- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Brandon Marshall appreciated the presence of referees Thursday at practice, joking that the receiving corps had grown tired of all the holding done by the club's defensive backs over the first six practices.
"It was awesome, man," Marshall said. "Me and Peanut (cornerback Charles Tillman) got into it the other day because he was holding, you know. We're tired of that. So for the refs to be able to come out here and hold them accountable it felt good. I guess that's why you saw some big plays."
There's certainly no denying that. Quarterback Jay Cutler connected with Marshall for a bomb with Tillman in tight coverage on one of the first plays of team drills. Two plays later, Cutler exploited a mistake in the first-team secondary to complete a wide-open pass to Fendi Onobun.
Offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb admitted the referees "help out a little bit; we appreciate that."
"(It was) a little different," he said. "I have a big head. So I thought I was up on the ball, and they're telling me to move up on the ball because I'm too far back."
Bears coach Marc Trestman called the referees "consultants," who after practice share "a litany of things that were relevant to the practice that we could do better."
"They'll speak to our team on Saturday morning, and spend time with the team, show them some tape and give them explanations of things they need to do their jobs on both sides."