Chicago Sun-Times

Tice offers insight on his unit

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Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice was pleased with the start of his players at this training camp.

But he didn't anoint anyone in the unit, including six-time Pro Bowl selection Olin Kreutz.

Asked if Kreutz could return to Pro Bowl form, Tice said, "I graded the whole season, and I didn't feel he was far below that level."

Tice said Kreutz was No. 1, but he added that the 33-year-old veteran had some things that "over time, he's let lapse, technique wise."

"He's going to work and has worked diligently to clean some of those things up. And if he does that, and he holds up, and I'm smart with him and don't overwork him, yeah, I think he can (return to the Pro Bowl)," Tice said. "I think he has some juice left."

It's interesting that Tice said Kevin Schaffer received the second-highest grade. If that's the case, then Schaffer's job security sure looks good, especially since he's played both guard and tackle.

Here are other highlights from Tice:

* On Chris Williams: "He can be whatever he wants to be. I'd like to see a little bit more tenacity there. But, we can't change people's make up."

On how the winner of the left guard starting spot will be determined: "Consistency at the position. At the end of the play, you're blocking your guy a lot more than you're not. Aggression. Good decisionmaking."

* On Lance Louis: "We haven't put Lance over there (at left guard), because he's, in my opinion, battling for the right guard spot."

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Chris Williams is going to be a very good NFL left tackle, thats the main reason I wanted Chicago to draft him back in 2008. Angelo knew what he was getting when he brought in Williams, he's not a mauler type, he's a speed guy with athleticism best suited for the left side where he'll be going against speed rushers. Chris Williams will be fine.

As far as Kevin Schaffer, Tice needs to give him a fare shot at the right tackle spot. If Omiyale starts to struggle, like last year, they need to give Schaffer a chance, especially since he grades out so high. I'd like to also see what the 6-7 James Marten has to offer. I like rookie J'Marcus Webb, but he's probably a couple years away.

Lance Louis is probably a year away also, but that is interesting that Bears line coach Mike Tice said "he's battling for the right guard spot." Maybe Louis is farther along then we all thought?

Chicago's best bet for some power inside would be to go with 2nd year player Johan Asiata at left guard. I've read that the guy can move people. Josh Beekman isn't a bad option either, he's a little more seasoned than Asiata and might give Tice that "good decisionmaking" that he's lookig for inside. It should be interesting GO BEARS!!

So just to get this right and I agree with Tice on his grading of last season. Olin was number 1, Shaffer was number 2. What was Chris Williams though? I would have to say 3rd sense there where only 3 guys who started the whole season. However his numbers last year where awful: 10 penalties, 7 sacks, 9 hits, and 34 pressures say he had a bad season. When Shaffer grades out as a better tackle than you, you are not very good. Not to say he can't be good, but he has not been good.

I would say one huge problem for the Bears line was Penalties. Williams, Olin and Omiyale being the main problem. The other problem was the run blocking.

I find it a bit telling that Tice has talked the most about Kruetz. He has not said a lot about Williams other than he can be what he wants to be and even was a little critical.

No mention of Omiyale. Hmmmmm, but Shaffer gets the second highest grade. Beekman will be the LG which is also a telling sign.

So the line will probably be
LT Williams
LG Beekman (I find this funny)
C Kruetz (33)
RG Garza
RT Shaffer

This does not scear Super Bowl line.

You know what s really funny the Skins got 29 year old Pro Bowl OT Jammal Brown for a 3rd or 4th round pick. He is their new RT. I guess the Bears couldn't be bothered to give up a 3rd or 4th in the 2011 draft for a pro bowl OT. Not when they have such an elite line, that has not been a problem at all. Nope don't 2 time pro bowl and 1st All pro on the Bears line not when Omiyale and Shaffer are in the house.

If Angelo and Lovie actually cared about Winning they would have done something about this line a long time ago. The only thing Loviecares about is trying to make his defense look good.

Wait Williams didn't grade out third. Kreutz, Shaffer, Garza, Williams. So he graded 4th behind that illustrious list: a 33 year old Center who has not been to a pro bowl in 3 years and had an injury; a journey man OT who played a at best a little below average; and a Journey man guard who has never been anything but average. Wow the hope of the future. Oh a bad line having a bad year he graded out 4th and I am suppose to believe he is the next Jon Ogden.

I think I will hold off till he plays a little better.

Oh and what the heck did I write, right after RT Shaffer? That's kinda scary.

Tice says he can't change Chris Williams" makeup. And in what words would he describe that makeup? Would anyone care to hazard a guess? Could it be that it is not the right makeup to
NFL football? Reader Armstead consoles us with the notion that his makeup is at least good enough to play left tackle where he faces only speed rushers. Does he mean that Jared Allen lacks ferocity? Wake up! Tice is telling us the line stinks! How soon we forget: Angelo has left Tice a mess.

Tice likes big and nasty. Which he should, he is after all an O-line coach. Which means LG is Asiata's job to lose. Beekman is smaller and not a mauler but a position blocker. Shaffer graded out second, good for him. But the front office loves Omiyale, so he will be at RT. Considering this, I would guess the week 1 O-line looks like:

LT Williams
LG Asiata
C Kruetz
RG Garza
RT Omiyale

You dig?

Well Beekman is with the first team as it stands, and Omiyale got the hook again today. They can love him all they want, that won't change the fact he is not very good. Your probably right though, they could start Omiyale even if he is horrible, just because they do stupid stuff like that all the time. I have to say though that I am not feeling Asiata at LG maybe Louis at RG. We will see.

However RG is up grabs, this is very intresting. Could Garza get bumped or move to LG?


Bear ownership has to keep its 40+ extended family living in opulence. They couldn't even afford to keep Alex Brown, how could they possibly afford to pay an All-Pro tackle? New ownership, man, new ownership. All else is meaningless until that changes.

Very interesting, all those that have called for Kruetz demise maybe need to realize that the Bears have a warrior at center in Kruetz and he is the leader of the offensive line and the locker room.

Kruetz will have a good year.

What I find very interesting is that Lance Louis is in the same conversation as Garza and that there was some suggestion that Chris Williams needs a little more of a nastiness to his play, too easy going it appears to me, although I may be wrong.

With a nastier attitude maybe Chris Williams is an automatic on the Probowl list for the next number of years.

Chris listen to Tice, I think he knows what it takes for a champion to be recognized and you seem to have the physical skills, can you get to the next level of meanness? Maybe, maybe not!!

Tice is motivating Chris Williams. When Chris engages with fiercely from snap to whistle, we will know Tice has done his job. Great coaches in football (and life) call out your weaknesses and help you fix it.

Good insight on the offensive line, Sean. I truly believe the offensive line will determine how far the Bears go this year.

Interesting choice of words for the headline of this post, though. It very well could make Jay Leno's "headlines" segment.

Hey reader santa barbara tom, all that ferocity really helped your boy Jarred Allen when Chris Williams shut him out last year now didn't it???? Give Chicago's young offensive linemen a chance before saying they know, team support now GO BEARS!!

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on August 1, 2010 2:01 PM.

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