Fuller, Jeffery Continue to Turn Heads as Pads are Donned
The Chicago Bears opted to go with a cornerback over a safety or defensive tackle in the first round of the NFL Draft, and through the first three days of practice, Kyle Fuller looks like he is eager to prove that they were right to do so.
In 11-on-11 drills on Sunday, Fuller continued to show off his impressive physicality and quick feet while he was covering Alshon Jeffery. Both players seemed to relish the challenge of going up against one another, with Fuller largely winning the battle as both guys showed a willingness to engage each other physically at the line of scrimmage.
Once the team switched to one-on-one drills however, Jeffery seemed to hold the advantage. He used some quick steps off the line to throw Fuller back, then created separation with his long arms. With Tim Jennings on the mend, fans should expect to see more of that battle as camp wears on.
Could Ford Have the Inside Edge at Back-up Running Back?
The Bears may have drafted Ka’Deem Carey in the fourth round of May’s NFL Draft, but it appears that they are willing to let him ease his way into camp, judging by the number of second-team reps they are giving Michael Ford at the running back position.
Even when the team put on pads for the first time Sunday, Ford’s escapability and speed were both on full display as he knifed his way through the offensive line. He had several great carries in the 11-on-11 drills during practice Sunday, including one where he slid past Jon Bostic and Lance Briggs before getting into the open field.
This battle is one that’s likely to be decided in the preseason rather than on the practice fields of Bourbonnais, but at least in the initial days of practice, Ford is definitely showing off his stuff for coaches and fans.
Kelvin Hayden Showing Skill at Nickel Corner
With Jennings taking it easy over the weekend because of a quad injury, Hayden has been getting some serious reps at the nickel cornerback position, and he’s been looking good against some of the Bears’ best receivers.
When lining up against Brandon Marshall, Hayden has been able to keep him largely in check, but he is having some difficulty against smaller, speedier receivers like Eric Weems and Chris Williams. It will be interesting to see if that’s something the Bears continue to work with him on as he battles Fuller and Jennings for the starting job in that role.
Odds and Ends
-File this under “you don’t see that every day.” During one-on-one drills, Jordan Palmer dropped back to pass, and refused to throw the ball to tight end Jeron Mastrud. He was covered up pretty well, but it’s still odd to see a quarterback not at least try to make the throw on the play.
-Marshall made an excellent one-handed grab during practice on Saturday, and he followed that up with another one Sunday over Charles Tillman during one-on-one drills.
-There aren’t a lot of training camps in the NFL where players will get sustained applause, but Bears camp in Bourbonnais is a different beast, as rookie punter Pat O’Donnell got several standing ovations for his booming punts during camp. Tress Way got some polite applause, but O’Donnell was unquestionably a star on Sunday.