Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC North [Print without images]

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Busy news day at Bears OTA

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Dozens of reporters descended Wednesday on the Chicago Bears' practice field for the first open organized team activity (OTA) of the 2012 offseason. Quarterback Jay Cutler was among those who spoke afterwards, and I thought I would run through a number of newsbits and offer some pithy but insightful comments to go with it.

Item: Receiver Johnny Knox, watching from the sidelines, revealed he lost 30 pounds during his recovery from spinal fusion surgery and remains 20 pounds below his playing weight.
Comment: Knox couldn't say whether he would play in 2012, but it's easy to see him sitting out the year. Everyone knows he suffered a serious injury, but given his gaunt appearance Wednesday, few us probably know the full extent. In February, don't forget, Knox said people wouldn't "be able to sleep" if they knew how close he was to never walking again.

Item: Cutler said the Bears' offensive situation is "a breath of fresh air" with longtime confidant Jeremy Bates serving as quarterbacks coach and Mike Tice now the offensive coordinator.
Comment: Cutler seemed to be referring to a healthy exchange of ideas between players and coaches on what will work in this offense and what won't. He has a decent track record in that regard, as we discussed last season, the Tice-Bates regime is clearly doing everything possible to meet Cutler's vision for the offense.

Item: The Bears' first-team offensive line included Chris Spencer at left guard, Lance Louis at right guard and a rotation of J'Marcus Webb and Chris Williams at left tackle. Presumed right tackle Gabe Carimi (knee) wasn't practicing.
Comment: There's noting scarier than a left tackle competition between a player who was moved away from the position two years ago (Williams) and one who probably shouldn't have been there in the first place (Webb). The reality is the Bears have only one position locked down: Roberto Garza at center.

Item: Cutler said that receiver Devin Hester "is having the best camp of all the receivers" and disagreed with suggestions that Hester's playing time should be limited.
Comment: I have to assume there is some kind of "get-Hester-confident" conspiracy going on at Halas Hall. Receiver Brandon Marshall has expressed similar sentiments. Unless, of course, the receiver light has suddenly turned on for Hester.