Kreutz takes part in first Bears practice Print
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Tuesday, 29 July 2008 15:05
NFL Headline News

 BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) -Six-time Pro Bowl center Olin Kreutz, sidelined with a sore Achilles' tendon, practiced Tuesday for the first time this year.
But the Bears' first-round draft pick, Chris Williams, remained sidelined with a back strain.
When asked if he was glad for the extra week of rest, Kreutz said no.
``You've got to get your work in, so I'm glad to be back,'' he said.
The offensive line was in a state of flux throughout the first week of camp due to injuries.
``We're a good football team when we have all of our guys out on the football field, so it was good to get Olin Kreutz back out there today,'' coach Lovie Smith said.
Potential starting left tackle Williams left the team's second practice with back pain and hasn't been on the field since.
``It's just real sore trying to get where I can get comfortable and just to be able to do what I do comfortably,'' Williams said. ``It's frustrating for me. I had something kind of similar in '05, but it was just kind of a one-day or two-day thing.''
The line is trying to recover from a season in which it allowed 44 sacks, ninth most in the NFL, and the running game finished last at 3.1 yards per carry. Three positions have been retooled since last season, when Chicago used five different starting offensive lines.
The shuffling has created concern the line might not mesh into a cohesive blocking unit by the start of the season.
``You always want the guys to be working together, but fortunately it's July and we play in September, so that process will take place,'' said offensive line coach Harry Hiestand.
Nine-year veteran John St. Clair has gained a toehold on the starting left tackle spot in Williams' absence.
``Since I've been in the NFL I've played a lot of positions,'' said St. Clair, who started three games last year at left guard, one at right tackle, one at left tackle and even caught a touchdown pass as a goal-line tight end. ``As long as I get the (practice) reps at the position, I think I'll be fine.''
Starting left guard Terrence Metcalf struggled last year and was benched after playing with a broken hand, but better things are expected from the seven-year veteran.
``It was really difficult to punch with that hand,'' Metcalf said. ``The break was in the palm of my hand and I had a cast on so that I had my fingers straight. So every time I hit with it, it bent back on the break.''
John Tait originally played right tackle in Kansas City before becoming a left tackle with the Bears.
``I think this time, because he has played (right tackle) before, coming back to it wasn't as big of a transition,'' Hiestand said.
 

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