As we detailed earlier, left guard Josh Beekman is having a solid training camp. The reasons are obvious: the experience of starting sixteen games in 2008 coupled with some help from his peers along the offensive line.
Josh Beekman is lining up between two Pro Bowlers this season.
"I had Olin [Kreutz] out there last year and it was a Godsend having him by me," said Beekman. "I think the mistakes I made, he was able to help me, I guess not embarrass myself as much. I have to go out there and contribute as much as all the other guys on the field."
And learn from his peers. Beekman has the unique opportunity of lining up between not only Kreutz, but also offseason addition Orlando Pace, who has the ability to cover up errors up front.
"You take a bad step, maybe on a double team, he's there and has the power to recover," said Beekman. I have to elevate my game playing next to two pro bowl players.
Spent a good chunk of the afternoon reviewing 2009 NFL rules changes with officials Tony Michalek, John McGrath, Michael Banks and Rich Reels. All four gentlemen were extremely gracious with their time, and also downright hysterical, recalling their on-field experiences during historic league moments.
Michalek detailed his angle on the David Tyree catch in Super Bowl XLII, plus his conversation with Ed Hochuli during the infamous blown whistle/fumble/incomplete pass fiasco between the Broncos and Chargers last season. Banks bemoaned the fact he was on the far side of the field during James Harrison's interception return in Super Bowl XLIII, as well as the Santonio Holmes game winning touchdown reception.
Here are a few of the main rules changes:
Anything more than a two man wedge is illegal on any free kick down the field.
Blindside blocks on defenders must be below the shoulder area--think Hines Ward.
The Brady Rule -- a defender on the ground cannot forcefully lunge at a quarterback below the knee with a shoulder, helmet or forearm.
Expands reviewable plays to include quarterback pass/fumbles when the ruling on the field is an incomplete pass, and loose balls ruled to have hit the sideline--see Hochuli fiasco above.
Officials will closely monitor offensive pass interference, taunting and horse collar.
Jeff Dickerson is our Bears beat reporter and weeknight host on ESPN 1000. He also handles Bears coverage for ABC-7 and appears on "The Chicago Huddle." E-mail comments, questions and feedback by clicking here.