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Tice giving players chance to succeed

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 5, 2012 – 6:25 pm

Mike Tice is employing a common-sense approach in his first season as Bears offensive coordinator: Find favorable match-ups and exploit them.

“We have one goal, and our goal is to put or players in a position to succeed and minimize the amount of times we put our players in position to fail,” said Tice, who is entering his 17th season as an NFL coach after playing 14 years in the league with the Seahawks, Redskins and Vikings.

“If the match-ups are not in our favor-and there’s going to be many times during the season when the match-ups aren’t in some of our guys’ favor-we need to make sure that that person has help where we don’t put that person in that position, and then we have to make plays and be explosive.

“That’s really what it comes down to. It’s us putting the players in a position to go out and have confidence to know that they can go out and win the individual battles. If we win more than we lose at the end of the day, if we have great ball security we’re going to be OK.”

Working with Tice for the first time this season, Bears receiver Brandon Marshall said the best thing about the offensive coordinator is “his ability to communicate with each individual.”

“Everyone’s different and sometimes you have to approach guys differently, and he has a real talent for really teaching and communicating,” Marshall said. “It makes it easier for all of us to come to work and really understand our role and try to get it done.”

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Tice happy where line is headed

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 5, 2012 – 5:52 pm

Mike Tice is pleased with how the offensive line performed in the preseason and hopes that the unit will continue to make strides in Sunday’s season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.

“We had some good tests,” said the Bears offensive coordinator. “We had some teams that blitzed some, and we played a couple road games, a road game in New York. I feel good where we’re going. I don’t feel good about where we’re at yet, but I feel good about where we’re going.”

Appearing in two preseason games this summer, quarterback Jay Cutler was not sacked while throwing 34 passes against the Washington Redskins and New York Giants.

“We feel good about [the line],” Cutler said Wednesday. “We were able to do a lot of stuff offensively with those guys and we were able to open up the field and get the ball downfield. [But] we’ve got to get the running game going. We’ve got to get Matt [Forte] off to a fast start and I think that is going to help things out.”

With the season opener looming, Tice is especially eager to see how right tackle Gabe Carimi progresses after missing the final 14 games of his rookie season last year with a knee injury.

“He’s going to take a while to be up to full speed,” Tice said. “I don’t believe he’s all the way back yet. The endurance in his leg is going to come with game time. We’re certainly going to be very careful of it if it appears that he’s getting tired. We have other guys-Chris [Williams]-that can go and spell him if we have to. But I’m anxious to see him play.

“I thought he came on real well at the end of the preseason. He really was run-blocking well toward the end of the preseason, and his pass protection has gotten better. So I’m excited to see how he matures as a player and how he grows. He’s a big part of what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to be.”

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Urlacher practices without limitations

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 5, 2012 – 5:25 pm

Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher practiced without restrictions Wednesday as the Bears continued to prepare for Sunday’s season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.

Urlacher said Tuesday that his left knee was pain-free after practicing Monday for the first time since July 31. The eight-time Pro Bowler sat out the entire offseason program while recovering from a knee injury he sustained in last year’s season finale in Minnesota.

After participating in the first four training camp practices, Urlacher suffered swelling and soreness and ultimately underwent arthroscopic surgery Aug. 14.

Punter Adam Podlesh (hip) and safety Chris Conte (shoulder) were limited Wednesday. The Bears are hopeful that both will be able to play against the Colts after suffering their injuries Aug. 18 in a preseason win over the Washington Redskins.

When asked specifically about Podlesh’s availability, coach Lovie Smith said: “When you practice on a Wednesday, there’s a chance that you can go. We’ll monitor him still and see how he performs [Thursday]. But he’s been making steady progress to say the least.”

The only Bears player who did not practice was running back Lorenzo Booker, who sustained a head injury in last Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns.

For the Colts, linebacker Pat Angerer (foot) and guard Joe Reitz (knee) missed practice, while running back Delone Carter (chest) and receiver T.Y. Hilton (shoulder) were limited.

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