Tice: Garza won't shift to G if Louis out

September, 14, 2011
9/14/11
4:45
PM ET
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Switching Roberto Garza from center back to right guard is not an option Chicago Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice is considering in the likely event starter Lance Louis misses Sunday's game in New Orleans due to a sprained right ankle.

Garza's strong performance physically and mentally at center against Atlanta in Week 1 led to Tice's decision.

"The most pleasing thing, and really something that came into play in my decision (whether or not) to make two moves this week or one move, was the fact Roberto had no mental errors," Tice said. "He called a really good game, and in our system ... the center makes all the calls (because) the quarterback is not involved in the protection calls, so he has to call a good game. I thought Roberto called a really good game. As always, we had some unscouted looks that I thought he sorted out. I thought he directed traffic pretty well out there, and to me that was the most pleasing thing.

"We changed a couple things up last week in terms of identification, and that happened early in the game, and he nailed it. At that point I felt like it was going to be OK. That gave me great confidence in him."

With Garza entrenched at center, Chris Spencer, the Bears No. 2 center, and Edwin Williams took reps at right guard during practice on Wednesday. Because the Bears only dress two reserve offensive linemen on game day, Spencer came off the bench last week to replace Louis, while Williams was inactive.

However, both are expected to be active in Week 2, which presents Tice with an interesting call to make.

"They both took reps today," Tice said. "Spencer worked first, (but) Edwin took reps. They both had a really good day I thought. I'm very comfortable in the eight (offensive linemen). I felt going in we had much more depth than we had last year, and it's already come to a head where we had to show that depth early on, which is OK. It's a long season, normally all eight guys play."

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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