Bear Essentials

Bear Essentials

Jones, Dvoracek expected back

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sat, 08/09/2008 - 16:22
Running back Kevin Jones, who began camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list after off-season knee surgery; and defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek, who came to Bourbonnais on the non-football-injury list after straining his calf weight-lifting with teammate Tommie Harris, are both expected to participate in Saturday's 7 p.m. practice at Ward Field, Olivet Nazarene University's football stadium. The 6-foot-3, 303-pound Dvoracek is the Bears' best pure nose tackle and expected to reclaim the starting job, which he won last year in camp, only to suffer a season-ending knee injury in the regular-season opener. The 6-foot, 228-pound Jones is a strong inside runner and pass catcher who is expected to provide a solid complement to rookie Matt Forte.

Williams out after back surgery

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 20:36
So much for first-round draft choice Chris Williams winning the starting left tackle job in time for the season opener. Williams underwent surgery for a herniated disc in his lower back early Thursday morning and will be out indefinitely. Bears spokesman Scott Hagel said the team plans to keep Williams on the final 53-man roster but had no timetable for his return. The injury occurred early on the second day of practice, July 24, and was initially treated as back spasms. After the muscle injury subsided and Williams still showed no improvement, further tests revealed the herniated disc. The Bears compared Williams' injury to one that cornerback Charles Tillman suffered at the end of the 2006 season. He wasn't cleared for a full return for more than three months.

First-round pick has back surgery

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 19:31
So much for first-round draft choice Chris Williams winning the starting left tackle job in time for the season opener. Williams underwent surgery for a herniated disc in his lower back early Thursday morning and will be out indefinitely. Bears spokesman Scott Hagel said the team plans to keep Williams on the final 53-man roster but had no timetable for his return. The injury occurred early on the second day of practice, July 24, and was initially treated as back spasms. After the muscle injury subsided and Williams still showed no improvement, further tests revealed the herniated disc. T

Admit nothing

Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 08/04/2008 - 18:38
In their never-ending quest to divulge as little as possible, the Bears list two starters at each of the wide receiver positions. On the left side, it's Rashied Davis/Devin Hester. On the right side, Marty Booker/Brandon Lloyd. Both listings are alphabetical, as is the starting quarterback spot, which reads: Rex Grossman/Kyle Orton. The third-team wide receivers are Mark Bradley and Mike Hass. No other positions are split with slashes on the first depth chart of the season. Impressive rookie Matt Forte is listed ahead of veteran Adrian Peterson at running back, although they have both been getting reps with the first team. At tight end, Desmond Clark is listed as the starter with Greg Olsen No. 2, although Olsen could wind up getting more snaps.

O-line has work to do

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sun, 08/03/2008 - 21:15
First-round offensive tackle Chris Williams appears nowhere near close to returning to the practice field, let alone challenging for the starting job on the left side currently being occupied by John St. Clair, who has been a full-time starter in just two of his eight previous NFL seasons, the last time in 2004. Starting left guard Terrence Metcalf, who still has to prove that he belongs with the first team permanently, has missed the last two days of practice with a bruised knee. That has given first-team reps to Josh Beekman and Anthony Oakley, neither of whom is qualified to start. That scenario led a high-ranking member of the Bears' front office to admit, “We have a long way to go and a lot of work to do. This is definitely a work in progress.”

Bears won't face nemesis

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sat, 08/02/2008 - 23:23
The Bears caught a break Saturday when the Carolina Panthers, their Week Two opponent, suspended Pro Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith for the first two games of the season. On Friday, during practice, Smith got into a sideline altercation with Panthers safety Ken Lucas and broke his nose. A day later the team announced the suspension, which is great news for the Bears, especially considering the way Smith torched their secondary in the Panthers' 29-21 upset victory over the Bears at Soldier Field in the second-round of the playoffs after the 2005 regular season.

Favre to Bears?

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 07/31/2008 - 13:09
Offensive coordinator Ron Turner says he knows nothing about the possibility of Brett Favre being traded to the Bears, a scenario that the Packers are considering, according to a Thursday story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I went back to my room after (Thursday morning) meetings, turned the TV on and heard it, saw it, and I just kind of chuckled because I, have no idea where it came from,” Turner said. “I don’t know what’s going on up there (in Green Bay), but I know what’s going on here, and we’ve got two quarterbacks that are competing, and they’re doing a good job and we’re getting ready for our season.” The Journal Sentinel story also said Favre is interested in playing for the Vikings.

It's not Thayer

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 07/30/2008 - 10:06
Contrary to what has become a case of mistaken identity, Tom Thayer was not the former NFL player and current member of the media who referred to the Bears' offensive line as “Garbage; total garbage,” in my story on July 29. For the record, Thayer is a huge Olin Kreutz fan, and he doesn't believe that injured rookie Chris Williams has fallen too far behind – yet – because he's a smart enough player to absorb the playbook and take the mental reps necessary to know his assignments when he does get back on the field. Thayer, who was a starting guard for the Bears for eight years, starting with the Super Bowl season of 1985, provides color commentary on the team's radio broadcasts on WBBM AM-780.

Dvoracek expects to be back soon

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 07/29/2008 - 21:56
Dusty Dvoracek, who won the starting nose tackle job last year in training camp but then suffered a season-ending knee injury, has not been able to practice yet in training camp because of a calf injury, but he said there's no way that will keep him off the field when the regular season starts Sept. 7. “Obviously I want to be out there really bad, but it is what it is,” said Dvoracek, who expects to be cleared for a return to practice soon. “I'm looking forward to getting back out there with my teammates again, flying around having a good time playing football.”

Oh-no O-line

Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 07/28/2008 - 21:07
Monday's performance wasn't an encouraging sign for what is currently a rag-tag offensive line. Josh Beekman, last year's fourth-round pick who is starting at center until Olin Kreutz returns, was manhandled by backup defensive tackle Matt Toeaina in one-on-one pass-rush drills. Beekman has also been touted as a possible contender for the starting left guard spot currently held by Terrence Metcalf. Toeaina might not even make the final roster, considering he's behind Tommie Harris, Anthony Adams, Israel Idonije, Dusty Dvoracek and rookie Marcus Harrison on the depth chart.