Position battle: Defensive end
Mitch Unrein: Entering his sixth NFL season, Unrein's experience and savvy are obvious as he fights to keep a starting job. His comfort in a 3-4 scheme is notable and, equally important, he has earned the trust of coach John Fox. Fox warmed to Unrein during their four seasons together in Denver. Little has changed since they reunited in Chicago in September with Fox labeling Unrein "dependable and accountable." In Fox's quest to build a team that's smart and tough, Unrein helps.
Jonathan Bullard: In the Bears' best-case scenario, Bullard will develop quickly enough to unseat Unrein as a starter sooner than later. The rookie out of Florida, drafted in the third round in May, is a quick-twitch athlete who is showing early in camp how well he uses his length to create separation. Most impressive for Bullard, his football intelligence enhances his get-off ability, putting him in position to be a disrupter in the backfield.
Seen and heard
Receivers coach Curtis Johnson continues to demand precision in everything his players do. During a drill early in Sunday's practice, Johnson stayed all over Alshon Jeffery as Bears receivers attempted to stop on a dime, then cut quickly back around a tackling dummy to make catches along the sideline. On a slick field, Jeffery had four consecutive unsuccessful reps with four consecutive orders from Johnson to "Do it again!" As Jeffery tried explaining his struggles, Johnson interrupted. "I know it's hard!" Johnson yelled. "Life is hard! The NFL is hard! Everything is hard!"
Tempers flared briefly when defensive tackle Eddie Goldman and guard Cody Whitehair became entangled at the end of a running play. As always, the abbreviated dust-up titillated the fans, peaking when Goldman took a half-swing at Whitehair. (He didn't connect.) Not long after, the second-year defensive lineman had to leave the field as he struggled with the heat. Coach John Fox cracked about Goldman's eventful day. "He got into a little bit of a ruckus," Fox said. "Might have drained his energy a little bit. I'm sure he'll be fine once he gets his fluids back."
•G Kyle Long (left calf) did not practice.
•OLB Roy Robertson-Harris (illness) did not practice.
•ILB Nick Kwiatkoski (hamstring) did not practice.
•TE Khari Lee (sprained shoulder) was limited.
•NT Terry Williams (sprained shoulder) was limited.
•CB Brandon Boykin (pectoral strain) was limited.
•DT Eddie Goldman (illness) left practice.
•OLB Pernell McPhee (left knee) remains on the physically unable to perform list.
•OL Amini Silatolu (left knee) is on the PUP list.
•WR Marquess Wilson is on the PUP list.
Monday: Practice, 9:35 a.m.
Wednesday: Practice, 11:15 a.m.
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