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posted: 7/29/2012 12:01 AM

Bears' Marshall puts on quite a show

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  • Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, right, catches a ball against cornerback Jonathan Wilhite, left, during NFL football training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., Saturday, July 28, 2012.

      Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, right, catches a ball against cornerback Jonathan Wilhite, left, during NFL football training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., Saturday, July 28, 2012.

 
 

BOURBONNAIS -- More than 10,000 fans attended Saturday night's first practice in full pads, and they were treated to a spectacular performance by wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

The evening began on a frightening note when Marshall crashed to the ground, landing awkwardly after catching a routine pass against air from Jason Campbell. Marshall remained on the ground for more than a few anxious moments but was soon back in action.

He beat Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman deep twice, once making a catch that Tillman barely missed deflecting, and another time adjusting to a Cutler bomb that was launched horizontally across the field 60 yards in the air. Later the 6-foot-4 Marshall plucked a high pass one-handed as easily as if he were picking an apple off a tree.

"Brandon Marshall is a scholarship player," coach Lovie Smith said. "I think we'll all agree with that. He made some big plays. A little scare there early on, but of course there was nothing to it. But you always fear it when you see one of your best players going down like that."

A fresh outlook:

New defensive tackle Brian Price, who was acquired Thursday from the Bucs for a conditional draft pick, reportedly a seventh-rounder, attended practice but cannot participate until Wednesday.

He has been beset by injury and personal problems, including the spring death of his sister in a car accident. But the former second-round pick from UCLA believes a change of scenery will benefit him.

"I'm feeling great," he said. "Just my mental (state) a couple months ago was nowhere near where I am now. Just from being here I feel so much better, like the weight of the world has just lifted off of my shoulders. I was happy (being at practice) -- a brand new beginning, a fresh start. It don't get no better than this. This is a defensive town with great leaders. I love it. The love of the game is just coming back to me."

Price may need some time to be back to speed after suffering a leg injury on the first day of Bucs camp.

It's all good:

Running back Matt Forte wasn't thrilled when the Bears signed unrestricted free-agent running back Michael Bush to a four-year, $12 million deal in the off-season.

Forte was left waiting the wings, as the Bears' franchise player with a one-year tender offer of $7.742 million, but he eventually got a four-year, $32 million contract. Now it's just one big, happy family with Forte and Bush co-existing in the backfield.

"Every year I've been here, there's another guy that was brought in to push me or to help me out, basically," Forte said. "That's what I look at it as. Competition brings success out of everybody. It's either going to make you better or you're going to try to work harder to try to get better. I accept Mike being here. He's a great guy and it's going to be a fun year."

Comfort level:

The general consensus is that the Bears have surrounded quarterback Jay Cutler with all the weapons he needs to flourish, and he seems to agree. "This is the most comfortable I think I've been going into camp with the offense, of what we're doing scheme-wise and the talent around me," he said. "You could say this is the most comfortable I've been."

Coming and going:

Wide receiver Devin Hester sat out Saturday night's practice after tweaking his ankle following a collision with safety Major Wright in Friday afternoon's practice.

Cornerback Jeremy Ware was signed on Saturday and backup kicker David Teggart was waived to keep the Bears at the 90-man limit.

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