BOURBONNAIS -– The Bears’ first padded practice of training camp 2013 was generally awarded to the defense, which blitzed and disrupted the offense for much of Sunday’s session.
On Monday, the offense appeared to have had just about enough of that.
On the first play from scrimmage in the first “team” session, Jay Cutler caught the Bears with a screen pass to running back Matt Forte who sailed 50 yards up the left sideline for a touchdown.
On the second play, with Brandon Marshall held out of practice to rest the hip that kept him out of most offseason work prior to camp, Cutler found fill-in Joe Anderson for a falling-down touchdown of another 50 yards.
Anderson has pushed hard for the fourth-receiver spot on the roster. And he doesn't mind pushing a Pro Bowl veteran like Marshall just a little, either.
“I didn't tell him [I’m after his job],” Anderson said, smiling, “but I'm going to make him work for it. I'm going to make him work. Just pushing him and competing.”
The defense was in no mood to be pushed and pushed back. Hard. Defensive tackle Stephen Paea stuffed the first running play by pile-driving fullback Tony Fiammetta back into Forte for a loss. Cornerback Zackary Bowman broke up deep passes on consecutive throws and safety Chris Conte turned in the gem of the morning, a layout deflection of a deep throw toward receiver Earl Bennett.
"As far as the practice went today, the offense really jump-started,” coach Marc Trestman said. “We had a competitive two-minute period to start it. We had two explosive plays and scored on the second play. The last time we had a two-minute period, the defense won that drill. We started with our run period, and I think the defense really took over the period to start. It was physical. Their pads were down. They set the tempo.”