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updated: 8/7/2012 7:06 PM

Bears offensive line always work in progress

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  • There always seems to be an issue with the Bears' offensive line, but offensive coordinator Mike Tice has a knack for putting the pieces in the right places.

    There always seems to be an issue with the Bears' offensive line, but offensive coordinator Mike Tice has a knack for putting the pieces in the right places.
    Associated Press


The pompon squad assured us before, during and after the draft that the Bears needed absolutely no help on the offensive line.

And yet the tackle situation seems no better today than it was when last we saw the Bears throw a block in anger eight months ago.

Not that this is a shock to anyone who hasn't already purchased Super Bowl tickets, but offensive coordinator Mike Tice doesn't sound all that impressed by what he's seen thus far from his tackles, including J'Marcus Webb.

Tice has Webb at left tackle for now, but that's simply by default. Chris Williams hasn't done anything to endear himself to the coaches, and Gabe Carimi is expected to be the starter at right tackle, though he's still a bit ouchy after last year's knee surgery.

Just about anything's possible as it pertains to the Bears' offensive line, especially if you consider last season when guard Lance Louis played right tackle, Webb had never played left tackle, guard Roberto Garza moved to center, center Tim Spencer played guard, and Williams -- a failed tackle -- also spent time at guard.

Tice is a genius when to comes to making something out of nothing on the line, and he's not afraid to move players around until he finds a combination that works.

There will be more of that between now and the start of the season, and probably even after the season begins.

So while the Super Bowl train chugs out of Bourbonnais and heads for stops in Lake Forest, Chicago and several NFL cities before it reaches New Orleans in February, there will much mixing and matching.

It's never too soon to worry about the line, but it's probably too soon to get worked up about it.

Javier Baez

The assumption last year was that Cubs prospect Javier Baez would eventually shift to second base. This year the talk is that he will wind up at third.

But from what I hear, it's a mistake to assume at this very young point in his career that he won't wind up staying at shortstop, even with Starlin Castro owning the position at the moment.

Darwin Barney

Lots of questions about Darwin Barney setting a Cubs record when he played his 91st straight errorless game at second base. The reason for the confusion is that mark is for a single season.

Ryne Sandberg played the final 90 games of 1989 without an error, but his streak continued until May 17, 1990, a stretch of 123-game straight games. The N.L. single-season record is 113 by San Diego's David Eckstein (2010).

The major-league records for single season and overall at second base are held by Detroit's Placido Polanco with 141 in 2007 and 186 from 2006-08.

True story

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier and ex-athletic director Tim Curley are still getting paid by the university.

The stat

Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen leads the National League in hitting and slugging and is second in on-base percentage to Joey Votto. The last player to lead in all three categories was Barry Bonds in 2002.

USA vs. Canada

The women's soccer match Monday was as entertaining an event as there has been in the 2012 Olympics, as the U.S. came from behind three times to defeat Canada 4-3 in extra time.

Next up for Team USA is Japan in the gold-medal game. For a change you can actually watch it live -- rather than eight hours after you've seen the result -- on NBCSN at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Water polo

Hockey in water is great, complete with hitting and the added advantage of forcing your opponent's head under water when deemed appropriate. For some reason, Alex Burrows comes to mind.

Just wondering

So we've got pingpong and trampoline in the Olympics, but no baseball or softball? What's next, Nok hockey and driveway-chalk drawing?

Best point

TBS' Conan O'Brien: "The U.S. team swept all the medals in the skeet shooting event. So despite our bad economy, it's nice to know our country has never been safer from an attack of skeets."

Best tweet

From @sportspickle: "McKayla Maroney would easily win gold in Death Stare."

Just asking

David Whitley of FanHouse: "When did Mike Krzyzewski start coaching the U.S. tennis team?"

Best headline

From The Heckler: "Cubs vow to avenge Dempster by bringing him back next year."

Frozen in time

Miami Herald's Greg Cote: "For the first time, every country competing in the Olympics includes a female athlete after Saudi Arabia agreed to allow two women to participate. Saudi officials said they would have done it sooner but lost track of time because their watches stopped in the 19th century."

And finally

Omaha World-Herald's Brad Dickson: "The first gold medal of the 2012 Olympics was won by a South Korean archer who is legally blind. This is inspirational. It used to be that when you saw someone legally blind on an athletic field this time of year, he was umpiring an American League game."

•Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM, and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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