Marquess Wilson: It's being billed as an open competition for the No. 3 receiving job. But Wilson, the favorite, seems to have a healthy lead. He showed his athleticism during team work Friday with a leaping grab down the left sideline, a pass he hauled in from Jay Cutler by jumping over cornerback Kelvin Hayden and making the catch in front of safety Adrian Wilson. Coach Marc Trestman sees a different Wilson than he saw in 2013. The young receiver is more confident in the offense, more in sync with top receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery and clearly stronger. Said Trestman: "He's highly intelligent. We can play him at any position, which increases his value to our football team if Brandon or Alshon were, heaven forbid, to go down. Right now, he's on track to be the third (receiver)."
- PHOTOS: Photos: Friday's Bears practice in Bourbonnais
- STORY: Bears practice Friday with reshuffled offensive line
- STORY: Bears practice observations: A. Wilson, linebackers, Fales and more
Olivet Nazarene University, 1 University Avenue, Bourbonnais, IL 60914, USA
Halas Hall, Washington Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045, USA
Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
Chris Williams: For Wilson to be challenged, it will take a breakout effort from a group that includes Williams, Josh Morgan, Josh Bellamy and Micheal Spurlock. But Trestman wants those players to know Wilson hasn't locked anything up yet. "We're still working with the other guys," Trestman said, "to make sure we get it right." Behind Marshall, Jeffery and Wilson, there is also a No. 4 job up for grabs. So special teams value will play a role. Williams' potential as a returner will be his trump card to help overcome his slight frame (5 feet 8, 175 pounds) and lack of strength.
Seen and heard
On a day in which the defense was active and energetic, linebacker Lance Briggs made plays. During one session of 11-on-11 work, Briggs broke on a Cutler pass to Martellus Bennett and deflected it, punctuating the play by running past the bleachers with his right fist in the air. Some fans, however, are never happy. "Next time catch it!" one yelled to Briggs. The veteran linebacker couldn't grant that request. But a later Briggs pass deflection on a pass to Brandon Marshall shot into the air and safety Danny McCray snatched it for a pick.
Linebacker Christian Jones stands out as the undrafted rookie with the best chance at making the team. At 6 feet 3 and 240 pounds, the former Florida State standout has obvious speed and explosion, but now, according to Trestman, he has to show he can complement that with a full understanding of his assignments.
•C Roberto Garza (personal reasons) did not practice.
OL Kyle Long (virus) did not practice.
OL Eben Britton (left hamstring) did not practice.
S Chris Conte (shoulder) is on the physically unable to perform list.
S Craig Steltz (groin) is on the PUP list.
Next three days
Friday: Practice, 9 a.m.
Saturday: Practice at Soldier Field, 6:45 p.m.
Monday: Practice, 3 p.m.
— Dan Wiederer