Spending Spree Continues

Although the Bears have failed to find a veteran quarterback through free agency, the team has upgraded an offensive line that allowed an NFL high 66 sacks last season. The improvement continued on Friday as Roberto Garza agreed on a one-year deal with the Bears.

Roberto Garza will have a chance to compete with Terrence Metcalf and Qasim Mitchell for a starting role at guard, as well as backup Olin Kreutz at center.

With the addition of Garza and Fred Miller the Bears have added at least one starter and possibly two on the offensive line.

"Getting offensive line help was a goal of ours and of course when you feel like you can get two starters it's huge to go along with some of the veterans we have coming back," head coach Lovie Smith. "So we really feel good about our offensive line right now".

Garza spent the previous four years of his career with the Atlanta Falcons, starting 31 of 52 regular season games played at three different positions. The Texas A&M-Kingsville product started a career-high 15 of 16 games played in 2004, plus two post-season contests, to help the Falcons to a NFC South division title.

The 6-2, 296-pounder made all of his starts at left guard in 2004, but has also started at right guard and center in his career.

The unit is likely to have three starters at different positions. The addition of Miller allows John Tait to slide from right to left tackle. A move Tait volunteered for heading into free agency and gave the Bears the flexibility to sign Miller.

Tait spent the first two years of his career at left tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs, but has played on the right side for the past three seasons.

Making the move now will give Tait a chance to work at the position starting in the May mini-camp.

"It's just going back to what I've already played so I don't foresee (it being a problem)," Tait said. "I mean it's going to be a learning curve getting back used to playing in that set and everything, but I think it's going to be a good thing."

Tait will be protecting Rex Grossman's blindside. The quarterback is throwing and ready to prove to his critics that he can play a full season.

"It's been (since) 2002 I've had a full season and I think everything is kind of coming together offensively, so I'm really excited about how our team is looking and I'm really excited about how my knee is looking," Grossman said. "I'm more motivated than ever to get out there and play a full season and get a full season under my belt and go to the playoffs and do a bunch of big things."

The offensive line is not the only area the Bears have upgraded in free agency. WR Muhsin Muhammad got a chance to meet with fans and the media at the annual Fan Convention, which is something he has yet to do with Grossman.

"Hopefully we can get on the same page pretty quick and I look forward to working with him," Muhammad said. "I called him a couple times and just looking for you to return my calls, Rex. Call me back, man."

"I'm just looking forward to coming in and working with him and getting something going. I think the sooner you can establish that, the better. There's no timetable to tell how quick a meshing will happen, but I've had it happen very fast and I've had it take some time. Hopefully we click right off the bat."


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