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Write Now Blog

Tough to evaluate linemen without pads

Posted by Larry Mayer on July 28, 2012 – 4:05 pm

After the Bears opened training camp with a non-padded practice Thursday, offensive coordinator Mike Tice was asked to assess rookie tackle James Brown.

“He’s a good singer. He can dance a little bit,” Tice joked, no doubt referring to the more famous individual with the same name, the late Godfather of Soul.

“We’ve only been in shorts. So for me to sit here and analyze and try to tell you where our offensive line is at right now, it’s a joke. We need to get in pads, we need to compete against each other and we need to put them in some stressful situations, and then we’ll see where they’re at.”

Those stressful situations will begin Saturday night when the Bears conduct their first padded practice.

“Now we get into the real work for us,” said veteran center Roberto Garza. “It was good to get those two days of knowing the plays and kind of getting a feel for training camp. But now the real fun begins, and now it’s time for us to see where we’re at and what we need to work on.”

Assessing an offensive line in non-contact drills is like evaluating a hockey team before it steps on the ice.

“Everything we do is about hitting people; getting the pads on, knowing where your target is, where your footwork is, and going out there hitting somebody and having to move them,” Garza said. “The intensity picks up and that’s when you want to see where everybody’s at and what we need to work on.”


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Bears sign Ware, waive Teggart

Posted by Larry Mayer on July 28, 2012 – 3:58 pm

The Bears on Saturday signed cornerback Jeremy Ware and waived kicker David Teggart.

Ware was selected by the Raiders in the seventh round of the 2010 draft out of Michigan State. Appearing in eight games as a rookie, the 5-10, 181-pounder recorded one tackle, one interception and three passes defensed. He was waived by Oakland last summer after training camp.


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Frey turning heads early in camp

Posted by Larry Mayer on July 28, 2012 – 2:20 pm

In Friday’s practice, rookie cornerback Isaiah Frey showed some of the skills that helped him lead the nation with 21 pass breakups last season as a senior at Nevada.

The sixth-round draft pick dove to the ground while reaching out with one hand to knock a Josh McCown pass away from receiver Devin Thomas.

“[Frey] is making progress every day and he’s an instinctive guy,” said defensive backs coach Jon Hoke. “He understands football. I’m excited where he’s at right now. He’s still a rookie—he’s got a ways to go—but he is showing progress.”

Hoke has been impressed with how Frey and fellow rookie defensive backs Brandon Hardin, a third-round safety, and Greg McCoy, a seventh-round cornerback, have grasped the playbook.

“When we talked about possible selections and evaluations [with general manager Phil Emery and the personnel department], they all came in as good guys and smart guys, and it shows in the classroom,” Hoke said. “They pick it up well. They understand concepts.

“Now how well they take the concepts from the classroom to the field, you have to see how quick they do that. They’ve been able to handle that, but that’s all part of it. I’m encouraged with them, and it’s kind of fun to have them in the meeting rooms with how well they’ve learned.”


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Moore excelling in new gunner role

Posted by Larry Mayer on July 28, 2012 – 1:57 pm

Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub has been impressed with how D.J. Moore has performed at one of the gunner positions on punt coverage in training camp.

“He is the quickest player we have, so we are thinking he will be able to get to the edge real quick and put the corner behind him so he has to chase,” Toub said.

Free-agent acquisition Devin Thomas and rookie cornerbacks Isaiah Frey and Greg McCoy will also get practice reps at gunner. All are trying to fill the void created by the free agent departure of Corey Graham, who signed with the Baltimore Ravens.

“If you don’t have a big guy, they better be quick and be able to hit the edge like D.J. as opposed to a guy like Devin who can be more physical at the line,” Toub said. “Corey Graham didn’t have the greatest quickness or speed, but his effort was second to none. That’s what made him so good. We’re trying to find the next Corey Graham.”

Moore has excelled at nickel back the past two seasons, leading the Bears with four interceptions in 2011 and returning one for a touchdown for the second straight year.

“We really haven’t used him a lot on special teams,” Toub said. “He’s been such a specialist on defense playing nickel. This is really the first year we are going to hope to depend on him. We’ll see what happens.”


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