BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – In the early going once the Bears put on pads last Sunday, rookie defensive Will Sutton was doing some spot-on imitations of road kill. Not anymore.
Sutton, who was dominated by guard Matt Slauson and even lesser blockers in pass-rush work in particular, has increasingly flashed as training camp has gone on and drew high praise from his previous betters.
“Will Sutton is becoming awesome,” Slauson said, shaking his head. “He made me work today.”
“Today” was Saturday night’s Family Fest practice and was notable in part because Sutton again stepped in for three-technique Jeremiah Ratliff, who joined Jared Allen in getting a practice off. Sutton, who has logged extra time after practice working with martial-arts specialist Joe Kim, turned in strong rush efforts against Slauson, who graded out last season as the Bears’ best offensive lineman, based on evaluations by ProFootballFocus.com.
As significantly, Sutton used superb hand technique to move across the face of blocking by both center and guard to still get penetration and blow up a run by Michael Ford.
Ratliff, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, is seeing traces of “awesome” in not only Sutton, but also fellow rookie Ego Ferguson.
“My personal belief is that they're going to be playing in this league for a long time,” Ratliff said. “You have a prototypical ‘one[-technique, Ferguson]’ and a ‘three[-technique, Sutton]’ right there.”