Day one of Chicago Bears training camp can be described in one way, the offense was sloppy. False start penalties by both J'Marcus Webb and Chris Williams, dropped passes by Brandon Marshall and an overall sloppy effort.
The effort and lack of coordination left Mike Tice fuming about how this offense will need to come together and play better.
Alshon Jeffery turned some heads yesterday, caught just about everything thrown at him. Jeffery's ability to catch everything thrown his way is going to be hugely valuable given the receivers who have dropped many a pass over the last two seasons.
Jeffery's biggest problem however is his route running ability. He rounds off his routes and isn't very crisp in his cuts. He struggles to create separation both signs that were notated as weaknesses during the lead up to the draft. This weakness was on display yesterday with one fumble that Jeffery had on the day.
The offensive line starters yesterday were from right to left, Gabe Carimi, Lance Louis, Roberto Garza, Chris Spencer and J'Marcus Webb. Chris Williams did take some snaps with the first team, but was primarily running with the second team.
Offensive linemen who are going to fight hard to earn a job, Ricky Henry at RG, James Brown at RT, Edwin Williams as center and Chilo Rachal at LG. Rachal is learning the LG spot after playing his entire career at RG.
While the Bears have struggled in short yardage situations, it's important to note that Mike Tice will never bring in a guard who fits a profile outside of his zone blocking system. None of these offensive guards is going to be a bull dozing force up front, they're not going to maul the DT in front of them.
Zone blocking is about athletic ability and technique and that's what the Bears have on this roster. These players will play the angles to open up lanes for Matt Forte to run through or cutback towards. This offensive line will never feature guys that get a lot of pancake blocks.
Elsewhere on offense Devin Hester continues to impress during camp. He looks great in shorts and a helmet making plays down the field and catching underneath stuff. Hester will be successful if he's able to learn how to deal with press coverage and bump and run. If not Hester likely is benched quickly in favor of Jeffery.
On defense Brian Urlacher was a full go for the most part, although he didn't play on every single snap on every play. When the Bears went nickel Urlacher came out and Nick Roach took over in the middle. Urlacher also had a knee brace on his previously injured knee for protection.
Dom DeCicco is continuing to impress in his limited role but it's apparent he knows more now than he did last year about this defense. He's not struggling like he was last year and as a result he's the primary middle linebacker running with the second team.
Yesterday's practice is the first one of the season with no pads, today the Bears will also practice without pads. The pads come on starting Saturday night and then for the 2:30pm practice on Sunday. The Bears have Monday off, and will be back in camp on Tuesday.