Bears undecided on use of helmet cam

May, 13, 2013
5/13/13
10:28
AM ET
Matt BlanchardAP Photo/Nam Y. HuhThe Bears got a different view of rookie minicamp with a helmet cam on quarterback Matt Blanchard.
Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman only "peeked at" the footage pulled from the camera mounted to the helmet of quarterback Matt Blanchard during the weekend's rookie minicamp, and it's still unclear to the club whether there's a tangible use for the experiment.

The staff mounted a camera on the left side of Blanchard's helmet, and the second-year quarterback conducted practices with the club recording the footage, which theoretically would give it an idea of what the signal caller sees during drops, in addition to how he works through progressions.

It's still unclear whether the club plans to outfit Jay Cutler with a helmet camera when the Bears start organized team activities this week, but Trestman sounded doubtful about the proposition.

"We'll talk about it. I don't know that that'll be the case," Trestman said. "It was fun to do it this weekend, and kind of just get an interpretation. But I don't look at it as being something we're going to have on a daily basis."

Before the Bears make a decision either way, the staff first must study the footage taken from Blanchard's helmet camera. With the coaches spending the bulk of time conducting practices and evaluating the 59 players in attendance for rookie minicamp, Trestman hadn't reviewed any of the footage from Blanchard's helmet by the time the Bears finished practice on Sunday afternoon.

"Really haven't even looked at it. We've got it in our system right now. We really haven't spent any time evaluating what we could get out of it or what we have gotten out of it," Trestman said. "I've peeked at it, but I really didn't study it. We'll see what unfolds this week and what we think we can do with it or move it around.

"Can we put (it) on a top of the helmet as opposed to the side of the helmet? It's kind of just fun working with it. But it's not a major part of our focus. It's taken on a little bit of a life of its own over the last 24 hours, and I don't know if it deserves that much attention."

What might, however, are the positive reviews Blanchard has received from the staff. As one of just two quarterbacks to attend the rookie minicamp over the weekend, Blanchard received more repetitions than usual and took full advantage.

Asked if he liked what he saw from Blanchard's practices over the weekend, Trestman said, "Absolutely."

"As I said the other day, he's articulate in the verbiage of our offense. He's picked it up very quickly. Getting the reps has really helped him. He has very good fundamentals. He needs to improve like every quarterback does. But he's got a very good base. The ball easily comes out of his hands as you can see when he's over the top of his throws it's a very natural throwing motion.

"He doesn't have to squeeze the ball hard. He doesn't have to what I would say: 'work the ball.' It comes off his hand very easily and very naturally. He's got some mobility. We're in shorts. I think we'll see a little bit more out of him getting into camp with some pads on. When we get into the preseason games we'll see more of what he has."

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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