Fall Camp 2010: Day 2

Photo: Kevin Riley will begin his senior year as starting quarterback, his second full season at the spot. He has a thrown a career 37 touchdowns as well as 15 interceptions.
Nathan Yan/File
Kevin Riley will begin his senior year as starting quarterback, his second full season at the spot. He has a thrown a career 37 touchdowns as well as 15 interceptions.

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Jeff Tedford doesn't exactly have a reputation for being relaxed and carefree, but it's become something of a mission for the ninth-year head coach to lighten up in practice this season.

And, two days into fall camp, it already seems to be working.

"I think at times (the team was) tightening up," quarterback Kevin Riley. "If they messed up, they were going to get yelled at, get chewed out, and they'd be down the rest of practice.

"Now if you mess up, it's like, 'Hey, don't do that. Learn from it. Go on to the next play and learn from it later.'"

According to Riley, when the Bears fell behind in games last season, they tended to force plays and press too hard. This time around, they're working on a team culture of hard work tempered with a larger-than-years-past dose of fun.

"We've got a great group of kids who have worked hard all summer, all spring, and you don't want to push them to where they're not having fun playing football," he said. "(The coaches) learned that from previous experience just by looking at people's faces."

Game Situations

During the little glimpses of practice allowed to the media, Riley put in a crisp performance for just the second day of camp. Riley looked clutch completing a pass to Marvin Jones as the pocket rapidly collapsed around him, and threw a touchdown pass to fullback Eric Stevens as the first team wrapped up its day.

"This is my best day two throwing the ball. Easily," Riley said. "I'm spinning the ball real well, throwing the ball real well, getting good speed on the ball."

Riley's also looking better physically. He lost about five-percent body fat since last year, which he said is helping him to shed defenders and move with more agility in the pocket, something to keep an eye on as the team moves into full contact practices.

Second team (at least for now) quarterback Beau Sweeney took over and threw a 20-yard dart to tight end Jarrett Sparks for a touchdown. Both offense and defense had something to celebrate on that play; stifling pressure from the defense probably would have meant a sack in a live game, but Sweeney still had the vision to connect with Sparks in the endzone.

Injury Report

-Bad news for the Bears came in on crutches near the end of practice. According to Tedford, left guard Matt Summers-Gavin may have injured his knee when his plant foot stuck in the turf. Summers-Gavin will get an MRI today to determine the level of damage.

The sophomore is expected to be a stalwart on the offensive line for the Bears. In the eight games he started at left tackle last season, the Bears won seven. Should Summers-Gavin be unavailable for any length of time, Mitchell Schwartz will likely fill that spot.

-Vachel Samuels, a backup defensive back, will probably be out for the season after separating a bone in his foot. He's due in for surgery that will have him out for 3-6 months.

-Running back Shane Vereen is still out with hamstring tightness. He tweaked it about two weeks ago while conditioning and is day-to-day.

-Defensive lineman Kendrick Payne went down at the end of practice and remained on the ground for several minutes.

Tedford's injury analysis?

"It's a guy thing," he said.


Contact Katie Dowd at [email protected]

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