Chicago Bears v Carolina Panthers
Updated: October 3, 2013 6:23AM
Veteran Eben Britton had played every other position on the offensive line, so when the Bears asked him to try center, he thought, “Why not?”
“I take it as a complete positive,” Britton said. “As a guy who’s working hard to earn a spot on this roster, being able to play all five positions and do it well, that’s a big positive. My versatility is a big plus.”
And it definitely helped Britton’s cause. He made the Bears over tackle J’Marcus Webb, who had started 44 of 46 games over three seasons with the Bears. Webb was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
With Jonathan Scott’s right knee limiting him, Britton is the swing tackle behind starters Jermon Bushrod and Jordan Mills. A five-year veteran, Britton spent most of the last two seasons at guard for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he’s most comfortable at right tackle.
“Switching sides, it’s no big deal,” Britton said. “It’s just being able to kind of flip your mental process as far as your feet being different.”
As for center, Britton first worked on snaps in training camp and expects to do more at practice. If he’s going to dress on game days over backup center Taylor Boggs, being able to back up Roberto Garza will be part of it, too.
“It’s kind of something for an emergency deal,” Britton said.
Britton called center “completely unique.” It’s the first time he has tried it.
“It’s hard to snap and go,” he said. “It takes a lot of work. The basic element of center makes it a very difficult position.”
Some praise for Trestman
Quarterback Jordan Palmer’s time with coach Marc Trestman was limited. But he was blown away.
“I think a lot of coach Trestman,” Palmer said. “I didn’t know a whole lot about him, being that he’d been up north for a few years. So when I signed and actually when I worked out here, I had different friends ... and a bunch of guys who alluded to how great of a guy he was.
“But to be able to be here and spend 10 days with him, in all honesty, I haven’t been around a coach like that before. A guy who comes in right away and there’s a ton of veterans on this team, which when you’re a head coach taking on a team, it’s great to have a bunch of great players, but it’s also difficult. There’s a lot of veterans who have been around for a long time who are used to doing it a certain way. But in such a short time, he’s had the whole team buy in. It was amazing to work with him for the last 10 days.”
Practice makes perfect
Tight end Fendi Onobun, running back Harvey Unga, defensive lineman Aston Whiteside, linebacker Jerry Franklin and rookie cornerback Demontre Hurst were signed to the practice squad after clearing waivers.
Quarterback Jerrod Johnson and receiver Richard Lockette also will be part of the practice squad. Johnson played at Texas A&M and spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles (2011), Pittsburgh Steelers (2012) and Seattle Seahawks (2013).
One practice-squad spot remains. Defensive end Cheta Ozougwu was waived Sunday to make room for rookie defensive end David Bass, who was claimed off waivers. Ozougwu is eligible for the practice squad.