BOURBONNAIS — The Bears’ offense has faced plenty of adversity this summer, often against its own defense in training camp, but things appeared smooth on both sides of the ball during Monday’s session.
After a slow return to practice on Sunday afternoon, all was positive during a picture-perfect day at Olivet Nazarene University.
“I think the first thing I’d like to say is if you love football, you had to love this practice,” said head coach Marc Trestman. “This was a vicious practice, a highly-competitive practice. The guys stayed on their feet. They were cooperative.
“I thought it was probably one of our best practices, maybe in the top three, during camp.”
Instead of starting practice with an interception, like Jay Cutler did on Sunday and on the first play during Friday’s preseason game, he hit Matt Forte out of the backfield for a simple completion.
Throughout practice, Trestman often complimented back end on defense, who still forced a few turnovers. Charles Tillman had a pick six on a pass dropped by Michael Bush and Lance Briggs also picked off a pass thrown into traffic.
“The effort was outstanding with the D-Line, linebackers and secondary, the guys pushed through from the start of practice all the way to the end of the fourth-down period,” said defensive coordinator Mel Tucker.
With several injuries still a factor, we’re seeing more and more of the fringe roster players fighting for roster spots in different units.
“I really see the effort of the young guys and the guys fighting for positions, and that’s what I told the team today,” Trestman said. “It’s not only our first groups battling but there are guys here trying to make this 53.”
On offense, second-year wide receiver Alshon Jeffery had a good day. Cutler threaded the needle on a pass over the middle to Jeffery, and late in practice Jeffery showed great body control to come back and make a catch.