Jay Cutler drew plenty of attention on the first day of training camp. Besides the hundreds of Bears fans wearing their crisp and fresh No. 6 jerseys, there were quite a few coaches watching. Lovie Smith. Ron Turner. Bobby Johnson.
"Bobby J!" Cutler said to one of his former Vanderbilt coaches Bobby Johnson. "This is Vandy North up here, there's five of us."
The Bears mined the Vanderbilt football program for right tackle Chris Williams, defensive back D.J. Moore, wider receiver Earl Bennett and linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer and they traded for Cutler.
Bears receivers looked right at home with Cutler too. The new quarterback went through his progressions hitting Devin Hester, Rashied Davis, Earl Bennett, Brandon Rideau, Johnny Knox and Juaquin Iglesias with passes. But Greg Olsen got the most attention. The tight end caught Cutler's first pass in 7 on 7 drills.
Cutler said his demands for his receivers this early in camp are simple. He wants them to be in the right spot.
"Do what you're supposed to do, get in their depths," he said. "We did that today, my group might have had one missed assignment. Guys are making some plays, making some adjustments... good job."
Coach Lovie Smith praised Cutler's leadership.
"He is in total control. Has a track record, guys know that so they listen," the coach said.
While Cutler is pleased with the progress on day one, he, and the rest of the team are eager to get into live action situations.
"We were all ready to get going" Cutler said after practice wrapped up, just after 5 p.m. "It's been a long off season, you get tired of going against ourselves every day.We're just trying to get to that first preseason game."
Other happenings on Day 1 of Bears Camp.
- Safety Danieal Manning suffered a calf injury, Smith called "not serious". Cornerback Trumaine McBride left the field for a while but returned.
- 2ND year Defensive Tackle Marvin Harrison is in Lovie Smith's doghouse after showing up fat and out of shape. "I'm disappointed that Marcus isn't out there with his teammates right now," Smith said. "I don't know how long, it wasn't part of the plan for him to be on the sideline." Harrison failed his physical and has been placed on the non-football injury list. Smith wouldn't say how much weight Harrison needs to lose, just to say "a little bit".
- Smith is looking forward to Saturday night's practice when the team will practice with gear on, particularly for guys like Zack Bowman who is filling in as a starting corner in place of Charles Tillman. "Today was good, but we'll know more tomorrow when we can see them in pads" Smith said.