Team hopes tryouts motivate punter Adam Podlesh
BY ADAM L. JAHNS email@example.com October 2, 2013 10:21PM
Updated: November 4, 2013 12:21PM
A day after six other punters took to the fields at Halas Hall and kicked away for the Bears’ brass, punter Adam Podlesh left practice feeling satisfied with his day of work after his poor performance against the Lions.
“I hit the ball well [and] made some mechanical adjustments with what I’ve been doing fundamentally,” Podlesh said Wednesday. ‘‘[I’ve] been working my tail off to make sure I put out a good product Sunday [against the Saints].”
Of course, this isn’t unique for Podlesh.
After poor showings against the Titans and Texans last season, punters were brought to Halas Hall for workouts, and Podlesh responded by averaging 42.5 net yards over his next three games. Podlesh said his success afterward was just coincidental, but the Bears definitely would like to see similar results.
“We’ll see how it works both ways, whether it’s motivation [for Podlesh] or it gets us another look at some guys if something does happen to Adam,” special-teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis said. “That’s just how it goes there.”
The Bears did notify Podlesh that they would be working out punters Tuesday, which he appreciated. He actually expected it after the 28.8 net yards he averaged against Detroit. Podlesh ranks 26th in net average at 38.5.
“I kind of understood after what I put out there on the field in Detroit,” Podlesh said. “I basically said to myself that I wouldn’t be surprised if they were going to look at what was out on the market.”
Podlesh said it was “bad mechanics” and a “bad swing” and that he’ll lean on his drop and tempo to get back in line. DeCamillis thought Podlesh’s timing was off against the Lions.
“There’s nobody who wants it more for him than me,” DeCamillis said. “And there’s nobody that wants it more for all of us than Adam, so we’re going to keep working.”
But don’t expect Podlesh to change his philosophy.
“I’m deliberately trying to directional-punt, and that’s been my M.O. since I joined this league,” he said. “I’m going to continue to do that with whatever adjustments I’m doing with my swing.”
The Bears had several key players on their injury report. Receiver Brandon Marshall (foot), defensive tackle Stephen Paea (toe) and cornerback Charles Tillman (groin/knee) didn’t practice, and tight end Martellus Bennett (shoulder) and defensive end Julius Peppers (chest) were limited.
“But we’re optimistic that we’ll see everybody on Sunday at this point,” coach Marc Trestman said.
Cornerback Sherrick McManis (quadriceps) also was limited after sitting out against the Lions, and safety Anthony Walters (hamstring) sat out.
He said what?
Cornerback Tim Jennings heard about the comments Lions vice chairman Bill Ford made at a recent team function, in which he referred to the Bears as a bunch of thugs. But Jennings wasn’t bothered by it.
“We can take that as a compliment, I guess,” Jennings said. “We like to think we’re playing nasty, but we play within the rules.”