Chicago Bears: Johan Asiata

Bears sign Asiata to practice squad

September, 28, 2010
9/28/10
4:52
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears signed offensive lineman Johan Asiata to their practice squad days after releasing him to make room for guard/center Edwin Williams.

Williams was added to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on Monday.

Asiata was active for the first two regular-season games. Asiata was given an opportunity to work with the first team in the offseason at guard, but the Bears eventually settled on the starting combination of Roberto Garza and Lance Louis.

Bears grab Williams from practice squad

September, 27, 2010
9/27/10
11:00
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears tweaked their offensive line Monday, elevating guard/center Edwin Williams from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

Williams started two games for the Washington Redskins in 2009 and was claimed off waivers by the Bears on September 1. He was one of the final cuts when the roster got trimmed at the end of the preseason.

To make room for Williams, the Bears waived offensive lineman John Asiata, who was active for the first two regular-season games. Asiata was given an opportunity to work with the first team in the offseason at guard, but the Bears eventually settled on the starting combination of Roberto Garza and Lance Louis.

The Bears could choose to bring Asiata back on the practice squad if he clears waivers.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A relatively unknown member of the Chicago Bears' practice squad only one year ago, former undrafted free agent Johan Asiata took every rep with the first team at left guard during Wednesday's organized team activity at Halas Hall.

"As long as I worked hard and did what I was supposed to do, I [knew] I'd eventually get there," Asiata said. "But I didn't expect it to be this offseason. But all I do is work and do what they tell me to do. Wherever they feel confident [playing] me, I'll just go off that."

Asiata's rapid ascent is even more impressive considering the former UNLV offensive lineman didn't play football in high school, first enrolling in a junior college before making his way to Las Vegas. After redshirting his first year – 2006 -- with the Rebels, Asiata started 24 games at both right tackle and left guard over his final two seasons.

The Bears signed the offensive lineman immediately following the 2009 NFL draft, but Asiata was among the final group cut as the team filled out its final 53-man roster. Asiata then spent his rookie year bounding back and forth from the Bears practice squad, until emerging as a potential starter earlier this offseason.

At 6-4, 300 pounds, Asiata has the body type necessary to play inside at guard, but jumping from the practice squad to the first team is a major adjustment.

"The biggest thing is that I'm getting into my playbook more because now they've got me out there with the [first unit]," Asiata said. "I just been trying to learn, because that's the only way I can get better. [Bears offensive line coach Mike] Tice has given me a chance, that's all I need. He's trusting in me more, giving me more opportunities. I'm just doing everything he tells me to do."

Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

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