BOURBONAIS, Ill. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Chicago Bears training camp:
The Bears broke training camp Tuesday in cool, rainy conditions at Olivet Nazarene University, but the club plans to spend one more day on campus going through meetings and walk-throughs in preparation for Thursday’s matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“It seems like we just got here, and now we’ve got one more day of walk-throughs and we’re moving back, 48 hours until game time,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “It was a very good camp. I told them after practice I thought we did a great job of focusing when we need to focus on our work. I think you saw that, for those of you who have been here every day.”
The Bears held out Chris Williams (hamstring), Eben Britton (hamstring), Jordan Mills (foot), Marquess Wilson (collarbone), Isaiah Frey (hamstring) and Dante Rosario (calf). Charles Tillman and Jeremiah Ratliff were given the day off to rest.
Since returning from a strained quadriceps, veteran cornerback Tim Jennings has worked exclusively at the nickel corner spot. Prior to the injury, Jennings had been working outside opposite Tillman when the Bears played their base defense, before kicking inside when the team ran nickel. Now Jennings is taking reps solely as the nickel.
Marisa Buchheit, otherwise known as Miss Illinois 2014, visited the sideline at camp and took pictures with several spectators, and even some with members of the media.
Safety Chris Conte slipped while dropping into coverage, allowing room for the offense to hit a pass down the seam. Immediately after the play, several in the crowd began to continuously heckle and ridicule the safety. One teammate stood up and screamed “shut up” to the spectators.
Obviously, Conte’s struggles in 2013 are well documented. But he certainly wasn’t deserving of the ruthless ridicule, especially considering several players slipped on the wet grass during Tuesday’s workout.
On the subject of Conte, it’s still unknown whether he’ll play Thursday against the Jaguars.
“I’m gonna leave that up to the trainers. I’m hoping he can [play], but I can’t say that right now,” Trestman said. “We’ll wait and see.”
Conte came off the club’s physically unable to perform list on Sunday and has practiced every day since.
At the conclusion of the final workout of training camp, team officials wheeled the bicycles ridden around campus by the players and coaches onto the field to give away to some of the kids in attendance. The Bears have done this for the past several years.
Tight end Martellus Bennett spent several minutes after practice playing catch with a young boy visiting camp. After they played catch, the boy walked off the field carrying Bennett’s helmet.