BEARS IN BRIEF: Martz thrilled to have veteran Garza back on O-line
BY SEAN JENSEN firstname.lastname@example.org
His starting five isn't what offensive line coach Mike Tice envisioned during the spring.
''In shorts, I thought I had a group that was going to go into training camp and rock and roll,'' Tice said. ''But then you put pants and shoulder pads on, and some of those guys you saw flying around there in shorts, we're like, 'Where did they go- '
''You're looking around for them, [but] they disappeared. So playing is really the only way to get better as an offensive line and, of course, playing together.''
The Bears may finally be able to work on continuity with guard Roberto Garza returning after undergoing a knee scope. Garza is expected to start at right guard next to rookie right tackle J'Marcus Webb.
''You can't overstate it,'' offensive coordinator Mike Martz said of Garza's return. ''Having a veteran back, who has played at such a good level for so many years ... it's going to help J'Marcus, first of all, with the calls.''
Garza, who fully practiced Wednesday, is looking forward to playing with Webb.
''He's a good player, and I'm fortunate to get a chance to work with him,'' Garza said.
But Garza said he won't have to do anything ''outside of the box'' to help Webb.
Meanwhile, Tice insisted his players aren't overwhelmed by the number of protections.
''I don't buy that,'' Tice said. ''I don't think that's an area where we can make an excuse for young or old guys.''Toughest offense
Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick played under Martz in 2005, when he was a rookie with the St. Louis Rams. It was Martz's last season in St. Louis as the head coach, and Fitzpatrick learned the offense.
He has played in four others and said Martz's is the most difficult.
''At the same time, I think that it was fun; it was a challenge,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''It's obviously been very successful. For me, it provided a great base, just in terms of understanding concepts, offensive philosophy and different ways to exploit a defense.
''It was difficult, but I spent a lot of time trying to get it down and understanding why he was doing what he was doing, and I think it's helped me throughout my career.''
Fitzpatrick said the offense puts a lot of responsibility on the quarterback. Injury update
Cornerback Zack Bowman (foot) did not practice, and linebacker Lance Briggs (ankle) and guard Edwin Williams (back) were limited.
Coach Lovie Smith said the Bears considered Randy Moss, but ''we feel pretty good about the guys we have here right now.''