Chicago Bears: JaMarcus Russell

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Here are some observations from Day 1 of the Chicago Bears' three-day mandatory minicamp:

  • Bears offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Aaron Kromer recently underwent hip surgery, which forced the veteran assistant coach to miss the on-field portion of Tuesday’s minicamp workout. However, Kromer was in the building during practice and did attend meetings. Kromer will not meet the media following the conclusion of minicamp on Thursday as had been previously scheduled.

  • The signing of defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis gives the Bears’ the maximum 90 players on their offseason roster. Although the team worked out three quarterbacks last week, including 2007 No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell, the Bears appear to content to enter training camp with just three quarterbacks. The feeling is that if the club added another veteran passer, it would come at the expense of No. 3 quarterback Matt Blanchard, a young player the Bears are committed to developing.

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    Source: JaMarcus Russell in shape

    June, 7, 2013
    PM ET
    Former Oakland Raiders No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell put together a solid showing during his tryout for the Chicago Bears on Friday at Halas Hall, according to a league source who attended the session, but it doesn’t appear likely the team will look to sign him to a contract.

    Russell reported to the workout in the 265-pound range, according to the source, and displayed a “big arm” and “good positive demeanor,” but also showed some rust with the timing and accuracy of some of his throws. Still from the workout, it was apparent, according to the source, that Russell has worked diligently in recent months to get back to his playing weight of approximately 265 pounds, which is what the quarterback weighed when the Raiders drafted him.

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    Garcia lauds Russell's new presence

    June, 5, 2013
    PM ET
    JaMarcus Russell Rich Gabrielson/Icon SMIJeff Garcia said the Bears will see a slimmer JaMarcus Russell, who still has strong skills.
    JaMarcus Russell faces difficult odds of landing a roster spot Friday when he works out for the Chicago Bears at Halas Hall, but former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia thinks the club will "definitely (see) a different physical presence than what they may be expecting."

    Having worked with Russell at TEST Academy in San Diego, Calif., Garcia told the "Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 that Russell -- the 2007 No. 1 overall pick of the Oakland Raiders -- is currently "below 270 (pounds), close to that 265 range," which represents an accomplishment considering Russell initially reported for training in late Jan. weighing 315 pounds.

    While shedding the weight, Russell also regained his confidence.

    "Well, he's gonna come in looking more athletic. Even when he was heavier he was pretty good on his feet. But he's gonna be so much better on his feet," Garcia said. "The natural abilities for him to throw the ball as people saw when he was coming out of LSU -- he is impressive in that way. He does have just the natural technique. That ball comes out so smooth, so effortlessly. It's slick, it rotates. It goes the way that you would like it to go.

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    Source: Bears to work out QB Russell

    June, 4, 2013
    PM ET

    Former Oakland Raiders No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell gets his first shot at returning to the NFL on Friday when he visits the Chicago Bears for a workout that will include three other signal callers, according to an NFL source with knowledge of the situation.

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