Tice Believes in Omiyale

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob LeGere rlegere@dailyherald.com

BOURBONNAIS -- In order for the offensive line to play better as a unit than it did last season, the Bears need two things to happen:

* Frank Omiyale has to play better at right tackle than he did last year at left guard.

* And someone has to step up at left guard where Josh Beekman is currently the starter but Johan Asiata and Lance Louis are contenders.

New offensive line coach Mike Tice believes Omiyale was miscast last season.

"I thought he was out of position for the most part at left guard," Tice said. "I felt he kind of had two seasons. He played early, sat a few games (when he was benched in favor of Beekman), and then played late. I thought the second part he played better. Early in the season he was lost; later in the season he was better."

In film review of Saturday night's first full-pads practice, Tice singled the squatty Beekman out for playing with low pad level and added one of his frequently entertaining one-liners.

"He had a solid night," Tice said. "He did a lot of good things, not only at guard but at center, too. I did single him out for having good pad level, but then again he's only 4-foot-11."

He's back; maybe: Julius Peppers gives the defense a dominant player wherever he lines up. But the Bears need a complement on the other side who can take advantage of the opportunities that will arise when opponents focus on Peppers. …