"Devin is not a jump and go-get-it guy."
That's Jay Cutler talking about his #1 wide receiver Devin Hester. Oops.
That's the same Devin Hester who's verrrrry sensitive to criticism.Not because he has thin skin. But he wants to succeed so bad, he feels he lets people down. That's what I was told a year ago as he was learning how to be a wide receiver.
So yeah, Cutler's words hurt.
"I was offended when I first heard," Hester said Monday when the Bears returned to camp.
But he said Cutler texted him to say he didn't actually say that.
Hester believed him adding, "you can't believe everything..." When told it was a direct quote as shown on WMAQ-TV NBC5 and every other station and newspaper covering the game, Hester demurred: "He wasn't saying I'm not a jump ball guy..."
Just growing pains between a new quarterback and receiver?
"Yeah," Hester shrugged, but clearly not happy. He didn't look upset, he just looked crestfallen, like his dog ran away.
Hester wasn't the only one unhappy at the conclusion of Monday's shorts & shells practice. That's when Wide Receivers coach Darryl Drake, Offensive Coordinator Ron Turner and assistant public relations director Jim Christman huddled midfield. No one was patting each other on the back or planning a party.
Cutler wasn't available, he only talks on Wednesdays and Saturdays of training camp. But Turner did.
"He's an emotional guy," Turner said of Cutler. Turner also added the media was overreacting to a preseason game.
Maybe. But maybe the days of sugar coating players performances in front of the media are over?
Lovie Smith claimed ignorance. "I don't know what you're talking about. Things will be said [after we don't play well]". When asked about cornerback Nathan Vasher's performance Smith said "he didn't play well... Nathan Vasher needs to pick it up".
Clear the gag orders, the Bears are actually speaking their minds. As long as it doesn't adversely affect them on the field, right?
DAY 14 BEARS TRAINING CAMP:
* Shirts and shells for this one
* Matt Toeina and Nick Roach sat out with slight concussions after Saturday's game.
* Greg Olsen returned from his hip injury while Zack Bowman and Danieal Manning are still out nursing the hamstring pulls. Pat Mannelly returned to long snapping duties.
* Tommie Harris was back at practice, along with Matt Forte. Both were held out of Saturday's games for precautionary reasons.
* Kevin Jones seen re-wrapping his hamstring with a trainer during practice today.
* Rookie Safety Al Afalava made an impressive preseason debut, despite missing OTA's to stay and finish school at Oregon State, so his knack for the ball and tackling skills were even more impressive. Afalava plays with intensity and it was his job to fire his teammates up in college. The intense eyes that show through his face mask remind some of Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary. Afalava had a confused look, so I said. "Do you know who Mike Singletary is?" "The San Francisco coach?" he said back. He is only twenty two years old. The Bears won the Super Bowl two years before he was born. Maybe the monsters of the midway didn't play big on the island of Hawaii growing up!
* Play of the Day: Earl Bennett beats corner back Trumaine McBride on a deep sideline pass, Bennett laid out for a diving catch. When he came up with the ball, his pants went down.
* Fan line of the Day: as players walked off the field, one pre-teen girl yelled "Devin, Devin, please! I'm your biggest fan!" Unfortunately she was wearing a Bears #54 jersey!