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posted: 9/7/2012 12:01 AM

Bears' Tice just wants to help his players

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  • Offensive coordinator Mike Tice says he wants to put players in position to have the confidence to make plays.

      Offensive coordinator Mike Tice says he wants to put players in position to have the confidence to make plays.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer


Offensive coordinator Mike Tice believes in keeping it simple.

"We have one goal," Tice said. "Our goal is to put our players in a position to succeed. (We want to) minimize the amount of times we put our players in position to fail.

"If the matchups are not in our favor -- and there's going to be many times during the season when the matchups aren't in some of our guys' favor -- we need to make sure that that person has help."

Left on an island in difficult 1-on-1 matchups too often last season, left tackle J'Marcus Webb allowed a league-worst 14 sacks. He will get more help this season, which should allow the skill-position players to flourish.

"We have to make plays," Tice said. "We have to be explosive. That's really what it comes down to. It's us putting the players in a position to have confidence that they can win the individual battles.

"If we can win more than we lose at the end of the day, if we have great ball security, we're going to be OK."

More than Luck:

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler already has been impressed by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, even though the rookie won't play his first regular-season NFL game until Sunday at Soldier Field.

"I watched the Washington game," Cutler said. "He's going to be successful in this league. There are too many good things going his way.

"He works hard. He's in an organization that is going to build around him. They've got the blueprint already with Peyton (Manning), so they're going to do everything possible to make him successful and, with his work ethic and his ability to play on the field, he's going to be fine."

Luck has been the Colts' clear-cut starter since they made him the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Cutler became the Denver Broncos' starter in the 12th game of his rookie season after being drafted 11th overall.

In the cards:

The last time Brandon Marshall faced the Colts -- on Dec. 13, 2009, as a member of the Broncos -- he caught an NFL-record 21 passes.

What does he remember from that game?

"We lost," he said. "I hit blackjack, 21 catches, it was a record. That was pretty good. That was an exciting moment actually."

Playing favorites:

Jay Cutler's Vanderbilt Commodores lost a tough season opener last week, 17-13 to South Carolina, but he believes they'll bounce back Saturday night against Northwestern's Wildcats, who defeated Syracuse 42-41.

"We took a tough one last week," Cutler said. "That Vandy program has come a long way since I left. They're a lot more competitive. You can just see the speed on the field.

"We're gonna win. I think we win by 3. We've got better athletes. Too much speed. SEC."

Injury report:

In addition to Brian Urlacher (knee), running back Lorenzo Booker (head) did not practice Thursday. Punter Adam Podlesh and safety Chris Conte were limited.

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