BOURBONNAIS — The offense struggled at times to run the football consistently but did manage to irritate the defense a little with enthusiastic celebrations after a number of scores in the tight red zone. That’s a “problem” coaches won’t mind.
Kevin White gets the nod for Play of the Day. The rookie wide receiver, still on the PUP list with a shin injury, saw a young boy on the sideline, wearing a “13 White” jersey. White went over and gave the youngster a pair of receivers gloves. Guess what the lad probably goes as next Halloween.
— John Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin) August 2, 2015
Coaches are making even simple drills physical. Part of the tight end drills consists of a player ready to make a catch, but with two other tight ends using hand-shields to block his vision of coach Frank Smith until the instant before Smith fires a pass from about four yards away. Once the catch happens, a third tight end whacks the pass catcher with another shield and if the ball isn’t secured, it’s on the ground. Not a good thing.
Wide receivers are run through a drill requiring them to hit and use moves to get around two standup blocking dummies. As they come out of the hits, coach Mike Groh delivers the ball, intentionally behind them or poorly thrown, and after the catch, they get a smack from an assistant trying to dislodge the football.
Not surprisingly for a Pro Bowl wide receiver, Alshon Jeffery is proving an extremely difficult cover for Bears defensive backs. Jeffery use a double move off the line to beat strong press coverage by safety Antrel Rolle, then caught a touch pass from Jay Cutler in the corner of the end zone. Jeffery shook free of tight coverage by cornerback Sherrick McManis but had the Cutler pass go through his hands.
The offense went through another turnover-free practice as Cutler and Jimmy Clausen kept the football fumble-free and out of the wrong hands even when a handful of passes were off their mark or broken up.
Cutler’s developing confidence with wideout Eddie Royal is readily apparent. Royal has won a number of battles for the football, something that endears receivers to quarterbacks. Perhaps as a result of no more Brandon Marshall, Cutler is clearly comfortable and familiar with the speed and cuts of both Royal and Jeffery.
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“I think when we throw Eddie in the mix, you’ve got a real viable guy that you can move around a lot,” Cutler said. “He’s got experience in the slot. He’s got experience outside. With Alshon, I think he’s had a great spring, a great summer. Kevin White, Marquess [Wilson]. We’ve got some guys that can make some plays in some different spots for us.”
Cutler passes produced a number of touchdowns in the short red zone, including touchdown tosses to Jeffery and Martellus Bennett.