The Bears are hoping that the steady improvement their offensive line made throughout the preseason carries over into Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
“They’ve made terrific progress in the last three weeks, particularly in the last two weeks, so I’m anxious to see us play, find out where we are with that,” said offensive coordinator Mike Martz. “But I’m excited about what they’ve done so far. I think they have a chance to be a pretty good group.”
After the Bears yielded four sacks in the first half of their preseason opener, Jay Cutler was sacked just once while throwing 41 passes in the first halves of the next two exhibition games.
“They played well,” Cutler said of the line. “We’re going to have some bumps in the road, I’m sure with those guys, probably the first game, just getting them settled down and comfortable. But I’ve got all the faith in the world in them. They are a very talented group.”
“Our communication has gotten better,” said center Roberto Garza. “Technique’s going to be a work in progress, and it’s going to be a fight every week to get that going. But I feel like we’re communicating. We’re playing well together and we start the journey now. It’s time to go out there and get the job done no matter what.”
An 11-year veteran, Garza is the only seasoned pro on the starting line, which also consists of a fourth-year pro (left guard Chris Williams), a third-year pro (right guard Lance Louis), a second-year pro (left tackle J’Marcus Webb) and a rookie (right tackle Gabe Carimi).
“We have made progress from the first game on, from the first training camp practice on,” said coach Lovie Smith. “Guys are playing in different positions and they’ll continue to get better.
“We’re a young group. I know Roberto has played a little bit, but we’re a fairly young group and I’m anxious to see them. Each rep they get they’ll learn something to make them a better player.”