Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Bears Day 8 Summary: Soldier Field practice

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Remember all that talk about Mike Martz not using tight ends?

Well, ask any of the 26,000 fans at Soldier Field Friday night if Greg Olsen and company were a prominent part of the offense during the open practice.

While Kellen Davis and Brandon Manumaleuna were sidelined, Olsen and Desmond Clark made several highlight catches, most of them at least 15 yards down the field.

"I like what the tight ends are doing," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "Greg Olsen has had a [good] camp."

Olsen plucked a ball near Pisa Tinoisamoa's shoulders on the sideline, and he also caught a laser from quarterback Jay Cutler, who was flushed out of the pocket and toward the right sideline. Olsen made the catch, got his feet in bounds, all with linebacker Lance Briggs on his back.

Desmond Clark also made a nice catch, barely hauling in a long pass that backup quarteback Caleb Hanie threw a little too far in front of the veteran.

But overall, especially when it was 11-on-11, the defense seemed to get the better of the offense. Part of that may have been the switch of longtime starting right guard Roberto Garza to left guard. Lance Louis, a seventh-round pick last year, got the start at right guard.

(For exclusive comments from Louis, Garza and offensive line coach Mike Tice, check out my story. http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/2574840,CST-SPT-bearnt07.article)

Previously, Johan Asiata and Josh Beekman had been competing at left guard, with Louis primarily taking snaps behind Garza at right guard.

In other news: Rookie safety Major Wright did some running on the sideline Friday night, and he said he's inching closer to returning.

"I'll be back soon," Wright said.

* Veteran safety Chris Harris returned to the lineup.

* Safety Josh Bullocks has been sidelined the last two days with a quad injury.

* Smith said tight end Kellen Davis missed Sunday with tightness in his back, while tight end Brandon Manumaleuna is having some trouble with his knee.

* Receiver Devin Hester was in uniform, but he didn't finish practice.
"Everything is good," an upbeat Hester said as he left the field Friday night.

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9 Comments

By Sean Jensenon August 1, 2010 6:26 PM

"* Tice suggested that three offensive line jobs are open: left guard, obviously, but also right guard and right tackle. I'll delve deeper into that later..."

By Sean Jensen on August 1, 2010 7:59 PM
"IMO, nobody has really stood out. But, Tice told me Lance Louis did some good things on Saturday... And I haven't seen Garza make any glaring mistakes."

So Garza is taking some Reps at LG and Louis got may be talking the RG spot? Nice to see the new beat writer was ahead of the curve on that. Nice Job.

I won't mention a certain know it all poster "cough" who asked you the brilliant question about Garza getting flipped to LG. Don't want his head to get to big, the board might explode in rage at the brilliant, know it all, genius. All three of which he has been called on this board and I am not taking that out of context at all, just going to ignore the other words that were placed around those words.

So as far as I know you were the first to write about 3 line positions being open, and the first to hint to me, I mean a certain egomaniac, that a certain RG might get tried at LG.

Sean I hope ypou realize that if the line is bad, that you and Tice will continue to be branded secret members of the Vikings organization sent here to destroy the Bears because you are affraid of Cutler. I will probably also be branded because I did speak to you and I have been in Minnesota before. Although I do come down on the line pretty hard so I have a saving grace.

This line is a mess, what else is new? Over a week into camp and they don't even know who three -- which is MOST -- of the starting linemen will be? And the reason is that there's no one particularly good to play those positions. What a joke, and what an embarrassment to a major city. I mean, there should be competition for every position always, but a competent team would have a very good idea of who most of its starters are going to be by this point.

Sorry I forgot to take my Lithium meds earlier. I feel much better now, thank you.

Creighton, calm down and stop being so sensitive, isn't that what both you and Brando called me a couple years back on this very blog. Its all in fun. I'm not out to make enemies or hurt anyones feelings. And yes Creighton, I actually do enjoy reading some of your post, and don't take that stuff I said yesterday serious Creighton, you do bring some good stuff to this board. But I do however have to say this.

Cough cough, a certain Bumstead (hint hint me) said during the off-season that 2nd year guard Lance Louis could make his way into the starting lineup. I was wrong however on the side he was gonna get lined up on, I thought Louis was gonna get his shot on the left side, Tice obviously likes him on the right.

I (Bumstead) had a feeling Chicago liked Louis last pre-season because of the simple fact Chicago kept him on the 53 man roster after the roster cut downs last september. Lance Louis was a 7th round draft pick and he was kept on the roster over veteran Dan Buenning. Most 7th rounders are placed on the practice squad. Chicago kept Louis on the 53-man roster over a vet (Buenning) because they probably knew they had something. Louis's scouting report was off the wall also, the guys 6-3 300lbs and he runs a 4.8 40 and has a 30-inch vertical jump, and he's strong, the guy put up 30 reps on the bench. Oh yeah, he's nasty, just ask he's college team mates...just kiddin but I had to throw that out there.

I am skeptical about Roberto Garza playing on the left side. But the guy is obviously out playing both Josh Beekman and Johan Asiata. Maybe its just a matter of Garza getting used to the left side again. I'll say one thing, you gotta like the Mike Tice hiring for the simple fact he actually gives the young linemen a shot now bring on the Chargers and GO BEARS!!

Ya gotta love ESPN sometimes. They butter up every team for the fan's sake.

He says the Bears will be better than a lot of people expect this year because of the return of Urlacher and the addition of Peppers to a defense that "will generate tremendous pressure". He also says that Martz's system is a perfect fit for Cutler, and the O-line will be better than last year (that is not saying much).

Anyways, good optimism from a journalist who is paid to generate optimism this time of year. It attracts more readers.

I remain realistic in saying the NFC North will have the toughest schedule of any division in the league while facing the NFC East and AFC East. Doubt a wild card comes out of the North.

10-6 would be a fantastic season for the Bears, but they would have to beat at least 6 winning teams this season to accomplish that feat.

What are your takes on this? Is Clayton blowing smoke? Or is he onto something here?

Either way, Go Bears!!!

Creighton,

What do you mean IF the line is bad? All signs so far are that the line is headed for another disastrous year. A week into camp and they had to change two starting positions because no one was playing well enough? Kreutz and Williams might be OK or even good, but that won't help if the rest of the line sucks.

On a positive note, I just heard that Tommie Harris hasn't missed a practice yet and that he and Peppers turned down Lovie Smith's offer for veterans to take certain days off practice. This was from the same source that said Harris was still limping between plays, but if he gets back to near his old form, which I didn't think was possible, the Bears could actually have a good defense. Even if the rest of the line is only mediocre, they should have good years if Harris AND Peppers are double teamed every play.

With all that is being said about our new offense, why isnt anyone talking about how we might fare on our dismal screen game this year. I mean isnt that 1 reason why they would pick up 2 players that have spent most of their career's blocking. The Greenbay 'Smackheads' did alot of damage on screen passes last season especially to us I think they ranked 1# in the league in that department(dont quote me on that) But u know just something to think about.

Speculations aren't even worth a dime a dozen, but I still am gullible enough to hope that the ESPN guy is correct. It does seem that Peppers and Harris are bound to help the defense, and the moves made on offense, especially the addition of an imaginative and demanding offensive coordinater, cerainly should not hurt. Turner was perhaps last year's scapegoat for a team that simply was not very good, but he deserved the criticism he got regarding occasional absolutely stupid play-calling.

getting a little concerned about this manu guy.. the bears paid him a lot of money and he just cant seem to stay health with that knee.. just hope they put incentives in that contract of his!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on August 6, 2010 10:40 PM.

Getting to Know... Olin Kreutz was the previous entry in this blog.

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