Day seven of Bears training camp, sixth straight day in pads. Is Lovie Smith losing that "player's coach" image? Whatever happened to being the easiest training camp next to Tony Dungy's Colts' camp? Well Dungy is gone, and so is the Bears super easy workouts. At least at first look. The pads may be on, but the heat hasn't been bad. Believe me if temperatures were in the 90's the pads would be off. Besides its not like they're hitting... too hard.
The Bears second night practice in Bourbonnais brought another standing room only crowd. Eight thousand stood eight and nine deep snaking around the track to get a peek at Devin Hester haul in a nice corner route pass from Jay Cutler. Is that something he could've done a year ago? No way.
Charles Tillman (back surgery) and Zack Bowman (hamstring) stood on the sidelines with Lovie Smith watching defensive back drills. That means third string corner backs Trumaine McBride, Corey Graham and D.J. Moore got the majority of reps. "All of our young guys are getting an opportunity" Lovie Smith said after wards. While Josh Bullocks picked off Jay Cutler early in the night, if the kids don't pick up their play, Jerry Angelo will be looking for help from veterans that get released elsewhere.
DAY SEVEN DIARY:
* Injury Update: Hunter Hillenmeyer, Zack Bowman, Charles Tillman, even safety Danieal Manning joined the others on the M*A*S*H* sideline. "They're a little banged up" Smith noted after wards. When asked to elaborate on their injuries, Smith would not.
* Numbers Game: Rookie Defensive Lineman Jarron Gilbert changed numbers. He's now wearing #90, while newly signed backup center Donovan Raiola takes #73. Raiola is the younger brother of Dominic who has spent time on a few teams practice squads. After seeing him on the sidelines, you can guess why. He doesn't exactly look like an NFL Football player. Instead he looks like Pro Player Personnel Director Bobby DePaul picked him up from Gompers Stadium after a Sunday 16" softball game.
* White Sox catcher on Cutler: A.J. Pierzynski doesn't hide his love for the Florida Gators. But he also has a lot of respect for Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. "I've known him since he was at Vanderbilt" Pierzynski told me in the Sox clubhouse Thursday afternoon. "He's a great guy" the Sox catcher added.
* Replacing the retired John Madden's "Maddencruiser" is ESPN's Chris Mortensen's training camp bus. Parked outside the football stadium at Olivet Nazarene University, you can't miss the sports network football guy when he stops in for a look-see.
Finally one week into training camp and everyone's getting a little bored. Not just the players on the field. A group of reporters watching practice broke out lines from their favorite John Hughes movie upon hearing of the filmmaker's untimely death. "No more yanky my wanky, donger need food!" And these reporters need an actual football GAME soon.