Dionne Miller: Bears Bourbonnais Blog - July 29 - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Dionne Miller: Bears Bourbonnais Blog - July 29

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (FOX 32 News) -

Three practices into Training Camp 2013 and the stands are packed in Bourbonnais. Bears nation has been out here since 2:30 a.m. Friday morning. It's like a holiday weekend, NFL is back and the Bears are among the league's more intriguing teams - new coaching staff, new offensive system, 40+ players working in contract years.

Yep, a lot on the line when the Bears kick off on September 8. And let's be real, this year is all about Jay Cutler. The Bears have done everything to surround their QB with the right leadership, weapons and opportunity to become a $100 million man. Proof that they want to pay him ridiculous money to be their franchise quarterback. Now, it's up to him - him and (fingers crossed) an improved offensive line.

The pressure is on Aaron Kromer. He is an O-line guy...scratch that - a Super Bowl Champion O-line guy. Trestman is calling the plays. Kromer has to get the best five lineman solidified to keep Cutler upright in order to run them.

Roberto Garza and J'Marcus Webb are the only remaining members of a front give that gave up 44 sacks in 2012. The free agent signing of Jermon Bushrod and Matt Slauson is meant to produce immediate results. Not to mention first round draft pick Kyle Long, who has been instantly thrown into reps with the first unit. Long missed OTA's with his teammates because he was still in college, so he Skyped in for meetings.

"What I thought I knew, I didn't know when I came out here. Which is good, I'm kind of a do-it and learn as you go type of guy," Long said.

Long is doing plenty of learning on the job. The entire O-line is. The first padded practice, facing the first pass rush (sort of) was rough. If the defense could hit Cutler, he would have been beat up before 11 a.m.

But it's all new. All a learning process, not just for Long.

How about for Roberto Garza? The leader of the O-line, the center. He takes it upon himself to bring everyone together. In years past, the O-line bonding has begun in the meeting room. They practice together, walk together, and eat meals together. This year, so far, not the same. Garza joked they don't like him...guessing that's hardly the case. It's just different for everyone. An adjustment period is acceptable. Garza himself laughed at Sunday's practice saying, "it's the first step, but we have a long way to go."

The only way to get there is continued live reps. As many as they can possibly get. To that end, Trestman will have his team practice in pads every day from here on out. But contact won't be very intense. The goal is to progress towards the first week as healthy as possible. All on the same page to produce on both sides of the ball.

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