suntimes
COARSE 
Weather Updates

Jon Bostic makes the calls on ‘D’ with Lance Briggs resting

Updated: September 3, 2013 7:48AM



BOURBONNAIS — The Bears gave Lance Briggs the day off in deference to the Pro Bowl linebacker’s age, but also with an eye toward the future.

Rookie Jon Bostic, who replaced injured middle linebacker D.J. Williams in practice Wednesday, took over Briggs’ play-calling duties in practice Thursday as Briggs got a maintenance day.

Bostic, a second-round draft pick from Florida, did not appear overwhelmed by the responsibility.

‘‘There’s really no difference,’‘ Bostic said. ‘‘Make the calls, make all the checks — so really just learn all the terminology and keep getting better at it.

‘‘I don’t look at it as getting thrown in the fire. I’m out there with a lot of guys I’ve watched on TV the last 10 or 12 years. I’ve got to pick it up. I’ve got to make sure I’m in my playbook off the field so I’m not making any mistakes out there.’’

Williams officially is ‘‘week-to-week’’ with a calf injury. If Bostic takes to the position quickly, he might not give it up. Mike Singletary, a second-round pick in 1981, became a starter in his seventh game as a rookie. Briggs, a third-round pick in 2003, became a starter in his fourth game as a rookie.

‘‘Jon is a very mature guy,’’ coach Marc Trestman said. ‘‘He’s from a football family. He’s got a real presence to him, an even-keeled demeanor. When the ball is snapped, he runs to the ball.

‘‘He’s got to step up. He’s got an opportunity here. He’s got to do it on special teams because he’s going to be a top-line special-teams player, as well. It’s encouraging.’’

Wootton out

The Bears lost their third defensive end of training camp when Corey Wootton left practice with a hip injury. He will have an MRI test to determine the extent of the injury.

‘‘We don’t think it’s serious,’’ Trestman said.

Left tackle Jermon Bushrod (calf), cornerback Tim Jennings (personal), offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (leg) and defensive end Jamaal Anderson (knee) also missed practice.

Long gaining ground?

Rookie Kyle Long had his most extensive work with the first team, with James Brown playing with the second team. It seems like only a matter of time before Long becomes the starter, but Trestman said the increased first-team reps aren’t the best indicator of Long’s progress.

‘‘We’re just moving him around,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘Kyle is working in an ascending manner, better every day, and it’s not just happening slowly. He’s picking things up and becoming more comfortable every day.’’



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.