Marquess Wilson was among the half-dozen players who fielded kickoffs out of a machine during special teams drills Friday. It's not a role the third-year wide receiver experimented with during his first two seasons, even though former Bears general manager Phil Emery liked Wilson's natural stride and straight-line speed. "We're trying to evaluate the best 53 guys that we can get," coach John Fox said. "They may be here now, they may be somewhere else. So we have kind of open tryouts." Wilson didn't return kicks at Washington State either, and it showed in a pair of drops.
Marc Mariani caught the ball in each of his reps. The veteran return specialist might not be the flashiest ball carrier, but he has reliable hands, good speed and exceptional toughness. He also made a short catch during team drills Friday after sinking his hips, breaking down his stride and getting back to the ball. He's not a top candidate to play receiver, but his versatility could help his roster chances.
Seen and heard
Fox prefers a musical soundtrack at his practices — a loud one. For the most part, the players dictate the playlist, but mixed among Metallica, Nelly, Van Halen and Wiz Khalifa on Friday was a little bit of Rick Springfield. That's right, "Jessie's Girl," right out of 1981. "I have a few sprinkled in there," Fox said. "I don't want to date myself, but I think you can tell (which ones)."
The first notable skirmish of training camp was a brief scrap during team drills between defensive end Jarvis Jenkins and guard Kyle Long. Long seemingly took exception to Jenkins' excessive contact on running back Jacquizz Rodgers and shoved the defensive linemen. Jenkins responded with an open-handed swing at Long, igniting a crowd-pleasing kerfuffle. Said Fox: "This is a combative game played by combative people. You try to discourage it, but I'm sure this won't be the last one. I can pretty much guarantee that."