The fact the workout served as his first with the team didn’t matter.
“Ain’t no asterisks next to your name when you’re out there on the field,” Price said. “I’m a competitor. I’m always hard on myself. So I know I didn’t do that good. I’ve just got to come back with a vengeance.”
Acquired by the Bears through a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on July 26, Price missed two workouts after passing his physical on July 27, and wasn’t eligible to join teammates on the field for practice until Tuesday.
The Bears distributed Price’s repetitions sparingly in his practice debut. But the few snaps in which Price participated indicated there’s still plenty of work for the veteran defensive tackle to do before he’s ready to contribute extensively.
“It’s going to take awhile, just like as we talk for our football team that first day,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “As much as anything, we wanted to get Brian into the mix to just let him see how it feels to be a Chicago Bear practicing. So we made that step. He set the bar today, and we’ll hopefully make progress from here.”
A second-round pick in 2010 out of UCLA, Price has played in 20 games with 14 starts in two years for the Buccaneers. But injuries and personal challenges played a role in Tampa Bay’s decision to trade him.
During individual one-one-one drills featuring Price against veteran guard Edwin Williams, the defensive tackle was neutralized handily on two consecutive snaps. Then, during full team drills Price struggled as well.
Price admitted to being “real nervous” because he hadn’t played football since last season. Price added that while it’s not difficult to learn the intricacies of a defense, he still needs plenty of class room work before he’s completely ready.
“The best of us get nervous, but you don’t let that defeat your,” Price said. “Mike Tyson was nervous before every fight, but he was able to knock people out. Simplicity is the key to success. I’ll meet with the coaches after practice and what not, and do some extra studying. I can only come out tomorrow and get better. I’m not gonna defeat myself.”