LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Here are some observations from the Chicago Bears' final minicamp workout of the offseason:
The Bears wrapped up the three-month long offseason program without their projected two starters at wide receiver ever sharing the field together for an extended period of time. Offseason hip surgery limited four-time Pro Bowl wideout Brandon Marshall to individual work at the end of OTAs last week and one day of minicamp, while a tight hamstring kept Alshon Jeffery off the field Tuesday and Wednesday. Jeffery did return on Thursday but only participated in limited individual drills.
"I think we turned it into a positive," Trestman said. "We got a great look at some of the young guys. They were ready to step in. We had very few, if any, mental errors there. They were running full speed and we were catching the football when we had the opportunity. So it was good for them to get the reps and get the reps against our top players on defense. Those are all good things.
Bears center Roberto Garza cited significant differences for the offensive linemen in the new scheme compared to what the club operated in 2012 with Mike Tice as the offensive coordinator. The hope is the new wrinkles yield much better results, considering quarterback Jay Cutler suffered 38 sacks last season.
"Totally different offense, totally different techniques," Garza said. (Offensive coordinator Aaron) Kromer comes from a different line of techniques. Obviously we've done variations of those blocking schemes before, but his techniques are a little different. So it takes time to get used to that."
Garza said the offensive line is learning "different footwork, hand placement," adding that "some of the ways our combination blocks are being done (are different), targets and things like that."
Trestman called rising second-year guard James Brown a player who has "ascended" throughout the offseason. As a rookie in 2012, Brown started the final three games of the season. Brown is working with the starters opposite Matt Slauson because rookie first-round pick Kyle Long -- a projected starter -- wasn't available due to NFL rules that prevented him from joining the team until his college concluded final exams.
"I've talked to (offensive coordinator) Aaron (Kromer) and (assistant offensive line coach) Pat (Meyer) about him almost each and every day, and he's locked in and has grown as a player," Trestman said. "He's got to face a heck of a defensive line every day, and that's enabled him to get better."
Tempers briefly flared during a special teams period when linebacker Patrick Trahan and receiver Brittan Golden shoved each other after the whistle. The incident was sparked when a Trahan block knocked Golden to the ground on kickoff return.
The Bears made a roster move on Thursday, signing offensive lineman AJ Lindeman and waiving cornerback Maurice Jones.