Reporting Adam Hoge
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By Adam Hoge-
HALAS HALL (CBS) There haven’t been many complaints about the moves the Bears made in the offseason and that’s because it is pretty evident the roster has been upgraded.
That’s obvious to the players to themselves.
“On paper, we’re definitely probably the most talented team that I’ve played with on the Bears,” linebacker Lance Briggs said after OTAs at Halas Hall Wednesday. “Now, how that translates to the field and the season is yet to be seen.”
Yes, the Bears appear to be a deeper, more talented team and that has been evident even in OTAs where the players aren’t even wearing pads. The athleticism and size at wide receiver has stood out, while the competition in the secondary is fierce.
But again, the players aren’t even wearing pads.
“Guys this is June, you know what I mean?,” Briggs said. “Let’s have this conversation in training camp or after our first preseason game and I can tell you a little bit more.”
Training camp is set to start July 26 in Bourbonnais.
Pressure On For DBs
When training camp gets started in late July, the competition in the secondary will be one of the biggest story-lines.
The Bears added a ton of competition with the signings of Jonathan Wilhite and Kelvin Hayden and the drafting of Isaiah Frey from Nevada and Greg McCoy from TCU.
Those moves were designed to get the attention of the veteran cornerbacks on the roster and it worked.
“You saw the moves they made in the offseason,” Tim Jennings said. “We brought in some corners, we drafted some guys with a lot of talent, so it’s just going to have to make me step up my game a little bit more and help me continue to go out there and work hard and get better at some things.”
Jennings started 15 games for the Bears last season, but was benched in Week 15 in Green Bay before regaining his starting spot in Minnesota for the season finale. He called that move “motivation” and knows the pressure is on this season.
And of course, to make the competition even tougher, the Bears also upgraded their wide receiver group with Brandon Marshall.
“It’s tough a task, but it’s going to make us as a secondary better,” Jennings said about Marshall. “I’m just glad he’s on my team this year.”
Jennings lined up with the No. 1s Wednesday opposite Hayden as Charles Tillman was absent.
Next Contract Dispute?
With all the focus on Matt Forte’s situation, the fact that defensive tackle Henry Melton is entering the final year of his deal has flown largely under the radar.
The chances of him getting a deal before the season is unlikely, however, as he probably needs to put up good numbers in 2012 before the Bears will make a long-term commitment. Melton said Wednesday that he and his agent are “really just sitting back” and waiting to see how things play out, but he would like to stay a Bear.
“I love Chicago. I love the city. The fans are great,” he said. “I got a lot of close friends on the team and I love being out here. I’d love to be here and I’d love to be the motor for the defense.”
For more Bears coverage, follow Adam on Twitter (@AdamHogeCBS).