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Mike Tice says Bears offensive line did well on its own

Bears offensive line opened holes for Matt Forte against Vikings.  |  Charles Rex Arbogast~AP

Bears offensive line opened holes for Matt Forte against the Vikings. | Charles Rex Arbogast~AP

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Updated: November 21, 2011 10:37AM

Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice is pleased with the performance of his unit, but he defended the notion that they get more help than others around the league.

“First of all, every team gives their linemen help,” Tice said. “I thought we had a good game plan. It’s not like, all of a sudden, ‘The Bears’ offensive line is so bad that they need all this help.’ It’s that, we haven’t been giving them help, so now we’re giving them help, it helps settle things down and build their confidence, and gives them a chance to hang in there and not jump the count.”

The Bears were coming off their most impressive offensive performance of the season, when they scored 39 points, provided a balanced attack and allowed quarterback Jay Cutler to get sacked just once.

And despite the issues of the Minnesota Vikings, Tice was proud that his unit did well against a well-regarded defense.

“They were high in the numbers, defensively,” Tice said. “I think anytime you have some success, to any degree, it’s going to build your confidence and help you improve and move forward.

“This is a long haul. We’re trying to get better every week.”

The Bucs have a talented young defensive line but they’ve had some injuries. On Wednesday, defensive end Michael Bennett (groin) groin didn’t practice, and Gerald McCoy (ankle) was limited.

“They bring it,” Tice said.

Injury report

Offensive tackle Gabe Carimi didn’t practice again Wednesday, casting doubt again about his availability to play in London. Carimi injured his knee in the first half of the Week 2 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

But receiver Earl Bennett practiced in full, giving the team hope he can return after being sidelined since the same game as Carimi. Devin Hester (chest), Kellen Davis (elbow) and Matt Toeaina (knee) all missed practice.

Status quo

Coach Lovie Smith said he doesn’t feel his team is at a disadvantage, since the Bucs left for London on Monday.

“For us, we wanted to keep, as much as we could, a regular game-week routine in place. That’s what we’re doing,” he said. “As far as getting acclimated, you can bog your mind down with all of that talk, but we’re going to go there and be there Friday. We’re leaving Thursday from here and that’s plenty of time.”

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