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Observations from Bears minicamp practice

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Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — I stopped by Bears mini-camp Friday morning just to see what was going on up there. I saw a few things I thought I would pass along.

  • Julius Peppers looks as good as a defensive end can look in shorts and helmets in May. He was juking out OTs Chris Williams and J'Marcus Webb easily and was flashing some real speed aroung the corner. Lovie Smith went out of his way to praise Peppers, who has been in town for the past three weeks or so, working out with the team and "basically staying home," Peppers told me later with a laugh. "I haven't really left the house other than coming (to Halas Hall)." He had a strip sack of Jay Cutler that got the coaches a little edgy because (a) they wanted to protect their QB from injury and (b) they wanted to work on the passing game. Cutler was fine.
  • Of course, Cutler was a little hot and cold today. He made some really gorgeous throws today in the morning session but also was picked off three times by my count, including seven-on-seven drills. One was by Brian Urlacher, who looked spry after wrist surgery knocked him out all last season. And no, Urlacher did not speak about Gayle Sayers today. Moving on …
  • Undrafted free-agent WR Freddie Barnes made a few nice catches today, which is not surprising given his outstanding production at Bowling Green. Of course, the knock on him is his foot speed. It was hard to tell, but he certainly didn't look exceptionally fast out there. But still, he showed great hands and concentration on his receptions.
  • Funniest moment of the practice: Rookie CB Joshua Moore, going up against WR Devin Aromashodu, misplayed a ball in the air, trying to jump for the off-target pass, which led to DB coach Jon Hoke saying to Moore: "You don't have that high a jump! I saw your Combine scores!"
  • Chris Harris worked in the rotation at safety and was active. He dropped one sure INT, though, and was ribbed by his teammates, including his old buddy Urlacher. For good measure, Harris dropped and did pushups after the missed pick.
  • CB Corey Graham made a slick, one-handed INT off a tipped ball.
  • The tight ends were interesting to watch. Greg Olsen lined up offset, flexed out, in the backfield as a fullback and on the line as a true tight end. He also made a gorgeous catch over the shoulder on a post pattern from Cutler in traffic. Both Olsen and Desmond Clark caught passes (more than I thought they would) in both seven-on-seven and all-11 drills today. Who says the Mike Martz offense doesn't employ the tight end? “That’s just all speculation," Cutler said. "No one really knows what we’re going to do offensively. We’re still kind of molding that to the guys we have and seeing who can pick it up and who can’t and who fits the system.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

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