Bears notes for Tuesday, July 29.
Six-time Pro Bowl center Olin Kreutz practiced for the first time in training camp Tuesday as the Chicago Bears took him off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
Kreutz had been out with an Achilles tendon injury.
“We’re a good football team when we have all our guys on the football field, so it’s good to get Olin Kreutz back,” coach Lovie Smith said. “Chris Williams and Kevin Jones are both getting better. They are making progress.”
Smith had no date for when Williams (back) and Jones (knee) could practice.
The Bears were happy to have their offensive line leader back.
“The offensive line, they picked up some with him being back,” rookie running back Matt Forte said. “We definitely felt his presence.”
Kreutz said he would play in next Thursday’s preseason opener against Kansas City, but the 11-year veteran disagreed with the idea that missing a week of practice was a blessing in disguise.
“If it was a blessing in disguise, I would have four weeks to rest,” Kreutz said. “You’ve got to get your work in.
“It feels great. This is what we do for a living. This is what I love doing.”
Forte gets tough yards
The Bears practiced short-yardage and goal-line situations for the first time, and Forte stood out, scoring touchdowns by running both inside and outside.
“We like to have a back who can do both,” Smith said. “He has good size. Each day we see something else he can do, but for the most part he is what we hoped he would be, a guy who can run it inside and out and who can catch the ball, even though he dropped one today.”
The Bears had only eight rushing touchdowns last season and gave up 17.
“When you get the ball down in that part of the field, you need to get touchdowns instead of field goals,” Smith said.
Forte said the key at the goal line is doing things faster.
“It’s a lot quicker and shorter,” Forte said. “Everyone is in tighter and a lot more people are on the line, so you have to make quick decisions and run low. Make a decision and go.”
Bears cut QB Hill
The Bears waived undrafted free agent Nick Hill, a quarterback from Southern Illinois. They plan to bring back tight end Marcus Stone, who was waived earlier. Smith said strong-armed Caleb Hanie, another undrafted free agent from Colorado State, “has solidified himself right now” as the Bears’ third QB.
Tight end Fontel Mines pushed off cornerback Zack Bowman, but the rookie quarterback still made an interception on the play. … Rookie safety Craig Steitz, a fourth-round pick out of LSU, intercepted Kyle Orton in a goal-line drill.
Matt Trowbridge can be reached at (815) 987-1383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.