Positions in flux as Bears open minicamp

Positions in flux as Bears open minicamp
April 16, 2013, 5:15 pm
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It was expected but the sight of Devin Hester off by himself on the sidelines during position-group sessions was still a small jolt.

Indeed, for most of Tuesday’s first day of veteran minicamp, Hester was closer to the defensive backs, which he was listed as when he came to the NFL, than he was to the receivers, which he has been for the past several seasons.

Hester is no longer a wide receiver, only putting on his helmet to field punts on Monday.

“Devin is going to focus on being our returner,” coach Marc Trestman said. “He’s got to be the returner for him to be there. And once that’s locked in to place, which we expect that it will, then we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Other notes:

-- Trestman has returner Eric Weems, who caught two passes last season, among his receivers, not Hester, who caught 23.

-- With Brandon Marshall excused from drills as he rehabs a hip from offseason surgery, Earl Bennett and Alshon Jeffery worked as the wideouts with the No. 1 offense.

-- The Bears still have not formally severed all ties to linebacker Brian Urlacher, even as training camp began with D.J. Williams in his place. General manager Phil Emery said that he never will say “never” if possible, but he said there were no regrets or second thoughts over how talks were pursued with Urlacher.

"There was no lack of clarity, there were no surprises," Emery said. "The two sides reached an impasse with Urlacher wanting $3.5 million for 2013 and the Bears holding firm at $2 million with $1 million guaranteed. "In the end, we just could not agree on what that [contract] amount was. It's not more than that."