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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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