Senior Bowl Day One Round-Up: Quarterback Winner, Howard Stands Out, More

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Senior Bowl Day One Round-Up: Quarterback Winner, Howard Stands Out, More

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears enter Senior Bowl week wishing they were preparing for the Super Bowl, but instead living the reality of being a team searching for the kind of talent that will have them Super Bowl bound once again.

Before the Bears make the jump to their first Super Bowl appearance since 2006-07 – or at least their first winning seasons since 2012 – the team must figure out the quarterback situation. Over at WGN, Adam Hoge writes that Nathan Peterman from Pittsburgh was a day one winner among quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl:

“The quarterbacks on the North team don’t have particularly strong arms, but they were much more accurate on Tuesday. Pitt’s Nathan Peterman was probably the winner among all of the Senior Bowl quarterbacks on Day 1. He has a quick release and good touch on his passes and has a reputation for making good decisions with the football. As for arm strength? It’s similar to Matt Barkley’s — good enough if he makes the right decisions.”

Drawing a Matt Barkley comparison isn’t necessarily the greatest compliment, especially after his late-season slump eventually led to him being benched in favor of David Fales in the season finale at Minnesota.

Some more from the first day of Senior Bowl practices …

  • Stop me if I’m wrong, but is that a smile on John Fox’s face?

  • Fox has reason to smile, because of the talent he will be working with this week in advance of the Senior Bowl. Of course, some of the talent still has work to do if they want to impress coaches and scouts. For starters, North team quarterbacks struggled on their first day of Senior Bowl practices. While first impressions are important, there is still time to learn, apply new knowledge and perform. Hopefully, at least one of these quarterbacks is up to the task.
  • Also, one should be hopeful that the Bears coaching staff is up to task on what Chris Emma of CBS Chicago writes is an invaluable scouting opportunity. All the pieces were in place according to Emma, who reports the Bears video people and medical staff were there and ready for action as if it was a normal Bears practice. Well, almost normal. Fox reported no injuries to any of the participating players.
  • Maybe when it comes to game time, quarterbacks can impress simply by targeting Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, who stood above the pack on day one. Howard told Bryan Perez of BearsWire that he expected to run a 4.58 in the 40-yard dash. That’s oddly specific – and impressive if he can get there. The combination of size, speed and soft hands could make Howard a matchup nightmare in the NFL.
  • Odds and ends from the player weigh-ins at NFL.com. Only there can it be re-assuring to a player that his official height came in only one inch shorter than his listed height in college (Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis, in that instance – one of the top cornerback prospects in the draft could have slipped if he came in too much shorter than his listed 5’11”).
  • ESPN notes some draft risers from Day One of Senior Bowl practices, including Wisconsin outside linebacker Vince Biegel, described as having done “a nice job setting the edge, locating the ball and getting off blocks, in addition to blowing up a play in the backfield and chasing with above-average effort as a run defender.” As I mentioned yesterday, the Bears’ front seven rated poorly this year overall thanks largely to injuries, but it’s worth pointing out that, among that group, outside linebacker Sam Acho had the lowest rating.

Brett Taylor contributed to this post.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.