The big news tonight was that running back Shane Vereen (hamstring) participated in his first full pads practice of training camp. The Bears held their last double-day practice of camp, and the full pads session was in the evening.
Vereen had participated in the previous few practices, but Saturday night marked the first time he absored some real hits from the defense, just as he would in a real game.
“It felt good,” Vereen said. “Well, getting hit does not feel good. But it felt good to get out there and play some football. It’s been awhile. Everything seemed to come to me pretty quick. Of course, there are some things I need to work on.”
Vereen said he was surprsingly happy with how comfortable he felt considering he hadn’t taken any team reps until a couple days ago, but admitted there is some rust to shake off.
“I definitely think it’s important that I get knocked around a little bit, especially before Sept. 4,” Vereen said.
Believe it or not, there are really only two more practices left in training camp. Next Saturday, with Fan Appreciation Day following, is the official end of camp. But Monday’s second and final live practice, where the players practice in full pads in game-like situations, will be the final time the coaching staff evaluates players. The Bears won’t practice on Tuesday and the players have a complete day off Wednesday as the fall semester gets going. When they return on Thursday, they will break into scout teams and start implementing the game plan for the season-opener against UC Davis. Then they will have Friday off.
A desk shift will prevent me from attending practice tomorrow, but the team is going light in preparation for Monday’s important session. It is a helmets-only practice. I still hope to obtain an update afterward.