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CampTour'12: Bears Day 3
July, 29, 2012
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Some thoughts and observations on the Chicago Bears' practice Saturday night:
- More than 12,000 fans showed up to watch the Bears' full-pads practice, surrounding a field outfitted with portable lights. I classified that attendance as yet another example of the buzz surrounding this team. It was a perfect night from a weather perspective, but keep in mind this practice was not even held in a stadium setting. As the team jogged onto the field, some fans were chanting, "Super Bowl! Super Bowl!"
- By far, the star of the evening was receiver Brandon Marshall, who rebounded from an injury scare early in practice to educate the Bears and their fans on what it's like to have a true No. 1 receiver. He made spectacular catches all over the field in 1-on-1, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. The one that caught my eye was what appeared to be an ad-lib play between him and quarterback Jay Cutler, who moved in the pocket toward the right sideline before firing about across the field toward Marshall, who was running toward the left sideline about 40 yards away. Marshall leaped and caught the ball over close coverage from cornerback Charles Tillman and appeared to keep both feet in bounds on the far sideline. "He's a scholarship player," coach Lovie Smith said. "I think we can all agree on that."
- Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune was among those impressed. Pompei: "Marshall easily is the most talented offensive skill position player I've seen on Bears since No. 34," referring to Walter Payton.
- Marshall's injury scare came early in the practice when he fell in a non-contact drill and flexed his legs for several minutes. Fans were hushed for a moment before Marshall finally got up and walked to the sideline. He re-entered drills about five minutes later after the initial fall. Cutler was among those who came to check on him during those tense moments.
- I spent a good portion of my time watching the offensive and defensive lines, particularly to see what first-round draft pick Shea McClellin looked like in pads. McClellin definitely displayed a good first step and agility, but in 1-on-1 drills he was frequently run around the quarterback by his opponent. I wouldn't read too much into that, however. His best play of the night came when he knocked down a pass by Jason Campbell after penetrating the pocket in 11-on-11 drills.
- If anyone unexpected stood out in pass-rush drills, it was defensive end Corey Wootton, whose standing on the team is jeopardized by McClellin's arrival and two previous years of minimal production. Wootton looked quick and confident on the edge.
- I counted two fumbles by tailback Michael Bush, one in 9-on-7 drills and one in 11-on-11.
- Receiver Alshon Jeffery made a nice adjustment on a ball thrown short in 1-on-1 drills, stopping his go route and waiting for the ball while safety Major Wright struggled to do the same.
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhBears receiver Brandon Marshall wowed observers in training camp on Saturday night.
Final Atlanta 24 Jacksonville 14 Final Detroit 23 Buffalo 0 Final Indianapolis 7 Cincinnati 35 Final New York 7 Philadelphia 37 Final St. Louis 13 Miami 14 Final Kansas City 14 Green Bay 34 Final Carolina 10 Pittsburgh 0 Final New England 13 New York 16 Final Washington 24 Tampa Bay 10 Final Baltimore 22 New Orleans 13 Final Chicago 13 Cleveland 33 Final San Francisco 40 Houston 13 Final Minnesota 19 Tennessee 3 Final Denver 27 Dallas 3 Final Arizona 9 San Diego 12 Final Seattle 31 Oakland 41