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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