Bears' Anthony Adams always wanted to stay
Unrestricted free-agent nose tackle Anthony Adams is glad to be back after starting all 16 games last season, his fourth with the Bears.
"I didn't want to go anywhere else," said the nine-year veteran, who re-signed last Friday and can begin practicing Thursday. "Coach (Rod) Marinelli and coach (Lovie) Smith called me and let me know that they wanted me here. That kind of eased the tension a little bit. I'm glad that they called me and told me that they wanted me back. But I already knew that anyway."
While athleticism and speed are valued in the Bears' Cover-2 defense, the scheme also needs a stout run stuffer in the middle, and that's Adams' wheelhouse.
"I fit this system to a 'T,'" he said. "It's kind of my makeup, just shoot the gap, hustle, play my role, understand my role within the defense, get off blocks and just help my linebackers out and help the guys up front. It's just what I do."
Despite the congestion he encounters in the middle, Adams led all Bears interior linemen with 36 tackles last season. He does the dirty work and relishes the role.
"I've got the build for it," said the 6-foot, 310-pounder. "I attract 300-pounders -- two at the same time. It's the heart and soul of the defense. If you can run the ball up the middle, you're taking the heart and soul of the defense away. You've got to have pride in it, and you've got to bring your lunch pail every day because you already know you're going to get a lot of double teams."
Best wishes: When Mike Martz was hired as the Bears' offensive coordinator, tight end Greg Olsen saw the writing on the wall. Martz has never really had much use for the tight end as a pass catcher in his offensive scheme, and catching the ball is what Olsen does best.
Olsen wanted to be traded, but it took more than a year to facilitate his request, when they shipped him to the Panthers last week for a third-round draft choice.
"He came at me hard last year," general manager Jerry Angelo said. "I understood it. I told him I'd think about it. Greg is a great kid, works his tail off. I said, 'Greg, no, I don't see that being in our best interest.'
"It's about the team. I said, 'That's going to hurt our football team.' I said, 'You're going to have to suck it up, just do your job. You've got a contract, we've paid you well for your services.'
"He's a professional, and he took the high road. I respect that. This year was different. We're really not looking for Kellen Winslow. We're looking for Mike Ditka. The tight ends we have now really fit more the profile we want for our offense. And we got some good compensation. They got a heck of a tight end. Greg is in a good spot. We hope he's in the Pro Bowl and he has a great career. We really wish him the best."
A look ahead: Thursday's 7 p.m. practice at Olivet Nazarene is the first time free agents are eligible to practice per the new collective bargaining agreement.
Friday night at 7, the Bears will practice at Soldier Field before returning to ONU for five straight days of practice (Saturday through Wednesday). There are back-to-back off days prior to the preseason opener at home against the Bills at 7 p.m., Aug. 13 at Soldier Field.
End of the road: Tight end Draylen Ross, a 6-foot-4, 292-pound undrafted rookie from North Texas, was waived Wednesday.
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