BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – The final practice of John Fox’s first Bears training camp included fisticuffs, the head coach needing to do an intervention for one of defensive linemen and Jay Cutler spiking the football.
Details on that last item will be withheld out of respect for rules of embargoing competitive information. He may have been “clocking” the football to stop the clock; doing an in-your-face to the defense after pushing across a quarterback sneak; or…something else.
“There was some creativity,” Fox allowed. “Hopefully we didn't get it on some web camera like New England got theirs on. A little bit of an element of surprise.”
It was not the only highlight of a practice that at times appeared to be sluggish, only to erupt into one of a handful of skirmishes or a crowd-pleasing play:
Marquess Wilson scored from 60 yards out on a Cutler pass dropped in just out of cornerback Tim Jennings’ reach. Jimmy Clausen was perfect on a touch pass for a score to former Northwestern Wildcat Rashad Lawrence, dropping the ball in just over the dive of cornerback Terrance Mitchell.
Coaches made use of a variety of line drills, including combination run blocking, three-man pass blocking and the customary one-on-one pass protection. In one-on-one pass-protection, one of the most difficult drills for offensive linemen, Jordan Mills had a complete standup stop of rush linebacker Pernell McPhee. Mills also handled a speed rush by Lamarr Houston perfectly, running the linebacker completely past the quarterback.
Charles Leno has struggled at times during the rest of the offseason and hasn’t been able to take a next step and mount a real challenge to Mills at right tackle. Leno was stout in a one-on-one stop of Jared Allen but nearly completely whiffed on a double move by linebacker Kyle Woestmann.
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Linebacker Sam Acho, bumped out of the starting lineup before the Miami game, has come off a stellar performance against the Dolphins (sack, interception) with more impact plays. In one-on-one work, Acho got solid push-back of left tackle Jermon Bushrod with a bull rush after thoroughly beating backup tackle Leno with a similar move. Acho then used an inside counter move to blow by right tackle Michael Ola almost untouched.
Linebacker Shea McClellin, who collected the first camp interception of Cutler, timed a cut to deflect a Cutler pass to running back Daniel Thomas.
Cornerback Sherrick McManis, of a breakout performance vs. Miami, is spending more time with the No. 1 defense and did himself a solid with a clean breakup of a Clausen pass intended for tight end Dante Rosario. The top receiver in camp has been Eddie Royal but cornerback Kyle Fuller broke perfectly to undercut Royal on an out pattern and knock away the pass from Cutler.
Ego Ferguson broke through for a simulated sack of Cutler in one team session. Linebacker Jonathan Bostic was beaten deep for a TD by Thomas on a pass from Clausen.