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Sports

Defense ahead of offense on 1st day of pads

Wide receiver Brandon Marshal( left) and corner back Kelvin Hayden collied in the air Friday during the first day of Bears training camp in Bourbonnais.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshal( left) and corner back Kelvin Hayden collied in the air Friday during the first day of Bears training camp in Bourbonnais.

BOURBONNAIS – In front of an estimated 9,000-plus fans, the Bears put on the pads for the first time this training camp. Even though the two biggest cheers came for offensive plays, the defense seemed dialed in Sunday morning.

“Yeah, absolutely,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said when asked if the offensive line got off to a slow start. “I thought the defense had the jump start on us today and there were defensive players who had edges, and we have to clean up some of the things inside.”

“That’s pretty normal for the first time, usually the defense has the jump and it usually evens out in the end,” he added.

“It felt great,” said linebacker James Anderson about putting on the pads. “You started getting back to playing real football. You see guys move around, get a chance to hit people here and there.”

The defensive line, which had a different look at times with three ends (Corey Wootton, Shea McClellin and Julius Peppers) lined up with Henry Melton, seemed to have an edge against the first-team offensive line. Right tackle J’Marcus Webb was beat on several plays off the edge.

Nice grab: Seventh-round rookie receiver Marquess Wilson made an acrobatic catch during 1-on-1 passing drills early in practice and received praise from Trestman.

“This is a game of 1-and-1 and contested throwing battles. We talk about it every day and we look at it hard.” Trestman said. “It’s going to be a turnover or a catch that’s going to get you big yards. That was evident that he has the ability to make those plays. It was good coverage. Two guys going up for the ball and one guy coming up with it.”

Play of the day: Quarterback Jay Cutler heaved a ball down the sideline that fell perfectly into the arms of Alshon Jeffery for a 45-yard touchdown. The play got the biggest roar from the crowd in three days of training camp.

Quick Hits: The offense protected the ball better Sunday, and Trestman pointed that out, but cornerback Isaiah Frey did have a nice interception on a ball thrown by Matt Blanchard. … Receiver Joe Anderson drew cheers with a one-handed catch during 1-on-1 drills with cornerbacks while running an out route. … Anderson was also the recipient of the first “touchdown” of the day on a pass from Josh McCown in red-zone work.

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