when we go to the stadium tomorrow night we've got a practice that's important to the development of our team. That's No. 1,” he said, then adding, “I think that we're excited to be around our fans. I know the players are and that will even amp practice up a little more with the fans around us.”
Quick Hits: Charles Tillman, Julius Peppers and Brandon Marshall took the practice off. Trestman said this is part of their plan with Marshall, who had offseason hip surgery. … Corey Wootton is day-to-day with a hip injury. Jermon Bushrod (calf), Jonathan Scott (knee), Jamaal Anderson (knee) and D.J. Williams (calf) remained out, though Williams was not wearing a boot. … Linebacker Blake Costanzo and safety Chris Conte each collected pick-sixes during practice. … With injuries coming left and right to the Bears and several teams around the NFL, Trestman continues to emphasize that players stay on their feet in these drills to avoid getting hurt.