First-and-10: Bears (sort of) respond to Bostic fine; Melton, Earl Bennett getting better

SHARE First-and-10: Bears (sort of) respond to Bostic fine; Melton, Earl Bennett getting better

Nobody will have to hold a tag day for Bears rookie Jon Bostic, but the linebacker from Florida has our sympathy after getting fined $21,000 for what appeared to be a legitimate hit in a preseason game. Bostic’s fine dominated the day at Halas Hall, which means one thing above all: Friday night’s ‘‘dress rehearsal’’ against the Raiders in Oakland can’t come soon enough. Here’s a wrap-up of Wednesday’s activities at Halas Hall:

1. Jon Bostic’s fine accomplishes nothing. Fining the rookie linebacker $21,000 for his hit on Chargers wide receiver Mike Willie is like stopping a speeder for going 60 in a 55 mph zone. It’s not going to stop anyone from speeding. Bostic will make the same hit the next chance he gets. As my colleague, Rick Morrissey opined on, it’s called football.

2. Bears safety Chris Conte was fined for a helmet-to-helmet hit last season, appealed the $21,000 fine down to about $10,000, Conte recalled Wednesday. How did it impact his aggressiveness the rest of the season? ‘‘Zero. Not at all,’’ Conte said, almost defiantly. ‘‘Not difficult at all [to not let it affect you]. It’s not a hard thign to put past you. I don’t think [Bostic will] have any trouble with that.’’

3. For the record, neither Mike Willie nor the Chargers coaches expressed any problem with Bostic’s hit. “It woke me up,’’ Willie told San Diego reporters Friday.

4. Bostic did not have much of a reaction to the fine, claiming he did not know much about it. Was he surprised? ‘‘I’m just find out about all this stuff. I really haven’t even thought about it to tell you the truth,’’ Bostic told reporters after practice Wednesday. ‘‘I’m going to focus on this week and the game plan.’’

5. Strangely, Bears coach Marc Trestman didn’t have much to say about the fine, saying he didn’t have all the information about it. ‘‘I don’t have any reaction right now about anything,’’  Trestman said. ‘‘When I looked at it … I thought it was a clean hit. His head was up and he hit with the shoulder from my vantage point on the field — and upstairs looking at the tape, I thought it was a clean hit. That’s all I need to say about it.’’

5a. All I can add is that I hope this isn’t an indication of how Trestman is going to respond to controversies involving the Bears under his leadership. If anything, the Bostic fine opens the door for an intelligent debate about the safety of the NFL and, frankly, the future of the NFL. That’s just the kind of subject you’d expect Trestman, a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, to be more than qualified to weigh in on.

6. In other news, Earl Bennett and Henry Melton are getting better, according to Trestman. Both players are recovering from concussions. Melton was seen at the portion of practice open to reporters (about the first 10-15 minutes). Bennett was not. ‘‘The one thing that is encouraging, both from Chris [Hanks, the team’s head trainer] and our medical people is they are both getting better,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘We’ll see what happens down the road and we’re going to try and be as upbeat as we can and stay encouraged that they’ll be ready to go [for the season opener Sept. 8 against the Bengals]. Translation: Don’t expect them to be ready for the season opener Sept. 8 against the Bengals.

7. With temperatures heading into the upper 80s or low 90s, the Bears worked out indoors at the Walter Payton Center on Wednesday. ‘‘I wanted our guys to get a chance to see our new surface here,’’ Trestman said, referring to the state-of-the-art artificial turf recently installed. ‘‘They’ve practiced very hard in the heat the last two days. I thought it would be a good opportunity on a short field on a shorter practice day to allow them to come inside and see what the organization has done for us to help our football team get better on the days we need to be inside.’’

8. Julius Peppers is expected to play against the Raiders on Friday night. Peppers has yet to play in the preseason and is being eased through training camp. But Trestman said ‘‘there’s no concern’’ that Peppers will not be ready to play in the season opener against the Bengals on Sept. 8. ‘‘There’s no concern, based on his practice today and his level of conditioning  that he’ll be ready to play,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘But that’s a long way away. We’ll see.

9. Marc Trestman loves Raider Nation. Trestman spent three years as an assistant with the Raiders (2001-03) and has fond memories of those crazy Raider fans, even the Zombie-like fans who inhabit the infamous ‘‘Black Hole.’’ ‘‘They’re a bunch of fans that really love their team and really love football,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘There’s a little bit of villain there, but they really aren’t. They’re good people that have day jobs like the rest of us, they come out to the stadium to, in their own way, to support the team. I think it’s a great environment for us to go in to.’’

10. Even without catching a pass — or having a pass thrown his way, even — Martellus Bennett is worth the price of admission. The free-spirited tight end regaled the media again Wednesday during open locker room and added the best perspective on the Bostic hit. ‘‘It looked bad, but I thought it was a perfect hit,’’ said Bennett. ‘‘The receiver caught a screen and ran back in, which you never want to do. You always want to run back out. That’s where the pursuit angle is coming from — on the inside. I thought it was a great, clean hit.’’

The Latest
Ariana Molina was with family celebrating a confirmation Saturday night when shots were fired. Ten people, including Ariana’s mother, were wounded. Police blame gangs for the shooting.
There are a few ways to make sure you have enough coverage before a potential car accident puts you at risk.
The man was shot around 1:20 a.m. Monday, police said.
Family in turmoil as insecure woman complains constantly about her husband’s absence.
A teen writes in favor of proposed legislation to require vape manufacturers to provide stores and gas stations with a certification that lists the details of their products, to ensure the products being sold are legal.