Not up front with draft needs

LAKE FOREST _ When the Bears start pouring over draft needs, offensive linemen may not rate at the top of the list despite plans for a different type of offense.<p>

Bears offensive coordinator Terry Shea has plans to implement an attack which relies extensively on trap blocking and mobile linemen who lead the way on misdirection screen passes. With one of the larger offensive lines in the league last year, the Bears would seem ill-equipped to handle such movement, but Shea isn't so sure.

"We've got a chance to watch our linemen very carefully," Shea said. "We have some interior guys who can trap and pull pretty efficiently. "And our center is very gifted with his feet. That was a major part of some of our run thoughts at the Chiefs and that was to pull the center and we've got ourselves a very talented center from that standpoint."

Pro Bowl center Olin Kreutz frequently displayed his speed in helping tackles on pass blocking assignments in the Bears' old offense. Shea's former team, the Chiefs, had former Bear Casey Wiegmann pulling and blocking like guards do in many other offenses.

The Bears are optimistic tackle Marc Colombo will return from the knee surgery which kept him out all of 2003. They would have guard Rex Tucker back next year from ankle tendon surgery.

"We do have, in my opinion at least, enough good linemen to get a start with," Shea said. "We've got to keep them healthy. I think that was a real factor for the Bears last year."

Other teams that feature extensive movement up front, like the Denver Broncos, use smaller linemen. The Bears' new attack won't require someone quite that mobile.

"Smaller guys are suited to that, but that's not really the offense that Terry Shea has," said new offensive line coach Pete Hoener. "If you look at the offense Kansas City has, they do a little bit of everything. It's an offense that has a lot of volume.

"You need versatile guys but they don't have to be the smaller, faster type."


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