Bears

Tice on OL: Lets not get carried away just yet

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Tice on OL: Lets not get carried away just yet

Mike Tice may be the first-year, first-time offensive coordinator. But he spent much of Tuesdays minicamp session hands-on with the offensive line, most of whose members he coached directly last year.

And while he is a firm believer in his charges, he is feathering the brakes before any runaway feel-good starts.

To be quite frank with you, youre not going to tell anything about your offensive line until they put pads on, Tice said. To sit there and say, Oh, yeah, this guy, hes going to be the answer to the problems, that would be silly. So we just want to make sure that theyre assignment-sound, technique-sound, working their hands.

One of the areas that we wanted to improve across the board was our hands, using our hands better, keeping the players away from us. We know we have guys that can run, so thats going to help our running game. Thats really all we can look at right now.

Among the things that are being looked at right now:

Gabe Carimi is back in full at right tackle, showing few if any effects from the knee injury that ended his rookie season just short of six quarters.

First-round draft choice thats a very good football player back in the mix, said coach Lovie Smith. Weve been very pleased with what hes done, getting back in, getting back out there, hasnt had any trouble with the knee and it gives us a little more confidence when you see him out there.

JMarcus Webb and Chris Williams are taking nearly equal reps at left tackle. This will be the No. 1 position battle in training camp, between the former who failed to secure the job last season and the latter who lost the job in 2010 and is in a contract year.

Lance Louis is the No. 1 right guard, his position going into last season, and Chris Spencer remains shifted to left guard after emerging as the starter after early season injuries.

Edwin Williams, who started the last seven games in 2011 at left guard after Williams went on IR with a wrist injury, is working almost exclusively as the No. 2 center behind Roberto Garza. Chilo Rachal, a former starter with San Francisco, is the No. 3 guard at this point.

Rules prohibit offensive and defensive linemen from working live against each other, meaning there are no pass-protection drills to gauge how Webb or Williams handles the likes of Julius Peppers, Israel Idonije or even rookie Shea McClellin.

And a team that will commit to running the ball isnt doing anything of consequence in that entire area other than focus on assignments.

To try to come and work in on your inside run game right now is silly, Tice said. All youre going to do is end up breaking some rule and getting into trouble. So weve stayed away from the run game.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Can the Bears pull off an upset at home against Tom Brady and the Patriots?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Can the Bears pull off an upset at home against Tom Brady and the Patriots?

Chris Emma, Matt Zahn and Gabe Ramirez join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00- NBC Sports National NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh joins the panel to discuss the Bulls’ terrible defensive performance as well as Zach LaVine’s impressive season debut.

11:35- Khalil Mack is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Can the Bears pull off the upset against Tom Brady?

23:50- NBC Sports Boston Patriots insider Tom E. Curran joins Kap to talk about how New England views the Bears and discuss how Matt Nagy’s team can exploit the Patriots’ weaknesses.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below.

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Bulls announce substitute broadcasters for first five Neil Funk-less games

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USA TODAY

Bulls announce substitute broadcasters for first five Neil Funk-less games

If you haven't heard, Neil Funk is cutting 20 road games from his 2018-19 Bulls' play-by-play schedule.

Friday, the Bulls announced that Adam Amin, Andy Demetra and Kyle Draper will fill in for Funk for the first five of those games.

Amin, a play-by-play commentator for ESPN, will games on Oct. 22 against the Mavericks and Nov. 14 against the Celtics. He grew up in Addison, resides in Chicago and also does play-by-play for Bears preseason games.

Demetra is from Oak Brook and currently is the play-by-play broadcaster for Georgia Tech basketball and football. He will call games on Oct. 26 against the Hornets and Oct. 27 against the Hawks. He has previous play-by-play experience with the SEC Network, Pac-12 Network and Fox Sports South.

Draper will call the Bulls' Nov. 7 game against the Pelicans. He is the Celtics' pregame and postgame host for NBC Sports Boston and an occasional play-by-play annoucer and sideline reporter for the Celtics.

The Bulls said they will continue providing updates on substitute broadcasters as they are scheduled.