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Phil Emery commends Bears’ offensive line

Phil Emery right addresses reporters during press conference Bears training camp Olivet Nazarene University Tuesday July 24 2012 Bourbonnais. |

Phil Emery, right, addresses reporters during a press conference at Bears training camp at Olivet Nazarene University Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in Bourbonnais. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 13, 2012 6:37AM



Bears general manager Phil Emery not only had the back of quarterback Jay Cutler when he met the media before the bye week, he also defended and complimented the play of his much-maligned offensive line.

Every game it seems there has been a new offensive lineman to point out for making mistakes. For a while, it appeared as if left tackle J’Marcus Webb would be scrutinized the whole season.

Now it’s right tackle Gabe Carimi on the hot seat after committing mental mistakes in the win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“The key improvements that I’m looking for moving forward is, ‘Do we earn it each and every week?’ like we talked about in August, and so far the answer to that has been yes,” Emery said. “[The] offensive line, in particular, is starting to come together as a group.”

The most noticeable sign of that is Cutler being upright. Cutler has been sacked five times in three games since being sacked seven times in Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers. The running game also is getting going, piling up more than 200 yards against the Jaguars.

Emery credits the line.

“They have made improvements, I would say, much like our whole team,” Emery said. “Four out of five weeks, they’ve played well enough to win games.”

‘A tough guy’

Despite having surgery on his hand earlier this week, the Bears fully expect linebacker and special-teams standout Blake Costanzo to be ready for the Detroit Lions on Oct. 22 on “Monday Night Football.”

“He’ll be fine,” special-teams coach Dave Toub said. “He played [with the injury]. He deserves a lot [of credit]. He played with a snapped ligament [in his hand] for two games. This guy’s an animal.

“There’s no question he’s going to be ready to go for the Detroit game.”

Costanzo has been credited with four tackles on special teams this season, but he has more responsibilities.

“When you’re on punt return, you’ve got to hold them up and you’ve got to use your hands,” Toub said. “He was basically playing with one hand. He’s a tough a guy.”



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