Maybe it’s a sign.
A year after the Bears offense wobbled to near the bottom of the NFL and effectively cost the Bears an apparent playoff lock, the biggest ovations from the crowd of 29,000 on Saturday night at the Comcast Bears Family Fest were for members of that offense and its coach.
In unofficial order of acclamation: quarterback Jay Cutler, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, coach Marc Trestman, running back Matt Forte and center Roberto Garza.
[Fantasy Faceoff: Brandon Marshall vs. Julio Jones]
The position groups of the defense – secondary, line, linebackers – opted to huddle in the tunnel and run out as colllectives. But the night belonged to the offense, just as the fans who did a five-minute “wave” that circled the stadium over and over hope the season does.
“This was great,” said tight end Martellus Bennett. “I’ve been in the league for six years and this is my first time I’ve been here and this was a lot of fun.”
It was for most of the Bears but for a concerning head injury that sent wide receiver Earl Bennett to the locker room early for evaluation of a possible concussion. Alshon Jeffery was taken out of practice with hamstring tightness, as was defensive end Julius Peppers.
In place of Bennett and Jeffery, Joe Anderson continued to hold an apparent edge in the competition for the No. 4 wide receiver spot, working with the No. 1 offense. Brittan Golden also stepped in for some reps with the 1’s.
[Watch: Inside Look with Charles Tillman]
Nickel corner Kelvin Hayden was given treatment after injuring a hamstring early in practice. Hayden had his leg heavily bandaged after practice and did not walk to midfield with the rest of the team for post-practice remarks by Trestman.
Isaiah Frey, a sixth-round draft choice last year, continued to play his way toward a roster spot as he replaced Hayden with the No. 1 nickel unit.