- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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CHICAGO -- The Bears used the night practice at Soldier Field on Friday to continue experimenting with different combinations along the offensive line.
Longtime starting right guard Roberto Garza took reps at left guard, while Lance Louis held down the right side with the first unit. Earlier in camp, Louis received some snaps with the first team at right guard, but had been working primarily as Garza’s backup.
“He’s one of the guys that’s competing,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “We like what he did in the offseason; a lot of ability. Good speed, a knee bender, can play with power. He’ll get an opportunity. He’s looked good in some of these drills. It’ll be good to get him into that first preseason game and see where he is.”
Johan Asiata was believed to be competing for the starting job at left guard along with Josh Beekman. Louis had also been mentioned as one of the players under consideration for the start at left guard. It appears now that Garza could figure into the mix there after moving from the right side to work on the left for the second day in a row.
“We’re trying a little bit of everything,” Garza said.
Temperature: 73 degrees.
Heat index: 75 degrees
Quarterback Jay Cutler produced a sharp performance in front of the crowd at Soldier Field, completing several pinpoint deep throws to tight ends Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen. Olsen made a difficult catch near the sideline during team drills, while Clark caught two deep balls from Cutler and backup Caleb Hanie.
“I like what the tight ends have done,” said Smith, who mentioned Clark as one of the group’s standouts. “Greg Olsen has had a nice camp.”
Rookie safety Major Wright came out with the team wearing his helmet, but didn’t participate in drills. He appears to be close to returning, however. Running on the sidelines with an athletic trainer, Wright appeared to be able to sprint full speed.
Receiver Devin Hester participated during individual drills early in practice, but didn’t take part in 7-on-7 or team. Hester said he was fine after practice.
Hanie and Eric Peterman hooked up for two long completions. Hanie first hit a sliding Peterman on a deep go-route. The duo connected again on a deep route near the sideline.
Linebacker Lance Briggs nearly picked off Cutler’s first pass of team drills, but dropped the ball as he turned up the field to run.
Danieal Manning and Craig Steltz alternated on the first-team defense during 7-on-7. Steltz lined up alongside Chris Harris on the first play of the drill. Manning came in the next play, but the two alternated throughout the night.