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Urlacher back with Bears, still sidelined

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 11, 2012 – 6:46 pm

Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher rejoined the Bears Saturday after being excused from the team since Monday for personal reasons, but he remained sidelined with knee soreness.

After participating in the first four training camp practices, Urlacher has been out since Aug. 1. He was on the field watching Saturday’s workout wearing his No. 54 jersey, a floppy hat and shorts.

“Brian Urlacher is back after he’s taken care of some business,” said coach Lovie Smith. “It’s good to get him back on the practice field even though he’s not practicing yet. He still has some soreness with the knee. Exactly when he’ll be back I can’t tell you that. But it’s good to get him back here.”

Urlacher saw teammate Brandon Marshall put on quite a show Saturday. After reaching high to catch two Jay Cutler passes over the middle, the Pro Bowl receiver hauled in touchdown passes from Cutler in the left corner and right corner of the end zone on back-to-back plays in a red-zone drill.

Rookie Alshon Jeffery caught three TD passes in the same drill, prompting Smith to rave about the Bears’ receivers: “It’s a good looking group before they play; just great size and athletic ability. They can all jump. They can be physical as far as blocking for the run. We haven’t had a group like this.”

The offense’s performance in Saturday’s practice was a vast improvement over how the unit played in Thursday’s 31-3 preseason-opening loss to the Broncos.

“We got better today,” Smith said. “Today is more what I envision our team being. It was a good offensive day; great work down in the red zone. We have good skill guys. We need to be able to protect and give Jay some time and we can move the ball this year.”

Smith revealed that second-year linebacker Dom DeCicco will be out “for a while” after suffering a pulled groin against the Broncos. Fellow reserve linebacker Jabara Williams also remains sidelined.


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Bears looking to get better up front

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 11, 2012 – 6:17 pm

Improving their offensive line play figures to be a primary objective this week for the Bears, who averaged 1.7 yards per rush and yielded six sacks in Thursday night’s preseason loss to the Broncos.

“You want to go out there and be physical and give yourself a chance to win the game,” said center Roberto Garza. “We have to carry what we’re doing on the practice field into the game.”

Asked whether reviewing tape of the game was fun, Garza said: “Obviously not, and it shouldn’t be. We didn’t do a lot of things good. We have to learn from this and this week of practice is important.”

Right tackle Gabe Carimi said that coaches wanted the offensive line to be more physical. The second-year pro conceded that he was a bit tentative early while playing in his first game since suffering a season-ending knee injury last year in a Week 2 loss in New Orleans.

“I was kind of cautious the first couple snaps, but after the first two series I felt really confident and started getting more aggressive,” said Carimi, a 2011 first-round draft pick.

While most Bears starters exited in the first quarter of Thursday night’s game, left tackle J’Marcus Webb played into the fourth period.

“Anytime you get a chance to go out there and get an opportunity to work on your game, you have to take that opportunity and I think he did that,” Garza said. “He went out there and learned from what he was doing and got better as the game went on.”


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Bears make roster moves on defense

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 11, 2012 – 1:41 pm

The Bears on Saturday signed linebackers Xavier Adibi and K.C. Asiodu and defensive end Aston Whiteside, and waived defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron and cornerback Jeremy Ware.

Adibi has appeared in 38 games with eight starts in four NFL seasons with the Texans (2008-10) and Vikings (2011), recording 55 tackles, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 13 special teams tackles. He was selected by Houston in the fourth round of the 2008 draft.

Asiodu has appeared in 11 games in two seasons with the Rams (2009) and Saints (2010), registering nine special teams tackles. He also spent part of the 2011 preseason with the Packers.

The Bears signed Adibi and Asiodu in part because reserve linebackers Dom DeCicco and Jabara Williams are both unable to practice due to injuries.

Whiteside entered the NFL this season as an undrafted rookie with the Cowboys out of Abilene Christian, the same school that produced Bears receiver Johnny Knox.


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