BOURBONNAIS — OK, yes, it was only practice. But it’s worth noting because it’s been a long, long time since the Bears could say this:
The Bears had a very, very good day on defense. Given that four of the last six games of the 2013 seasons saw offenses put more than 400 yards on the Bears’ defense, this has to be taken as a good, practice or not. And since the Chicago offense was one of the NFL’s best last season, doing well against it is another good, practice or not.
“We had two picks and a stripped ball in the first 12 plays,” said coach Marc Trestman. “That’s a good start defensively. Obviously offensively we don’t want to go in any game with a fast start like that, but a lot of good things happened.”
The defense intercepted three passes total on Friday’s first training camp practice. The last time the Bears defense intercepted three passes in a day, it was against the New York Giants last Oct. 10, and that was against Eli Manning, who was throwing interceptions to just about anybody not wearing a Giants uniform.
Rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller intercepted two passes and cornerback Sherrick McManis one. Up in front of them, linebacker Shea McClellin delivered two “sacks” on blitzes, and left defensive end Lamarr Houston had two of his own on moves that got him loose around the edge in quarterbacks’ faces.
Now, for the downside: A good day for the defense almost necessarily involves a decidedly less-than-good one for the offense. Such was indeed the case, particularly for the applicants for the No. 2 quarterback position. The first interception was thrown by Jordan Palmer, and the other two by Jimmy Clausen, although Clausen’s first interception was the result of a juggled reception by wideout Josh Morgan.
“There’s moments in practice where somebody’s going to have a heck of a play and when they do somebody just failed,” Trestman said. “My perspective is, how do we respond when these things happen.
“There’s a lot of reasons why there was a turnover today. We don’t even know if it’s the quarterback at this point. We haven’t looked at the tape and there may be some reasons why this happened. So it’s not about the quarterback.”
For the time being it was about the defense. After the debacles of 2013, that’ll do for now.