According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bears have changed their starting safeties 30 times since Lovie Smith began coaching the team in 2004.
Perhaps that’s the reason the Bears opened camp with Danieal Manning lined up at free safety and Kevin Payne at strong safety. The alignment is the same one the Bears used to end last season, and Smith might be searching for some consistency in what has been an ever-changing position, the Sun-Times reports:
”Danieal is getting more of the concept of this defense, and his overall football knowledge has improved a lot,” Smith announced. ”Sometimes it takes players awhile before they really get it, and I think Danieal has gotten it where it all makes sense to him.”
A few more notes from around the Web on a Thursday:
- Although progress has been made in contract talks with Leon Washington‘s representative, the Jets RB wasn’t present at the start of training camp this morning. Thomas Jones, another running back who’s unhappy with his contract, did report.
- The Buffalo News‘ Mark Gaughan had some interesting observations from Bills camp, including the pink mouthpiece that safety Donte Whitner is wearing to honor his grandmother, who died of cancer in March.
- And in a comical twist, The Boston Globe‘s Dan Shaughnessy checks in from the recently constructed Renaissance Hotel and Spa at Patriot Place, where he says guests can easily spy on the Patriots’ practice field from the fifth-floor concierge lounge.