Bears Notes: Trestman Mixing Personnel Up On Defense
(CBS) In an effort to mix it up and give a multitude of players a look, Bears coach Marc Trestman rotated defensive players early and often with the first team and in various packages at Monday’s practice.
Back in action for the second straight day after his return from offseason shoulder surgery, safety Chris Conte got his share of first-team reps, including in full team drills. The highlight of the day for Conte was a red-zone interception of reserve quarterback Jordan Palmer.
Adrian Wilson took first-team reps alongside Conte, but both also had turns with the second team. The safety position remains unsettled, with rookie Brock Vereen, Ryan Mundy and Danny McCray very much in the mix, too.
It’s still too early to tell if Conte will suit up and play in Thursday’s preseason game against the Jaguars, Trestman said. That call will be up to the trainers.
Starting linebacker Lance Briggs didn’t practice Monday, as he was given a veteran’s day off. In his place, linebacker Khaseem Greene took first-team reps next to Jon Bostic, specifically in the nickel package and in 7-on-7 drills.
Shea McClellin — who struggled Friday in his first game action at linebacker — wasn’t with the first- or second-team early in practice but later took his turn at strong-side linebacker with the first team during 11-on-11 drills.
A less familiar name and face, Jerry Franklin took second-team reps at linebacker.
Here are a few other notes:
— Josh Morgan took many of the third-receiver reps with the Bears’ first-team offense. That spot is an open competition after Marquess Wilson fractured his clavicle and is out for an indefinite period of time. Trestman on Sunday confirmed Wilson will miss at least part of the regular season, but he wasn’t any more specific.
— Offensive linemen reserve Brian de la Puente (MCL sprain) and Eben Britton (hamstring) didn’t practice Monday. De la Puente is expected to be out a few weeks after suffering his injury in Friday’s preseason opener against the Eagles. Receiver/returner Chris Williams (hamstring) and defensive back Isaiah Frey (hamstring) also sat out.
— Receiver Brandon Marshall fielded some punts Monday. The Bears are still searching for a kick returner and punt returner after letting Devin Hester walk in the offseason. When asked, Marshall declined to field questions on possibly being the punt returner. Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis joked that sometimes Marshall does things he’s not supposed to do in practice, and it was above his pay grade to tell Marshall not to practice his returns.