BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Let's roll through some thoughts and observations after watching the Chicago Bears' opening practice:
It wasn't surprising to see the Bears use a seventh-round draft pick to acquire defensive tackle Brian Price from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a move that was announced during practice. Matt Toeaina was working with the first team, opposite Henry Melton, even with a rather hefty cast around a broken right hand. Stephen Paea, the Bears' second-round draft pick in 2011, also got onto the field. But the Bears seemed thinner than they would like to be at the position.
Price is actually a pretty good player who needed a fresh start. Once he gets comfortable, I would consider him a candidate for substantial playing time, if not a starting job.
The Bears' passing offense looked more discombobulated than I expected it would. Quarterback Jay Cutler and receiver Brandon Marshall crossed each other up on three passes that I saw, resulting in two incompletions and one interception. To be fair, the offense was operating on a month of rust. Offensive coordinator Mike Tice, however, made clear: "We're going to have a higher bar than that."
The other possibility is that the Bears' defense was exceptionally sharp for an opening practice of camp. I will say that the secondary aggressively pursued pass break-ups, beginning with D.J. Moore's interception of Cutler on a sideline pass intended for rookie Alshon Jeffery.
Linebacker Brian Urlacher practiced for the first time since spraining his knee in the 2011 season finale against the Minnesota Vikings. It's worth noting that Urlacher was wearing a brace, presumably as a precaution.
Jeffery might have played too heavy in college, but Thursday he appeared to be a typical gangly rookie. He certainly passed the eyeball test and also looked good on a deep slant, a route that will be particularly difficult to defend with his 6-foot-3 frame.
Rookie tight end Evan Rodriguez is a load. He is listed at 239 pounds, but he looked pretty imposing running seam routes during offensive drills and caught my eye with aggressive post-catch runs. We'll keep an eye on him.