Bear Essentials

Bear Essentials

Orton or Grossman?

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 07/23/2008 - 21:44
In the early going, Kyle Orton seems to be the fan favorite in the quarterback derby that began in earnest with Wednesday's first practice. Working with the second team, Orton was cheered for every completion, even when the offense was working against air. In one instance, after Orton lofted a short flip that undefended tight end Greg Olsen caught in stride in the end zone, one fan couldn't contain himself. "Whoohoo, Kyle," he yelled. "That's our quarterback." Grossman, who worked with the first team Wednesday but will switch with Orton on Thursday and handle the second team, received catcalls after most incompletions, and especially when he was picked off by Nate Vasher in seven-on-seven.

Williams signs

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 07/23/2008 - 12:58
Bears first-round draft pick Chris Williams agreed to a five-year contract around noon Wednesday, just hours before the start of the first practice of training camp at 3 p.m. Williams was the 14th overall pick in the draft, and the Bears now have all 12 draft picks signed. Williams is expected to be the opening day starter at left tackle but he must prove in training camp and the preseason that he's a better option than veteran John St. Clair, who is currently No. 1 in the depth chart.

Grossman gets first work with No. 1 offense

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 07/23/2008 - 12:44
Rex Grossman won an early-morning coin flip for the right to work with the first team in this afternoon's opening training camp practice. Kyle Orton called tails, but the coin came up heads, so he won't direct the No. 1 offense until Thursday's noon practice. Coach Lovie Smith has insisted all along that the quarterback battle will be an even competition with no favoritism shown to either player, and both contestants are convinced that will be the case when the duel commences at 3 p.m. “It's been extremely fair through OTAs and I don't see any reason why that would change,'' Orton said. Grossman has gone to camp the past four years as the starter, but he says he's looking forward to the challenge of having to win the job.

Urlacher in camp

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 21:17
Six-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher rolled onto the Olivet Nazarene University campus in Bourbonnais shortly before 9 p.m. and said he was relieved to have his one-year extension finalized. He's also clearly pleased with the $18 million in new money that the deal will bring him if he plays until it expres after the 2012 season. "They didn’t have to do anything," Urlacger said of the Bears. "That was obviously a nice deal they offered me. We ended up getting it worked out." Urlacher said his neck feels fine and he's been cleared to play after arthroscopic surgery early in the off-season. Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton alternated days working with the first-team offense throughout the off-season, and that will be the plan during training camp practices.

Bears counting on first-round pick

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 16:52
Even though first-round draft pick Chris Williams had not agreed to contract terms by the time Bears coach Lovie Smith addressed the media mid-afternoon Tuesday at Olivet Nazarene University on Bourbonnais, it seemed obvious that the Vanderbilt product is being counted on to start at left tackle soon. When Smith discussed the unsettled left guard position, he mentioned Terrence Metcalf, Josh Beekman and John St. Clair, who started at left tackle throughout the off-season practices and will line up there with the first team Wednesday afternoon for the first practice of camp. Smith made it clear that Williams would have to earn the starting job, but as long as he signs soon, it's not expected to be long before he takes over for St. Clair.

Bears blog coming soon

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 09:14
Coming Soon!