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Bears fans: Stop obsessing over training camp performances

From the media reports, blog comments and on-field chatter surrounding the Bears training camp, we should expect…

  • Johnny Knox to catch 90 passes for 1,300 yards and 12 TDs.
  • Frank Omiyale to garner consideration as the worst right tackle in professional football history.
  • Julius Peppers to register 22 sacks.
  • A hamstring pull epidemic to force half of the starting lineup to the bench for the first quarter of the season .
  • Jay Cutler to put up Tecmo Bowl-type numbers in Martz’ offense.

Not so fast, my friend.

Until we actually see these players and this team perform for a half of action…in a live game…versus opposing players who are just as eager to smack somebody else around…let’s temper our optimism (and criticism). We (including myself) need to resist the urge to over-analyze every play from every practice field happening. We have to stop obsessing about guys named Unga, Barnes, Turner and Hooch (I made that last one up) who will never see the playing field with the Bears come September.

If you want to worry about something, start praying and hoping no serious injuries occur to any of our major contributors.

Training camp is about the same 3 things for every single team in the league – yes, even Chicago, where 90% of the coaches and front office personnel are facing a make-or-break year…

  1. Installing your playbook.
  2. Evaluating younger players.
  3. Conditioning.

That’s it.

Every pass that’s completed or dropped, every tackle that’s made or missed, and every TD that’s scored or given up is a by-product of coaches attempting to accomplish one or all of the above objectives. They’re called “practices” for a reason. Let’s not make any grand assumptions as to the success or failure of a player or team based on a series of practices – where no hitting takes place.

Now, I’ll kick things up a bit when the preseason games get underway. Going full speed against totally different guys will give us a better (but still not great) sense of where certain individuals and the team stand.

Now, with that said…here’s a good (albeit offensively slanted) recap of Day 7 from Seth Jenson at the SunTimes. I don’t know about you, but from the looks of Cutler’s performance, I’m going to check prices for Super Bowl tix!


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