Dionne Miller's Bears Bourbonnais Blog - August 12 - KMSP-TV

Dionne Miller's Bears Bourbonnais Blog - August 12

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

"It felt like a game out there." That's how the head coach described Monday's practice.

Just ask the rookies manning the right side of the first string offensive line. Kyle Long and Jordan Mills are there, so the coaching staff can see how they look against a defense that finished last season ranked in the top 5. For much of practice they looked like rookies.

Mills admitted today's practice was a little tougher than Sunday's but that's the way he's going to get better.

"As I told Kyle and Jordan", Trestman said, "I'm not concerned about the mistake, I'm concerned about the play after the mistake. They were able to do some good things, guys were coming after it big time."

Especially, Corey Wootten. Able to participate without limitations, Wootten was routinely in the backfield, flying around.

"It felt real good, the calf is feeling 100 times better. It felt good to be out there finally and get to rushing and working on my craft," Wootten said after practice.

But he wasn't the only one. Nate Collins has turned a few heads getting reps with the first team while Henry Melton recovers from his concussion.

Collins already has a relationship with defensive co-ordinator Mel Tucker from their days in Jacksonville, so Tucker was eager to recognize how far Collins has come and point out how he benefits the Bears. "He's a guy who can be active inside, he's tough in the run game, active against the pass and he continues to work hard."

Collins just wants to help the Bears and instill confidence in the coaches that if they need him during the season they won't hesitate to throw him in.

The good news is the first pass of the day was a completion: breaking the string of three straight practices starting with an INT. (Hooray) But the defense did make two picks with Peanut Tillman and Lance Briggs doing the honors. But no one believing the early rumors that this D is in mid-season form. Collins assured me they are not resting on high praise, but hungry to improve. Driven by their reputation. Tucker reiterated there is plenty to work on--being fundamentally and technique sound--those are the things they want to clean up Thursday night.

Trestman was over the top pleased with the level of competition calling Monday's practice one of the top 3 of the season. Just in time for the Bears to finish strong, just one practice remains before they break camp on Wednesday.

But they leave knowing they will be returning to Olivet Nazarene University again next season...and the one after that...and after that. The Bears and ONU announced a nine-year extension Monday. Well, a nine-year commitment for two year contracts to roll over. Either way, it was a day for Bourbonnais to rejoice.

The University just hosted 20,000 for practice on Sunday, a training camp record. Now, thanks to a long term relationship, ONU can enhance the fan experience when they come here- new lighting on the paths, upgrading the practice fields that remain the originals from when these two love birds got together back in 2002. If the roll over contracts fulfill the commitment, the Bears and Olivet will celebrate their 21st anniversary during training camp 2022. Start planning now.

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