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Tice working to get offense back on track

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 19, 2012 – 6:04 pm

According to Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice, the two fastest increments of time in the history of the universe are “the time it takes a New York cab driver to beep his horn when the light turns green and the time it takes to go from the penthouse to the outhouse in the NFL.”

Tice experienced the first situation while growing up in Long Island and the second last Thursday night when the Bears followed an impressive win over the Colts with a deflating loss to the Packers.

“That wasn’t what we wanted to be last week,” Tice said after the offense mustered just 168 total yards and 11 first downs while committing four turnovers and yielding seven sacks.

“Fortunately or unfortunately, we’ve had a week to correct. The first thing I have to do is correct me, so I’ve worked diligently to see where I can be better to help our players to get better, and now we move on to St. Louis and see if we can get back on track.”

Asked to identify the most important area to improve, Tice said: “We need to block, block, block people. We can’t do anything unless we block people.

“You go into a game and you believe you have a good plan. You tweak the plan in the course of the game and you try to put players in position to succeed. Not always can a guy have help, so when those occasions arise, when a player doesn’t get the help, he’s got to win.

“We don’t expect our players to grade out 100 percent. I’ve coached some great linemen. I’ve coached a guy (Randall McDaniel) who’s in the Hall of Fame. He never graded 100 percent, so we don’t expect that. But we expect better results than we had.”

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Peppers, Forte held out of practice

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 19, 2012 – 4:16 pm

Defensive end Julius Peppers (foot) and running back Matt Forte (ankle) sat out practice Wednesday as the Bears continued preparing for Sunday’s home game against the St. Louis Rams.

Coach Lovie Smith said that Peppers “should be good to go” Thursday, while Forte is “making progress” after exiting last Thursday night’s loss in Green Bay with a sprained ankle.

If Forte can’t play Sunday, he’ll be replaced by Michael Bush. The veteran back filled in admirably for the Raiders last year after Darren McFadden sustained a season-ending injury, rushing for 977 yards and seven touchdowns and catching 37 passes for 418 yards and 1 TD.

“It helps for sure when he has been in that role out in Oakland with McFadden,” Smith said. “That’s why we have so much comfort in knowing that he’s been in there and what he can do.”

Bush signed a four-year contract with the Bears in March after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Raiders, where he increased his rushing yardage each year from 421 to 589 to 655 to 977.

“Mike’s a good player,” Smith said. “We said when we brought him in we were bringing in a starting tailback that we added to the mix. For us, it’s the next guy up. Hopefully Matt won’t be out long, but we feel comfortable with Mike while he’s gone.”

Seven Rams missed practice Wednesday: Defensive tackles Michael Brockers (ankle) and Matt Conrath (knee), safety Matt Daniels (hamstring), tackles Wayne Hunter (ankle) and Rodger Saffold (knee), running back Steven Jackson (groin) and fullback Brit Miller (thigh).

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Rachal eager to make most of first start

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 19, 2012 – 3:05 pm

Veteran offensive lineman Chilo Rachal will make his first start of the season Sunday when the Bears host the St. Louis Rams, replacing Chris Spencer at left guard.

“It’s a good opportunity,” said Rachal, who signed a one-year contract with the Bears in April. “My number got called, so I’ve got to go out and take care of business.”

Rachal spent his first four NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers from 2008-11, appearing in 55 games with 38 starts. It’s a little ironic that he was promoted to the No. 1 unit prior to Week 3 given that the 49ers demoted him from their starting lineup after Week 3 last season.

“It made me hungrier but also humbled me,” Rachal said of losing his job. “From me being a starter to having to take a seat, it just gave me a different perspective of the game and learning it in the classroom as a student. But I’m beyond hungry. I think hungry is an understatement.”

Despite being with the Bears for only five months, Rachal feels comfortable with the offense.

“There’s always room for improvement, but I have a pretty good understanding of the offense and where I need to be and why I need to be there,” said the USC product. “Now I’m just trying to get better at learning defenses better to be a better overall player.”

Even though he has supplanted Spencer, Rachal knows he needs to perform to maintain the job.

“I’m never comfortable,” Rachal said. “Things can always change. So my mentality going in is just executing, dominating and [I will] hopefully keep the spot.”

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