Happy to fight

An unusual cool July day didn't keep players from getting hot under the collar. At one point <!--Default NodeId For Dustin Lyman is 722210,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:722210]>Dustin Lyman</A> and <!--Default NodeId For Lance Briggs is 738193,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:738193]>Lance Briggs</A> shoved one another the end of a play. However, after his 2002 season was cut short by injury Lyman is happy to be able to push a player rather than rehabbing his knee.

"I don't even think about it," Lyman said about being apprehensive in his first contact since going down against Green Bay on December 1st of 2002. "I really haven't thought about it since I finished my rehab. It doesn't bother me physically, so it doesn't bother me mentally either."

The game Lyman went down was the best as a pro. The tight end caught seven balls for 58 yards and two touchdowns. The next mental obstacle Lyman will have to overcome is handling backup duty rather than having a chance to start. He had hoped to win the job, but the offseason addition of Desmond Clark gives the Bears the best receiving option they've had at the position in recent memory. It also motivated Lyman to comeback stronger.

"Of course, I'd love to have a lot of catches and score touchdowns," Lyman said. "Aside from that I'd like to be on the field and contribute. I'd like to execute my assignments, blocking, catching, whatever it takes."

John Davis will miss the next two to three weeks of practice with back problems, which means Lyman might be the most balanced tight end on the roster in terms of blocking and catching the ball. Although catches are often the first thing used to evaluate the success of a tight ends season blocking is vital to the Bears running attack.

"It's the nature of the game because it's a little bit less exciting, so it gets a little less exposure," Lyman said about blocking. "But, for the guys on the team and for the coaches they know how important it is and I take a lot of pride in it."


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