Jerry Angelo held his first press conference on the second-to-last day of training camp at Olivet Nazarene University on Thursday. The Bears general manager addressed everything from the quarterback situation to Tommie Harris' performance in camp to the likelihood of rookie safety Major Wright assuming a starting role.
Here's a sample:
"He's been practicing every day and there's no reason not to expect Tommie to have a very, very good season for us," Angelo said of Harris, who the Bears hope can return to the level he played at in 2006. "We're excited about that. A healthy Tommie, a practicing Tommie, should be a very good football player."
Wright raised eyebrows with a team-high seven tackles before breaking his left index finger in a 25-10 exhibition loss to the Chargers on Saturday. Wright underwent successful surgery and has not been ruled out of the season opener, but the time he will miss could prevent him from landing a starting job.
"He's going to miss some time with the injury so that's going to put him behind," Angelo said. "I don't anticipate [him starting] because of the lost time. He looks good, certainly looked good against San Diego. We're not going to rule it out but because of the practice time, it's tough for a rookie."
Angelo has said that the offensive line is the biggest question mark heading into the 2010 season. The unit surrendered six sacks and running backs averaged only 2.6 yards per carry against the Chargers, but coach Lovie Smith and offensive line coach Mike Tice have said the unit performed well overall.
Angelo said it's time to identify the starters and starting building cohesion among the first group.
"We need to get the five guys working together; that's paramount," he said. "I feel we're going to have closure on that. We want to see this weekend how they're going to perform. We feel real good about seven, eight of them but again, a work in progress. We still have a few weeks so I'm going to reserve my judgment on them until they start playing together in a couple weeks."
Finally, Angelo said he has been impressed by watching new offensive coordinator Mike Martz at work.
"He's been very patient with the guys in terms of their development," he said of Martz. "He doesn't get down on players, doesn't get too high on players, he's excited about the players we have.
"But he really has a great plan. He's got a swagger, a lot of confidence, and I can see why he has the kind of resume that he has as an offensive coordinator. He's done a great job. We've got a lot of work to do but feel real good about the direction we're going."