Bears notebook: Good news and bad news about Matt Gutierrez
Matt Gutierrez, signed as an insurance quarterback Tuesday, looked ragged in his first Bears practice Thursday, but he also displayed a stronger arm than injured backup Caleb Hanie or third-string rookie Dan LeFevour.
“He has a lot to pick up as far as the offense is concerned, but he’s a quarterback with a strong arm, has got good size and is a smart guy,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “He needs reps right now, but I’m very pleased with what our current guys have done. Dan LeFevour has gotten a lot better with the reps that he’s gotten.”
Injuries to rookie Major Wright, a potential starter, and Craig Steltz have kept Chicago’s secondary in flux during training camp, but new strong safety Chris Harris said that shouldn’t keep the Bears from being strong at what has been their most often-changed position in recent years.
“We have great depth back there,” Harris said. “We’re all professionals. They’ll be back in due time and be ready, so I’m not worried about the continuity back there. It will jell just fine.”
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said Wright, who made seven tackles Saturday, stood out in Chicago’s preseason opener before fracturing his left index finger. The defensive play of the game may have been when Wright wrapped up Chargers rookie Ryan Mathews, lifted him up and slammed him to the ground after an 18-yard gain.
“That tackle he made in the open field, that was really an exceptional tackle,” Marinelli said. “Now we have to keep him going.”
Memories of McCardell
The Bears were one of several teams to cut Keenan McCardell before he caught on and became the 22nd leading receiver of all time with 11,373 yards. Now the Bears are hoping to be on the other end of that type of a receiver find with Devin Aromashodu, who was waived five times before catching on with Chicago last year.
“It doesn’t happen very often,” general manager Jerry Angelo said. “The only other player I can think of, and I’m not going to put him in Keenan McCardell’s class, but Keenan McCardell was probably cut 10, 12, 12 times before things came together for him.
“We’re excited about what we’ve seen from Devin, but he’s got to continue to develop and grow, just like Devin Hester and Johnny Knox.”
The Bears break training camp for the season tomorrow and leave Bourbonnais for another year.
“The season has started, so this is life for me now. It’s no different,” defensive tackle Tommie Harris said.
It is to his teammates. Safety Chris Harris expressed the more popular sentiment when he said there was nothing he would miss about Bourbonnais.
“I love being around these guys, but I’m ready to go,” Chris Harris said.
Receiver Zeke Markshausen, a North Boone graduate, got both toes inbounds on a fingertip sideline catch and also ran an end around. … Third-string running back Garrett Wolfe caught a deep sideline pass in stride. … Jay Cutler also hit Matt Forte in stride on a deep sideline route. … Johnny Knox made a low fingertip catch in stride over the middle. … Cutler twice barely overthrew Devin Hester on deep passes.
Matt Trowbridge can be reached at 815-987-1383 or email@example.com.