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Tice Not Playing Musical Chairs With Offensive Line

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Tice Not Playing Musical Chairs With Offensive Line

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If there's one person not getting a lot of sleep in Bears camp at Olivet Nazarene University, all bets are on offensive line coach Mike Tice.

After declaring "no competition" for his starting five jobs on the line, Tice was hoping that by handing out jobs early in camp, he'd find continuity.

Unfortunately after giving up nine sacks in the preseason opener, there's still a lot of work to do.

"If a guy continues to practice well he's going to play well," Tice insisted, pointing to Guard Lance Louis as an example. Louis was beat twice for sacks yet has had a great training camp.

"We don't want to play musical lines right now, and we don't want to hit the panic button, the numbers are what they are," he said.

And numbers are adding up for J'Marcus Webb at left tackle too. At least two of the nine sacks came from Webb's left side.  One of the Bears two offensive line penalties was also courtesy of Webb, who said he just couldn't match the intensity of the Bills' Shawne Merriman.

"I have a problem with that personally," Tice said, "After sitting around for five months he should have plenty of intensity built up."

But Tice is hopeful his young players will improve, unlike a veteran who is set in his bad habit ways.

"When its young guys that you're raising, you hope they can make strides in leaps and bounds."

According to the NFL official stats, Webb was flagged for 10 penalties in the 2010 season. Three were declined. But Webb improved as the season went on and didn't commit a single penalty after week eleven.

There is a world of weight on the second-year left tackle's shoulders, admits Tice.

"He needs to buck up," he said.

The Bears have not made any changes to their depth chart for the second preseason game against the Giants. Tice will give his line another week to show improvement before making any permanent changes.

In the meantime, Chris Spencer has taken some extra reps with the 1's at center, while Roberto Garza does the same at guard.

Would he consider moving rookie Gabe Carimi to the left side if Webb continues to struggle? Tice says no.

"No, no I don't see that... I think Gabe can be a great right tackle" Tice said. "He's a warrior and he's a player, and the lights came on and he stepped up to the occasion."

As for the rest of his young linemen?

"I'm acceptable to emails and suggestions if anybody has any of that," he said.

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