OLine Better But Far Short of High Praise....................
Bears’ offensive line looks better, but it’s all relative
By Mark Potash email@example.com August 24, 2011 10:14PM
Updated: August 25, 2011 7:40AM
Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz lauded a ‘‘remarkable improvement’’ by the offensive line in the preseason game Monday against the New York Giants. But Martz and offensive line coach Mike Tice were cautious in their praise. With the bar set so low against the Buffalo Bills, ‘‘remarkable’’ is a relative term.
‘‘We had some guys get better across the board,’’ Tice said. ‘‘Mental errors were at a minimum, and they played hard. It was a good stepping-stone, but we’ve got an awful long ways to go still. ‘‘Now the key is, ‘Don’t step back. Don’t think we’ve arrived.’ As soon as you think you’ve arrived, you’re on your way back down.’’
Tice said the starting unit of J’Marcus Webb, Chris Williams, Roberto Garza, Lance Louis and rookie Gabe Carimi will remain intact for the preseason game Saturday against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville.
Particularly encouraging, Tice said, was the way the line communicated against the Giants. ‘‘There were some unscouted things that came up,’’ he said, ‘‘and they were able to talk it through on the sideline, go back out and correct it. That was a big step.’’ Tice said the second-team line also showed improvement, particularly guards Levi Horn and Edwin Williams.
Webb, the second-year tackle playing on the left side after playing right tackle last season, responded to Tice’s challenge after a subpar performance against the Bills.
‘‘He’s a tremendous athlete,’’ Tice said. ‘‘For the first time since maybe the New England game last year or maybe the Jets, he showed great athleticism — bending, recovering and playing fast. That’s what we expect of him.’’