Chicago Bears Goldman gives glowing review on Whitehair

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Last year's second-round draft pick, nose tackle Eddie Goldman, has been impressed by this year's second-round draft pick, starting left guard Cody Whitehair

    Last year's second-round draft pick, nose tackle Eddie Goldman, has been impressed by this year's second-round draft pick, starting left guard Cody Whitehair Associated Press

 
 
Updated 8/24/2016 11:31 PM

Chicago Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman, last year's second-round draft pick, has been impressed by this year's second-round pick, starting left guard Cody Whitehair.

"Tough kid," said the 6-foot-4, 320-pound Goldman of the 6-foot-4, 310-pound Whitehair. "Man, I don't know what he's like in the meeting room because we don't meet together.

 

"But out here (on the practice field) he's tough, he's strong, he has a good grip when he puts his hands on you. He's a good run blocker and pass blocker, too. In the run, he comes off (the ball) low. In the pass, he has good balance and good feet."

In a perfect situation, Whitehair may have been eased into the starting lineup.

But starting center Hroniss Grasu is out for the season with a torn ACL, and Pro Bowl right guard Kyle Long is sidelined with a shoulder injury that could be more serious than the Bears are letting on.

Veteran interior lineman Ted Larsen initially moved to center, but he's had to shift over to Long's spot with inexperienced first-year player Cornelius Edison snapping the ball to Jay Cutler with the first team.

So Whitehair is in, whether or not he's ready. Goldman, one of the strongest players on the team, thinks the rookie will be OK.

"He's strong," Goldman said. "He's probably stronger than me. He just has a good grip. When he gets ahold of you, he's not going to let you go. He's gotten better along the way, from OTAs to now."

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Key ingredient missing:

Right guard Kyle Long, whose three Pro Bowls are as many as the rest of the team combined, has not practiced all week with a shoulder injury that will keep him out of Saturday's third preseason game and could keep him out of the regular-season opener.

"Not really that concerned," quarterback Jay Cutler said. "When he plays, he's going to play. Until then, we've got a good crew out there. He'll get back out there whenever he's ready to get back out there."

But Cutler admits Long's absence is significant.

"You're missing that big guy that can lock down the 3-technique (defensive tackle)," he said. "Whenever he's in there, you know that side is pretty much going to be void.

"You don't really have to worry about that. You're going to have room to step up (in the pocket).

"We'll miss him this week, and hopefully we'll get him back soon."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

No room for doubt:

According to quarterback Jay Cutler, since Dowell Loggains was promoted from quarterback coach to offensive coordinator in the off-season, he has been clear on what he expects from players.

"He sets the tone every day," Cutler said. "There's never a gray area in that world. He sets the standard and, if you don't live up to that (and) meet those expectations, he's going to be vocal. He's going to let you know.

"As a player, that's all you can ask for: a coach telling you how to do it and, when you don't do it, you expect him to push you and help you achieve those goals."

Injury update:

Rookie defensive end Jonathan Bullard missed a third straight day of practice for personal reasons.

"Without going into too much detail, sometimes things outside of football hold precedence over football," said coach John Fox, who expects the third-round draft pick back Thursday.

Offensive tackle Bobby Massie, fullback Darrel Young and cornerback Deiondre Hall were all added to the injury list with the same illness that has affected several players.

Linebacker Leonard Floyd was out with a leg injury.

• Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.

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