Training Camp Report: Day 3

TE Greg Olsen (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

How are the battles in the trenches going? Can the offense possibly be ahead of the defense thus far? JC had the perfect view for Chicago Bears training camp Sunday and made these observations:

Pick Six
What tends to happen early on in training camp is that the defense is ahead of the offense, especially when a new offensive scheme is in place, but that hasn't been the case through three days of workouts. Both Jay Cutler and Caleb Hanie delivered the ball very well Sunday, with Cutler completing 22 of 28 passes and Hanie hitting on 21 of 28 throws. As for Dan LeFevour and Mike Teel, each of them was perfect on the day: 0 for 0. Cutler started off strong in 7-on-7 drills, connecting on a deep pass down the seam to Brandon Manumaleuna and a sideline fade to Devin Aromashodu within his first two reps, although later he airmailed a hook to Devin Hester that ended up being a gift interception for Zack Bowman. Hanie's best effort of the day was also to a tight end down the seam, where he has been successful quite often so far, this time to Richard Angulo. ...

When asked after practice what the defensive end lining up opposite Julius Peppers must to do get the starting job, coach Lovie Smith said that player had to be capable of winning "one-on-one matchups." That's exactly what Mark Anderson was doing Sunday, in what turned out to be his best performance in Bourbonnais thus far. On the second snap of 11-on-11, he blew past Chris Williams for a would-be sack on Cutler, although the play continued and ended up being a failed post pattern to Hester with Brian Urlacher in coverage. A few series later, Anderson lined up on the other side of the defense and knocked down a bullet from Cutler. On a luckier day, Anderson may have been able to corral his own deflection and come up with the INT, as the ball harmlessly hit the ground just out of the fifth-year pro's reach. ...

Just hours after new offensive line coach Mike Tice praised him for being the best blocker of Saturday evening's workout, Williams took a step back Sunday and needs to regroup a bit. Anderson beat him once or twice during individual drills, and then Anderson got him again in 11-on-11, as described above. When asked about the three-headed monster at left guard, Tice said it was more of a two-headed monster in the form of Josh Beekman and Johan Asiata. According to Tice, second-year pro Lance Louis is spending most of his time at right guard and seems to be pushing Roberto Garza more than expected. Frank Omiyale continues to look much better at right tackle than he ever did at left guard, with Tice saying he reviewed last year's tape and felt from the start that Omiyale was playing out of position. ...

The highlights were numerous in individual workouts when the wide receivers were taking on the cornerbacks, and no matter who was watching, the defenders appeared to get the best of the pass catchers. On perhaps 20 total reps from either side of the field, the corners managed to come away with three interceptions, which is considered a lot in a one-on-one drill and the offense having an edge by design. Corey Graham, Joshua Moore and Tim Jennings recorded the picks, and all three elicited plenty of cheering from the capacity crowd. Graham's INT was of the one-handed variety on a fly route from Hanie to Rashied Davis, and Moore also beat Hanie-to-Davis on a go pattern. But Jennings' pick was nothing short of gorgeous, as he made up ground on Juaquin Iglesias with the ball in the air and sprawled out to take it away. ...


QB Caleb Hanie
Jonathan Daniel/Getty

Greg Olsen knows he must become a better blocker if he wants to be on the field in Mike Martz's offense, but he is yet to move a defender impressively on a running play. On one particular snap in 11-on-11, Olsen lined up in the backfield as a pseudo-fullback and was charged with leading the way through the hole for Chester Taylor. But instead of putting a hat on a hat in convincing fashion, he simply ducked his head in the general direction of Nick Roach. All Roach had to do was sidestep Olsen on his way to the ball carrier, which he did and stopped Taylor for a minimal gain. Maybe that has something to do with Olsen getting a few reps with the second team Sunday. ...

With Chris Harris sitting out Sunday's practice due to a back issue, and likely to be gone a while getting treatment three times per day, rookie Major Wright got some snaps with the starters at the free safety spot for the first time. Danieal Manning initially lined up next to Josh Bullocks, with Craig Steltz also on the field here and there. It's amazing to see the 180-degree difference in Al Afalava. As a nobody sixth-round pick last year, the coaching staff fell in love with him right away and made him a starter. But nowadays, he's lucky to get second-unit reps with the likes of undrafted free agent Quentin Scott.

Injury Report
Both Urlacher and Olin Kreutz returned to practice Sunday, proving that Saturday's absence was nothing more than a routine day of rest for two veterans coming off surgery. Harris continued to sit, but Jennings was back in a big way after complaining recently of knee trouble. Two players did not finish Sunday's workout, with Iglesias and rookie Harvey Unga coming up lame with a groin and a hamstring, respectively – no word yet on either how severe.

Stud of the Day
This is the Anderson that Bears fans were hoping to see after his much-ballyhooed rookie season, when he came out of nowhere to record 12.0 sacks. He hasn't been nearly the same player since, at least not on the stat sheet, but so far he is keeping Israel Idonije at bay in the battle for the right to start at D-end. Everyone knows he can rush the passer, so if he makes a few plays defending the run, perhaps he does have some upside left in the tank.

Dud of the Day
Neither starting offensive tackle had a day to remember, and Williams in particular had a day to forget. Anderson simply owned him, be it in individual or team drills. While Omiyale did block adequately, he deserves a dubious honorable mention here for a pair of false starts in 9-on-9 work.

Quote to Note
"Yeah, I have to learn a lot. Basically, I have to know kind of all the inside and the outside [positions]. So it's a little bit more, but it's starting to come together." – WR Devin Aromashodu, when asked how much more he is being asked to learn compared to Devin Hester and Johnny Knox.


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John Crist is the Publisher of BearReport.com, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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