Virtually every starting position on offense is set for 2014. Defense is another matter altogether, and a number of young Bears are mounting serious challenges for starting jobs behind a defensive line anchored with established veterans Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston and Jeremiah Ratliff.
During Wednesday’s OTA session, Jonathan Bostic and Shea McClellin opened with the No. 1 defense at middle and strong-side linebacker, respectively. D.J. Williams got reps with the 1’s as well and it was difficult to establish snap distribution, but Bostic also worked with McClellin and veteran Lance Briggs as the two-linebacker set in nickel.
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Outside, rookie Kyle Fuller continued to get nearly all of the work at cornerback with the No. 1 nickel unit, as Tim Jennings dropped inside vs. the slot receiver.
On the back end, with Chris Conte rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery, rookie Brock Vereen took all of the reps at free safety, while veteran Ryan Mundy was at strong safety.
Virtually nothing is settled when players are in just shorts and no pads. But Fuller and Vereen have been in place through virtually all of the OTA sessions, and Bostic’s time with the No. 1 defense has grown significantly.