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Notebook: D-line feisty in last day without pads

Published: Saturday, July 26, 2014 4:56 p.m. CDT
(H. Rick Bamman –
Jordan Mills signs autographs after a practice Friday during Bears training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais.

BOURBONNAIS – Marc Trestman and the Bears have put an emphasis on “toughness” this offseason. Mel Tucker has called the new defensive line a “salty” group. We continued to get a glimpse of that in Saturday’s practice, and just think what we’ll see when the pads come on Sunday.

The revamped D-line had another strong day, aggressive off the snap and in one instance, helping cause a scuffle. Lamarr Houston and Jordan Mills got into it during team drills, the same duo that had a dust-up in OTAs, although it’s unclear what sparked the mini melee, which was broken up quickly.

While Trestman wants to see competitiveness, he is reminding the players what the fighting can mean in a game.

“There’s times in practice when a player might lose his mind,” he said. “The bottom line is, when we talk about it in meetings, fighting is a disciplinary issue. If it was a game, we would’ve lost both players."

“And it’s a safety issue. The guys who were involved in it were both remorseful and they don’t want it to happen. They know how it hurts a football team. The thing you like to see is that it didn’t linger. The team got back to work, there were no other altercations.”

With the offense in a hurry-up late in practice, the Houston moved inside to three-technique, with Trevor Scott manning the left end spot (Willie Young was held out late in practice because of quad soreness, Trestman said). Scott beat Jordan Mills off the edge a couple times, and his penetration – along with that of Jeremiah Ratliff – helped force a throwaway.

Defense holds: The team finished practice in the two-minute drill, but the defense held the offense to field goals for both units. Jay Cutler just underthrew a lob over the middle to Martellus Bennett, which would have been a touchdown. Jon Bostic knocked down the pass. The second unit got a big play from Jordan Palmer to Eric Weems, but Palmer missed Micheal Spurlock and also settled for three points.

Highlight reel: Spurlock leaped and caught a high throw from David Fales. … Brandon Marshall made a one-handed catch, with his left hand, along the sideline with Kyle Fuller in coverage. … Alshon Jeffery had his typical, impressive diving sideline catch early in practice and also caught a ball that Cutler threaded in between Lance Briggs, Ryan Mundy and Charles Tillman. … Jimmy Clausen made back-to-back long completions to Dante Rosario and Spurlock in 7-on-7’s.

Quick hits: Tim Jennings sat out practice with quad soreness, so Kelvin Hayden played the first-team nickel position and had an interception and a forced fumble. Jennings did do some hand work on the side with assistant Joe Kim. … Terrence Toliver had two drops. … Chad Rempel appears to be getting the first crack at replacing Patrick Mannelly, long snapping with the first-team field goal unit. ... Dylan Gandy, who was signed Friday evening, played right guard with the second-team offense. … Clausen and Jordan Palmer split reps with the second team.  … More than 8,000 fans attended Saturday’s practice.

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