BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Cleaning out the notebook late Monday
Dane Sanzenbacher has a stiff challenge to make the 2012 Bears, and the signing of Rashied Davis to a one-year deal Monday didnt make the task any easier. Davis is a top special-teams player, which backups routinely need to be and which Sanzenbacher is not.
But Sanzenbacher does have a very strong voice speaking for him in decision meetings.
You watch the film on Dane and you have to keep him, from a quarterbacks perspective, said quarterback Jay Cutler. I know theres numbers, and hes got to contribute with coordinator Dave Toub and the special-teams group. But every single day hes come out, hes catching balls. Hes doing what hes supposed to do. Hes going to be hard to let go if we have to.
Linebacker Brian Urlacher did not practice for the fifth straight day, this time for personal reasons, and he is not expected to play Thursday against Denver. Linebacker Jabara Williams (hamstring) also was out along with defensive tackle DeMario Pressley, whose right foot was in a walking boot.
The latest scare of camp (after Brandon Marshall and Devin Hester were shaken up on successive days a week ago) came Monday afternoon when rookie defensive end Shea McClellin went down and limped off the field with a leg problem. He returned several minutes later and finished practice without incident.
Stephen Paea continues to make his presence felt at the No. 1 nose tackle spot, where he has played with a notable mix of power and speed not usually seen at the position. The emphasis was on power during Tuesdays pass-rush drills.
Working with Julius Peppers, Paea drove into left tackle JMarcus Webb and drove Webb and guard Chris Spencer backwards as Peppers looped around behind Paea and in unobstructed on the target quarterback.
Paea is listed at nose tackle now but was drafted as a potential three-technique and could combine with Henry Melton to give the Bears their best defensive-tackle tandem since the best days of Tommie Harris and Tank Johnson in 2005-2006.