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.
The Bears brought in two players to work out with the team at minicamp on a tryout basis. The club is trying out former Toledo standout offensive lineman A.J. Lindeman, who received a tryout in May during the rookie minicamp, and fullback Willie Carter, who played college football at Tulsa. Carter caught 110 passes in his final two seasons at Tulsa for 10 touchdowns.
Recently traded offensive lineman Gabe Carimi stayed away from the team’s voluntary offseason work, but Bears coach Marc Trestman made it clear Tuesday that his absence didn’t play a role in the team making the trade.
“No decision is based on anything other than the best decisions of the team,” Trestman said. “They’re mindful, they’re in good faith. We’re not making decisions based on being belligerent or having animosity. That’s not in the best interest of the team. Its best interest is gathering information and moving forward with the new players, and I believe we have.”
Trestman thinks that new Bears’ fullback Tony Fiammetta is an upgrade over released 2012 fourth-round draft choice Evan Rodriguez in terms of versatility and special teams.
“We feel we made very good decisions moving in the direction of a fullback that can give us more on special teams and can give us a little more flexibility in some of the things we are going to be doing.”
Fiammetta is more of a traditional fullback, but the Bears are confident they can replace whatever Rodriguez was going to provide in the passing game with third-year tight ends Fendi Onobun or Kyle Adams.