Bears notebook: Offensive line 'ready to go'

Matt Trowbridge

Center Olin Kreutz doesn’t consider it a fluke that Chicago’s offensive line played well in the Bears’ preseason opener against Kansas City without injured No. 1 draft pick Chris Williams.

“I’m sure Chris is going to be a good player, but we never really had him, so I don’t know what we lost,” Kreutz said Sunday. “John St. Clair has been our starting left tackle from Day 1. We have all our starters. We’re ready to go.”

Williams (back) missed all but one practice and is probably out until at least November. Guard Terrence Metcalf (knee) is also out for another week or two. But Kreutz has confidence in St. Clair, who was originally expected to play guard.

“He’s a versatile guy and he’s professional. We expect him to hold that position down solidly for us.”

Offensive coordinator Ron Turner said the Bears “will look at it and see” about adding a veteran, but praised the line for being “physical” Thursday. Josh Beekman, a second-year pro, played the entire game, some at center, but mostly at left guard.

“That can be a tough situation,” Turner said. “He impressed everybody with his determination and his toughness. He made some mistakes, but he showed he can compete.”

“It’s complicated,” Beekman said, “but that’s why we practice.

“I embrace it fully. I’ve got a great opportunity now. … I’m still a rookie in my mind. Compared to these guys I work with every day with the (first team), they have been doing it in their sleep since I was a little kid. If I have to play a full game, so be it.”

Kreutz said the line can succeed if it operates as one.

“As an offense line, you don’t have to have one great player. You just have to be good together,” Kreutz said.

Injured, missing Bears

Defensive tackle Tommie Harris missed practice Sunday. “No big deal,” coach Lovie Smith said. “He’ll be back full speed ready to go (today).” ... Defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek (calf) was held out of contact drills after practicing for the first time Saturday. “We’re easing him back into the rotation,” Smith said. … Linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer sat out again with a hip pointer.

Camp sights

Sunday might have been the day Rex Grossman took the lead in the quarterback battle. Kyle Orton, working with the first team, fumbled a snap and threw three interceptions (to Danieal Manning, Charles Tillman and Jamar Williams). … Grossman’s best throws were a perfect long pass to Brandon Rideau and a 20-yard completion to Mike Hass in triple coverage. … Adrian Peterson lost a fumble. … Marty Booker had the day’s best catch, grabbing a calf-high toss from Grossman in stride, but also dropped a deep ball from Orton.

Assistant sports editor Matt Trowbridge can be reached at: 815-987-1383 or mtrowbridge@rrstar.com.