Bears' Britton in right place at right time

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by short faced bear, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    Ex-Jaguar finally healthy, loving football again and opportunity is there on Bears' line

    By Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune reporter

    7:37 p.m. CDT, August 7, 2013

    BOURBONNAIS — There is no roster spot guaranteed for Eben Britton, and it would take an injury for him to have a shot at cracking the starting lineup, but since signing with the Bears less than four months ago he rediscovered something he was missing.

    A passion for football.

    Britton, a second-round pick by the Jaguars in 2009, had some bad injury luck in Jacksonville followed by a coaching change and a scheme switch. He signed with the Bears in mid-April as a player with some experience, 30 career starts, and some flexibility playing right tackle and guard but with no clear path for a job.

    Thanks to a calf injury that set Jermon Bushrod back a week, and a sore right knee that continues to plague Jonathan Scott, Britton looks to be seizing the swing tackle job. He has spent much of the last week with the starters and has worked at both tackle spots and inside at guard, meaning he would be a backup option at every spot but center.

    "He's had a very productive camp," coach Marc Trestman said. "He's versatile and at this point I can say he's definitely involved in being part of this roster on a week-to-week basis, the 46 (who dress for games)."

    If Bushrod is held out of Friday night's exhibition opener at Carolina, Britton likely will be at left tackle. He hasn't played a game at that position since his final season at the University of Arizona.

    "It is a great opportunity for me anyway you look at it," Britton said. "If I am playing left tackle, what do I have to do to be a great left tackle? It makes it fun. I don't stress about it. You can't be constantly worrying, 'Where am I going to be?' You just have to relax and let the coaches tell you where to go and have fun.

    "Coming to Chicago I have really found my love for the game all over again."

    Britton has a solid rookie season for the Jaguars in 2009, starting 15 games at right tackle. He excelled in the offseason program but suffered a herniated disk working out before training camp.

    "I didn't know what I was feeling," Britton said. "I didn't know why I couldn't move my right leg. I was trying to grind through it."

    In the seventh game against the Chiefs, he suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder, sending him to injured reserve in what he called a blessing in disguise. Going into the lockout, though, the focus was on fixing his shoulder. After the labor battle was resolved, his back caused him excruciating pain in training camp.

    Britton underwent a diskectomy and was feeling his "best in years" when he returned, appearing in four games and making three starts. He woke up the morning of a game against the Steelers and couldn't get out of bed. Back spasms crippled him and it was weeks before doctors determined there was an infection in the disk from his surgery. He was forced him to take intravenous antibiotics for eight weeks with a nurse visiting his house daily.

    "It was a long road back," Britton said. "I really worked my butt off to get back."

    In the 2012 season opener, he suffered a high ankle sprain. Britton rushed back, admits he never played well and got benched. A new front office and another new coaching staff didn't want him back. He worked out for the Seahawks and then landed with the Bears shortly before the draft, when the team knew former first-round pick Gabe Carimi was at least going to skip the offseason program.

    Carimi is gone and Britton may be in the right place at the right time.

    "It's amazing to feel good on the football field," he said.

    Britton says he has learned a tremendous amount from offensive line coaches Aaron Kromer and Pat Meyer in a short period. Kromer was one reason his agent Tom Condon steered him to the Bears.

    "It's even better than I could have hoped," Britton said. "I am learning so much and Coach Trestman is like this Zen master. I don't even know if I should say this, but Martellus (Bennett) the other day, we were in the ice tubs, and Coach Trestman is walking by and Martellus says, 'Coach, they ask me who you remind me of and I almost said Willy Wonka.'

    "He is like Willy Wonka of football. He is this mad scientist. It is awesome. It is a great opportunity."

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...eben-britton-chicago-20130808,0,6739499.story
  2. lklrlolnlilklsox

    lklrlolnlilklsox Position Coach

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    Like I said when we first signed him, he had a solid career going for himself before he got severely side-tracked by injuries. I know this team would very lucky to have Eben start his comeback and turn around his health woes this year.
  3. Mr. Deliverance

    Mr. Deliverance Guest

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    Its about time we get some breaks. I hope we've unearthed a gem here, given our horrible track record with lineman the past few years.
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  4. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    I'm hoping we have 3 nice surprises in Britton, Frey, and Joe Anderson. Cue the Willie Wonka Trestman memes.
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  5. 4dabers

    4dabers Veteran DBS Writer

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    I know I sound like a broken record, but this guy has been the forgotten man all off season. When everyone was talking about Webb being the near obvious given starter at RT, others would chime in about Scott giving him a run if he doesn't pan out. I always had this notion in the back of my mind that Britton would be in the mix, and I think there is a realistic chance that he could be our Starter at RT by week 3 or 4 simple due to the Webb suck factor.
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  6. Xa0sG0rilla

    Xa0sG0rilla Veteran

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    I seem to remember you saying that a time or two.... dozen....
  7. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    If this guy makes us forget Carimi or even Webb it's a steal.
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  8. mdbearz

    mdbearz Veteran

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    I did not realize that he was taken in the second round. It would be great to see him take a spot on the O-line. Sounds like Webb is still not doing anything to improve, so give the guy that is showing something a chance. Make Webb compete to be the swing tackle.

    It will be interesteing to see how Britton does tonight.
  9. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    He is definitely going to be a guy to watch. We still do not have all the talent we need on the OL, so someone is going to have to step up or we are not going to be able to run the kind of O that we are capable of. Same story... different year...

    We do not have as many holes as before and we do have someone that knows O that is preaching getting the ball out faster --- as well as making Cutler practice that. So even if Webb is still bad, we should be better. To what extent, I don;t know. Plus, putting Webb on Cutlers right gives him a chance to see the train coming before it hits him.

    If Britton impresses, it will be a huge hole filled in our OL needs.
  10. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    I recall coveting Britton in the draft, and think Kronick was high on him too. My fear with him is the injury bug, but if he is well and motivated this could bode well for the OL.
  11. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    It'll be interesting to see which 8 make the 53 man roster and it sure would be nice if Britton was one of them instead of being forced into keeping both Webb and Scott.

    The guys who are locks are probably; Bushrod, Slauson, Garza, Long, and Brown and unless Mills is a real failure I almost think they have to keep him off the PS or risk losing him. He was a solid mid round pick.

    So that leaves Webb, Scott, and Britton competing for the last two spots. As it stands Webb and Scott have the advantage of being able to and have played LT so it's really up to Britton to show that he can handle LT well enough to be a swing OT. I'd love to see him bump Webb or Scott off.
  12. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    Scott has not shown much so he is my pick to go, but if Webb can't do it, I'm tired of the charade. Just cut bait and if someone can make him work, well congratulations. It's not like we haven't tried.
  13. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    On the basis of what's possible that should be the way it works and the line would be better for it but for that to happen that little 15w bulb in Webb's head needs to become at least a 60 watter. To me Scott should be low man on the totem pole because there's no upside to him at all.

    I'd rather we keep the guys around who have a chance to improve under Kromer and Meyers than to keep anyone who can't and that includes Webb. If he doesn't snap out of it and start working to keep his job then I'd keep Scott and look for another OT next year.

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