BOURBONNAIS -- Like every other defensive back, 5-foot-8, 185-pound cornerback Tim Jennings has, at times, struggled to contain 6-foot-4, 230-pound wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
But Jennings had an excellent practice Tuesday, picking off a pass in 7-on-7 and breaking up 2 other passes in 11-on-11 team work, including 1 in the two-minute drill. All three plays came against Marshall.
"He's not the tallest corner in the league, but he plays big," coach Lovie Smith said. "He plays tall, he's tough, and he's got good hands. As a cornerback, it's going to come down to a 1-on-1 situation, eventually, where you have to make the play.
"Tim having a chance to go against Brandon Marshall, Devin (Hester), Alshon Jeffery, all those guys, is making him better, and he made some plays (Tuesday)."
It's too soon to say that 2009 seventh-round draft pick Lance Louis is entrenched at right guard, but it would be an upset if he's not lined up there on Sept. 9 in the season opener against the Colts.
That's where Louis opened the 2011 season. But a sprained right ankle in the opener knocked him out of the starting lineup until Game 5.
The following week he was moved to right tackle when it became obvious Frank Omiyale was a poor option as the replacement for injured Gabe Carimi.
Now Carimi's back at tackle and Louis is back at guard, which is the natural order of things.
"My size (6-feet-3, 320 pounds) suits me better as a guard," Louis said. "I'm not as (tall) as the tackles in the league, so I'm in a good place right now."
The move inside probably precludes Louis from reviving his days as a tight end in his first two seasons at San Diego State. But he's the first to admit that he's outgrown the pass-catching role.
"Those days are all the way over, man," he said.
Ground and pound:
While there has been talk of tight end Kellen Davis having a bigger role as a receiver in this year's offense, there are no such expectations for backup tight end Matt Spaeth, who caught just 7 passes last seasons for 50 yards.
But that doesn't mean the 6-foot-7, 260-pound Spaeth doesn't have a role, even in a more explosive passing offense.
"We're still going to run the ball," said Spaeth, who has just 43 career receptions and 7 touchdowns in five seasons. "We're going to be pretty balanced, but we're still going to run the ball pretty well."
New defensive tackle Brian Price had a rough first practice Tuesday, as expected, considering he's about a week behind everyone else.
Price, working in with the second team, got steamrollered in back-to-back goal-line run plays in team scrimmage, and he was stonewalled by Edwin Williams twice in 1-on-1 pass-rush drills.
"It's going to take awhile," coach Lovie Smith said. "We wanted to get Brian into the mix to just let him see how it feels to be a Chicago Bear practicing. Hopefully make progress from here."
Quarterback Jay Cutler spent too much practice time Tuesday afternoon looking like an infielder taking ground balls. Several shotgun snaps from normally reliable center Roberto Garza came in low.
"A couple of balls on the ground from Roberto," offensive coordinator Mike Tice said, "which is odd for him."
By any other name:
Quarterback Jay Cutler was asked his thoughts on wide receiver Brandon Marshall referring to quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates as a "1940s country man," an apparent reference to Bates' love of the outdoors.
"I don't think that Brandon knows what that is," Cutler laughed.