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  1. #1
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    PFT: Lovie's under the microscope

    LOVIE RESPONSIBLE FOR HAMMY OUTBREAK?

    Our Chitown mole tells us that Bears G.M. Jerry Angelo privately has voiced concerned that the team's rash of hamstring pulls is related directly to efforts by coach Lovie Smith to get players to lose weight over the offseason.

    Players who have fallen victim to hamstring injuries in the first week of camp include Brian Urlacher, Marty Booker, Jamin Elliott, Desmond Clark, Adrian Peterson, Mike Gandy and John Gilmore.

    Perhaps not coincidentally, Smith has canceled the team's Tuesday morning practice.

    Last week, Smith explained his strategy regarding the shrinkage of his team.

    "It's a different philosophy," he said. "We just think everyone should lose weight."

    We're also hearing that running back Anthony Thomas could miss up to six weeks with an abdominal strain. Thomas has been the subject of trade rumors, but it's now extremely unlikely that anything will happen until he's healthy again.

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    Re: PFT: Lovie's under the microscope

    Maybe he's getting them to actually do some work. The Bears have a lot of work to do anyway. They had the one freak year, but they need a lot of work.
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  3. #3
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    Re: PFT: Lovie's under the microscope

    Veteran holding off on evaluating coach
    By David Haugh
    Tribune staff reporter

    August 4, 2004, 11:01 PM CDT


    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Only one Bears player has endured more NFL training camps than coach Lovie Smith, and Ruben Brown believes that experience makes him as qualified to evaluate Smith as Smith is to evaluate him.

    "Just like he's judging me, I'm judging him," said Brown, who's entering his 10th NFL season. "I haven't come to a conclusion, and I don't have to. I think he's doing a decent job as a coach comparable to a lot of things I've seen in the past. The real test for [Smith] and me is when the season starts. This is just a dress rehearsal."

    That hasn't made it any less taxing for the 32-year-old veteran guard signed by the Bears last April. He rated Smith's training camp his second toughest, behind only the boot-camp approach taken by Gregg Williams in Buffalo before his first season in 2001.

    "Camp's supposed to be a little grueling," Brown said.

    Brown continues to search for his niche on a Bears offensive line that has surprisingly good depth. He entered camp second on the depth chart at right guard behind Mike Gandy and was passed by Terrence Metcalf after Gandy missed the first week with a groin injury.

    While many might interpret Smith's handling of Brown as a message to get with the program, he sees it as a way of allowing a proven player to ease into his new surroundings.

    "I'm the oldest guy on this team, so to have me do thousands of reps this early, there's no reason," Brown said. "I'm trying to prepare for the season. I'm OK with it. I learned the offense, I get my reps."

    With backup running back Dwone Hicks not expected to return to camp after leaving Tuesday, the Bears have given fullback Jason McKie a look at running back. Such versatility only enhances the chances of sticking on the 53-man roster for McKie, also a special-teams standout. Running back Anthony Thomas' abdominal strain is expected to keep him out at least for the next two weeks, giving backups Adrian Peterson and Brock Forsey more chances to make an impression on the new staff.

    Extra points

    During Smith's first season as Rams defensive coordinator in 2001 in which he contributed to changing the pace of practices, six players were hurt during the first week of training camp with hamstring injuries. The Bears have had eight. Colorful and quotable wide receiver David Terrell has been polite but firm in turning down interview requests until "I do something," Terrell said. Smith said the mute button was not pushed by the coaching staff. "That's the first I've heard of it," Smith said. "He's probably in that zone right now. He's got his game face on, and he probably doesn't want to jinx anything he's doing."

    Copyright 2004, The Chicago Tribune
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    Re: PFT: Lovie's under the microscope

    Driving through Illinios to and from Macomb afforded me the opportunity to listen some Chicago sports radio. The media seems to be ready to roast Lovie for his hard-nosed camp philosophy. The guys I was listening to were expressing their doubts before the bears' camp began and subsequently they were patting themselves on the back when Urlacher and Azumah went down. It seems that the Chicago media is waiting with baited breath for Lovie to fail, at least that is what it seemed like to me.

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