Commentary

Observation deck: Benson ready to carry load

Despite the departure of Thomas Jones, Chicago's running game should be in good hands in 2007, writes John Clayton.

Originally Published: August 1, 2007
By John Clayton | ESPN.com
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Five observations from Chicago Bears training camp, gleaned from the team's practices:

1. Inside insurance
Dusty Dvoracek missed the entire 2006 season because of a foot injury, but opened camp as the team's starting nose tackle alongside Tommie Harris. A third-round pick a year ago, Dvoracek had that Chris Hovan-look to him as he lined up. In his early days with the Minnesota Vikings, Hovan was a hard-working overachiever who maxed out his size in the weight room. It was hard to envision the Bears putting all their faith in a youngster with durability issues. That's why the trade for Darwin Walker of the Bills made plenty of sense.

Midway through the first padded night practice, Dvoracek needed assistance from the trainer to get a wrap around his calf. It was only a cramp, but still highlighted the importance of Walker's acquisition. The Bears have lost Tank Johnson, Ian Scott and Alfonso Boone from their defensive tackle rotation, and Tommie Harris is coming off a hamstring injury that ended his 2006 season early. Walker is a solid inside player who should provide a little size in stopping the run. The happiest Bear is probably Brian Urlacher. If the Bears have trouble at defensive tackle, guards or center can get to him. The Bears also added short, but tough defensive tackle Anthony Adams from the 49ers.


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John Clayton

NFL senior writer