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Bears’ Chester Taylor isn’t bothered by competition

Updated: September 11, 2011 12:49AM

Chester Taylor didn’t think his 2010 season was as bad as it looked.

After averaging at least 4.0 yards per carry in six of his previous seven seasons, Taylor gained 267 yards on 112 carries (2.4 yards) and scored three touchdowns last season.

‘‘There were a lot of times my carries came on short-yardage and goal-line [situations],’’ Taylor said. ‘‘All I could do is do what they asked me to do. And that’s what I did.’’

Bears running backs coach Tim Spencer agreed. But with Marion Barber in camp to challenge Taylor for playing time being Matt Forte, it’s likely the Bears won’t settle for 2.4 yards per carry.

‘‘Every year there’s competition,’’ Taylor said. ‘‘All the running backs are competition for me. We come in every year competing for a job.’’

Man in the middle

When Roberto Garza opened camp at center, he expected Olin Kreutz to return and allow him to move back to right guard. But when Kreutz didn’t re-sign, Garza became not only the starting center, but the leader of the offensive line.

‘‘Olin’s always been the guy,’’ Garza said. ‘‘I’ve always sat back and watched what he’s done. Luckily for me, I got a chance to play with him and learn from him. Now it’s time for me to share everything he taught me and try to continue his leadership role on the offensive line.’’

Carimi improving

Rookie Gabe Carimi is getting force-fed at right tackle with a steady diet of Julius Peppers, Israel Idnoije, Corey Wootton and others on the Bears’ defensive line. He’s learning the hard way, but he’s gaining confidence.

‘‘The biggest change was switching form the left side [at Wisconsin] to the right side,” Carimi said. “There’s a different rhythm that I have to get used to, with my ‘post’ foot being my opposite leg.’’

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