Dionne Miller's Bears Bourbonnais Blog - August 17 - KMSP-TV

Dionne Miller's Bears Bourbonnais Blog - August 17

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Thunderstorms rolled through Bourbonnais as the Bears prepared for their final practice of training camp, forcing the morning walk-through indoors and our interviews into the coffee shop. And as the players began filing in for lunch, there were two hot topics. Brian Urlacher's knee and Roberto Garza's commercial.

Let's start with Urlacher. After chatting with my FOX Chicago partner Lou Canellis on Monday, Urlacher had his knee scoped Tuesday. You all know this by now. And while the media tends to over-dramatize these things, let's be clear. Urlacher is the face of the Bears and this is a big deal. But his lack of participation in training camp practices is not.

He knows the defense. He knows what is expected and according to him, he will be ready for the season opener against the Colts on Sept. 9. That's the goal and in my limited opinion, until he is unable to go in Week 1, there is no cause for dramatic concern. But you can't help but raise an eye-brow when he says he doesn't know if he'll be 100 percent this season and when he admits the Bears will have to monitor his work in practice. Again, I'm waiting until he starts missing regular season action, or until he doesn't look like Pro Bowl Brian Urlacher.

However, the news spreading about his split with girlfriend Jenny McCarthy does shed light on the "personal" reasons he missed so many days of camp. None of my business, just would make sense if that is in fact the case. Stay tuned for more from Urlacher on FOX Kickoff Saturday before the game against Washington.

I did chat a bit with Geno Hayes about starting during the pre-season while Nick Roach is in the middle for Urlacher. Hayes has been a starter before so he knows how to handle that, but he's also trying to prove his signing is worth it. He said Lance Briggs and Roach have been valuable during his transition to Bears defense. Monte Kiffen was his first defensive coach in the league so he knows the basics. I hope he does well. He was originally drafted as the heir-apparent to Derrick Brooks in Tampa. Maybe year five will show flashes of that potential. He's barely 25, almost a decade younger than Urlacher. So perhaps his future will be bright.

As for Garza. If you haven't yet seen his commercial debut advertising NFL Women's Apparel, go find it. It's hilarious and shows the Bears captains have a solid sense of humor. Both Jay Cutler and Roberto Garza play their roles perfectly. Kind of the way they do on the field. I chatted with Garza for a bit Thursday about the commercial, but more about the state of the offensive line. Garza is the anchor of a line that wasn't physical against the Broncos, and didn't look any different than the one that gave up 49 sacks last year. (105 in the last two seasons if you're counting).

The battle at left tackle continues between Chris Williams and J'Marcus Webb. Neither really emerging right now and that's what Coach Tice wants. Garza told me he's not surprised neither has emerged. They are both doing what is asked and trying to improve through hard work. But apparently not hard enough. Tice says he liked what Williams did against Denver, so he will start on Saturday...Cutler's first pre-season appearance so fingers crossed for a good showing. Tice also referred to J-Webb Nation as "that other player." Let's all agree that's never a good sign. Tice also said he's losing sleep over protection for Cutler. I asked Garza if he is too. Also asked him about the fact that the team didn't add to the O-line and if that is a good thing on and off the field. Tune in to the pre-game Saturday to hear his response...to a lot.

The final practice was more like a Friday during the regular season. Half speed, lots of long pass plays - which was fun for the fans who ventured out. Practice ended 45 minutes ahead of the scheduled time...which was fun for the media who ventured out. The best part of the day was following practice as the team gave the bikes they rode the last three weeks to kids in the community. Awesome moment. Lovie brought one kid over during interview time - a moment that little boy will never forget.

JUST BECAUSE: Heading into the "Last Supper" of training camp, I overheard someone say - "I can feel the freshman 15 coming back." Ha! Thank goodness I didn't live at Olivet Nazarene the last three weeks. I must give credit to the cooking crew...food was delish. I'll miss having pre-made meals for me that you knew were healthy...since they're feeding pro athletes and all.

So long Bourbonnais...until 2013.

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