Linebacker Jon Bostic likely to start in Week 1
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter August 19, 2013 10:25PM
Updated: September 21, 2013 6:29AM
It has been nearly three full weeks since the Bears have been able to see what linebacker D.J. Williams can do on the field. Coach Marc Trestman said Williams is improving from his strained right calf, but the regular season is approaching.
‘‘We feel he’s getting better,’’ Trestman said Monday. ‘‘We’re getting closer to the season, and his conditioning now becomes an issue. . . . Hopefully, we’ll get him out here to practice in the next 12 to 14 days or better.’’
If that’s the case, it means rookie Jon Bostic will be the starting middle linebacker in Week 1.
Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said he’s focused on working with the players he has on the field. After watching film of the Bears’ preseason victory against San Diego Chargers, Tucker described Bostic’s performance as a ‘‘mixed bag.’’ Bostic has made some highlight-reel plays this preseason, but he also has made some mistakes.
‘‘This is a new defense for me,’’ Bostic said. ‘‘We do some things a little bit differently on defense that I pretty much haven’t done my whole life. [It’s] just breaking some of those habits and getting used to the way we play defense here.’’
Bostic said Williams has been ‘‘coaching me up.’’
‘‘D.J.’s a pro, a veteran guy,’’ Tucker said. ‘‘He asks good questions, and he’s really smart. He has good perspective and can help explain things to younger guys, so he’s very helpful in that regard.’’
On the Webb
Offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb declined to speak after practice, but he did post a message on his Facebook account Sunday, a couple of days after his contract was renegotiated.
Sources confirmed Webb’s base salary was cut from to $1.323 million to $630,000, which is the minimum for a fourth-year player. He can earn his money back through incentives.
‘‘The season will start soon,’’ Webb said on Facebook. ‘‘I plan on playing on the field just as I always have. I’ve got great coaches and a solid organization. Don’t read between the lines. I’m working hard everyday and I Got this!’’
Receiver Earl Bennett and defensive tackle Henry Melton didn’t practice. They continue to recover from concussions.
‘‘Henry and Earl are getting better,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘It’s still day-to-day, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it will continue to improve as it has.’’
Other players sitting out practice included offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (right knee), long snapper Patrick Mannelly (ribs), quarterback Matt Blanchard (left hand), defensive tackle Corvey Irvin (ankle), defensive end Cheta Ozougwu (hamstring) and fullback Harvey Unga (ribs).