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How much progress has Blanchard made?

Posted May 15, 2013

Larry discusses Matt Blanchard's improvement, the most impressive undrafted free agent at rookie minicamp and the likelihood of Marquess Wilson making the 53-man roster.

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

I read a lot about young quarterback Matt Blanchard after rookie minicamp. Do you think he has made a lot of progress since he first joined the Bears a year ago?

John G.
Streamwood, Illinois

Yes, I think that Matt Blanchard has shown a lot of improvement since he first signed with the Bears following last year's rookie minicamp. Even though a new coaching staff is in place, I'm sure he's more comfortable being a pro in terms of knowing what to expect in practice and meetings. On the field, Blanchard seems to be throwing the ball with more zip and making quick decisions. The Bears didn't want to release him from the practice squad late last season (but had to due to injuries at other positions) and feel fortunate that they were able to re-sign him in January. Blanchard throws with no wasted motion and tossed some nice deep balls during rookie minicamp to Terrence Toliver and Dale Moss.

Of the 10 undrafted free agents, who stood out to you most at rookie minicamp?

Daniel K.
Helena, Montana

I would say that of all the undrafted rookies, cornerback C.J. Wilson was most impressive in the minicamp. He showed good instincts and ball skills. Wilson was a four-year contributor at North Carolina State, where he tied an all-time school record by returning three interceptions for touchdowns. It'll be interesting to watch him in OTAs and training camp and see how he fares against veteran receivers such as Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett.

What do you think the chances are of seventh-round pick Marquess Wilson making the 53-man roster? I know he has some baggage, but I think he has great potential.

Zach S.
Burlington, Iowa

I'll have a much better idea of that when I see how Marquess Wilson performs and how he's utilized among all the receivers in training camp. I know the Bears feel that he can be the vertical receiver they were seeking this offseason. He doesn't have blazing speed, but he seems to be one of those guys who plays faster than his timed speed. I would like to see him add some muscle; he weighs 184 pounds and looks very slender. In terms of the "baggage" you referred to, the Bears did a ton of research on the incident that led to him leaving the Washington State team. Wilson acknowledged that he made a mistake and hasn't been involved in any brushes with the law or any other incidents, so I don't think there's much concern about his character.

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