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Urlacher remains on track for opener

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 28, 2012 – 5:15 pm

Bears coach Lovie Smith reiterated Tuesday that middle linebacker Brian Urlacher remains on track to return to face the Indianapolis Colts in the Sept. 9 season opener at Soldier Field.

“Just like we’ve said all along, I expect to see No. 54 out on the field next week in practice and playing against the Colts,” Smith said. “Brian is making a lot of progress.”

Urlacher underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Aug. 14. He sat out the entire offseason program while recovering from a knee injury he suffered in last year’s season finale in Minnesota.

The eight-time Pro Bowl participated in the first four training camp practices in Bourbonnais, but hasn’t worked out with his teammates since July 31.

The timetable for punter Adam Podlesh’s return is less certain. The sixth-year pro will miss his second straight preseason game with a hip flexor injury he sustained Aug. 18 against the Redskins.

“I have no idea when he’ll be back.” Smith said. “I’m not trying to give you the standard answer of, ‘Hey, they’re getting better,’ but he is getting better. He’s making progress. We’re seeing him do things. He can’t punt the ball right now. But we’re encouraged by his progress.”

Asked about playing in the season opener against the Colts, Podlesh said: “Nobody has ruled that out yet. It’s a possibility. [But] we’re going to be smart about how we get myself back on the field. It’s been going well. Every day has been positive, which is good.”

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Bears making Price feel at home

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 28, 2012 – 5:00 pm

Acquired in a trade with the Buccaneers July 26, defensive tackle Brian Price appreciates how Bears players and coaches have accepted him so quickly as one of their own.

“I’m just very fortunate to be here,” Price said Tuesday. “You can feel it in the air here. I love it here. It’s my new home. Words can’t express how I feel to be here.”

Price has struggled in recent months dealing with the death of his 33-year-old sister, Bridget James, who was a victim of a hit-and-run automobile accident in May in Los Angeles.

“We show support and we’re there for all of our players, Brian and anyone else,” said coach Lovie Smith. “We have a great locker room that welcomes guys coming in. If you want to play football, play with a great group of teammates, this is the place for you. I’m glad Brian is seeing that.”

Price has shown improvement after a slow start in training camp and needs to perform well in Thursday night’s preseason finale in Cleveland to enhance his chances of making the 53-man roster.

“He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do,” Smith said. “We’ve seen him improve as a ballplayer. That normally helps your mental state also; how it’s going on the football field for you. Brian’s one of the guys. [Teammates have] opened their arms to him. He has made some plays. We’ve seen flashes of what we’ve brought him [here] for. This will be an important game for him.”

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Bears games to be broadcast in Spanish

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 28, 2012 – 4:19 pm

The Bears and WLEY-FM “La Ley” on Tuesday announced a new radio partnership that will bring Bears football games to Chicago’s Hispanic radio listeners.

Beginning this season, WLEY-FM “La Ley” will broadcast all Bears games on 107.9 FM in Spanish with the on-air team of Jose Luis Marquez “El Pitufo” and Liz Liz “La Dama del Deporte.”

“We’re really excited about the opportunity to bring the Bears closer to the Hispanic fans that we have,” said team president and CEO Ted Phillips.

“We know there are a lot of Hispanic fans. To us, this is the first step in what we hope will be a longer and deeper relationship so that we can get involved more in the Hispanic communities and provide more touch points for our fans so they can get closer to the team and the station.”

The Bears are the 14th NFL team to offer broadcasts of their games in Spanish, joining the Cardinals, Panthers, Cowboys, Broncos, Texans, Jaguars, Chiefs, Dolphins, Vikings, Raiders, Eagles, Chargers and 49ers.

“It’s a great opportunity for the Chicago Bears and ‘La Ley’ to reach out to the community and our great fan base that loves the Chicago Bears,” said center Roberto Garza, whose family emigrated from Mexico to Rio Hondo, Texas, about a year before he was born.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to be able to reach out into that community and expand on what they know about football and expand on their passion and loyalty to the Chicago Bears.”

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