Chicago Sun-Times

Bears prepare for preseason opener

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Bears coach Lovie Smith said some of his offensive starters may up to the half.

"We're going to get into the first quarter and see how many plays we have," Smith said. "We could let some of the guys go a little bit longer than we normally do, maybe to the half or something like that.

"Different positions will do different things."

Smith declined to elaborate. But, given the shuffling along the offensive line, the Bears may want that unit to see some extended time together against the San Diego Chargers.

Smith also said Thursday was the team's first prep day for the Chargers.

"Challenging offense [and] defensively, we're going to play a lot of 3-4 teams this coming season, so it's good," Smith said. "It's a prefect preseason game to open up the season against."

With temperatures in the mid-90s, the Bears didn't don shoulder pads, and they ran a lot of drills at half- or three-quarter speed. Not a whole lot of highlights to mention, but here are a few.

* Safety Chris Harris had an interception for the third consecutive day. He got this one on a deflected ball.

* Craig Steltz got a lot of reps with the starting defense, opposite Harris.

* Veteran linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer returned to practice. So did tight end Kellen Davis and young players Kahlil Bell and Greg Mathews.

* Nick Roach got most of the snaps Thursday with the starting defense.

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Thats interesting that Craig Steltz got a lot of reps with the 1st team, maybe he's in the running to start at strong safety this year? Steltz isn't the most athletic player, but he does seem to be around the ball a lot and seems to put himself in position to make a lot of plays on the ball, he'll be one to watch.

Nick Roach needs to start at strongside linebacker, he's earned it with his play over the last couple seasons. Last season Roach tied with Tommie Harris with 10 tackles for loss to lead the team, I hope he starts this season.

And yes, this offensive line needs reps to build some type of continuity heading into the season. Its gonna be interesting to see how 2nd year guard Lance Louis does with the starting unit.

I heard rookie QB Dan LeFevour has struggled a bit during camp so far, he's another one I think is gonna be worth watching develop. In college LeFevour was a winner leading CMU to 4 straight bowl games, and was the first player in NCAA history to pass for 12,000 yds plus and run for 2,500 yds plus, given time, I think he could turn out to be a heck of a pro QB GO BEARS!!

Craig Steltz total beast! Hall of Fame he wil be in for sure! Same with future all-pro Roach!

What I saw from Steltz last year was being around after the ball got there, not anticipating where it was going to go and either meeting the ball there, or beating it there.

Hopefully another year of experience and getting used to the speed of the NFL has fixed some of that. H

I am in total agreement that Roach needs to start on the strong side. But I also think Tinoisamoa needs to be released when that happens. No need to keep a vet like that for special teams. Give that role to a younger, hungrier player, like Mayberry or Malast to round out the unit.

Has Iwuh returned to practice? I haven't heard anything about him since he got hurt. Personally, I think Hillenmeyer, Shaw, Malast, and Mayberry would be a good depth chart, and would also give us a strong core for special teams, but they brought in Iwuh specifically for that purpose, so we'll see how it ends up.

This is going to be an interesting year for the roster, because now both offense and defense go through a lot of players, and rely on speed and fresh legs as the game wears on. So Martz will want more skill position players on the game day roster, and Marinelli will want his D-line and secondary to have lots of available bodies. Toub will want more linebackers for special teams. Should be an interesting balancing act.

Steltz does put himself into good position a lot of the time, seems to be a very heady player with good instincts but does he have the speed needed in today's NFL even at strong safety.

Ultimately I gotta believe that the best combination will be Harris at Strong and Wright at Free Safety (maybe by midyear). Knowing Lovie we will probably have many variations and switching of personnel in the safety positions all year.

Wouldn't it be nice to finally have a defensive backfield that was somewhat stable and could hit like Fencik and Plank days. Yes, they were not the fastest tandem in the league but I can tell you this, many of the receivers coming across the middle of the field developed alligator arms, muffed good passes and wet their pants before they were knocked silly by these two.

I do hope the Bears will go back to the hitting style they have historically been known for starting and earning the name of Monsters of the Midway from back in the days of Halas and the dynasty that was the Chicago Bears.

Please Lovie and coaches bring back the toughness and nastiness of the Bears defense without the stupid penalties!!!

i think even if pisa does lose out as a starter they keep him and rotate him in with roach and keep them both fresh.. besides with injuries its always good to have backups and not necessarily put them on special teams.. pisa only has a year contract as well and i think he feels hes got a lot to prove as evident by the article a few days ago..just hope he stays healthy or it may be the end of the line for him.. i hope so for im a big fan of his play.. hits like palamalu must be something in the samaon genes!!

ahhh...the bears will LOOSE! i now sense i am allways IRFHGt ans i only give FACTS!! these loosers all BAUSTS ans ANGELO is too blame! oh taht angelo is one hot little muffin!! cant wait for him too get FIRED like ive been saying all along!!

but uo guys now me old crap-tonm just tryin to be posative...


Some of you guys are nuts. Tinoisamoa is an impact player, Roach is merely good. Tinoisamoa's only problem has been staying healthy. He only played a few plays last seasons due to injuries, but even in those few plays was very impressive.

Use spellcheck.

Wow! Did you see Rex Grossman tear up the reserves against Buffalo?! LOL. What a tease Grossman is!

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on August 12, 2010 5:31 PM.

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