BOURBONNAIS – As the Bears strapped on shoulder pads and helmets for the first practice of training camp Thursday, first-year general manager Phil Emery pressed a phone to his ear.
Emery’s first day of camp proved to be brief but effective.
The Bears acquired 23-year-old defensive tackle Brian Price from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for an undisclosed 2013 draft pick. The deal was announced during the middle of practice.
“He’s a player that needs a new home, and we’re excited to bring him to Chicago,” said Emery, who declined to specify whether the draft pick was conditional on Price making the Bears’ 53-man roster. “We see a good fit for our system and our team.”
Price (6 feet, 3 inches, 310 pounds) registered three sacks in 14 starts for the Buccaneers last season but has endured trouble and tragedy during the past year. His sister died in a car accident in May, and he reportedly got into a fight with Buccaneers first-round pick Mark Barron this spring as he struggled to cope with his grief.
The Buccaneers drafted Price out of UCLA in the second round (No. 35 overall) of the 2010 NFL draft. He has registered 27 tackles and can play both interior defensive line positions.
The Bears’ trade for Price could increase pressure on other defensive tackles to have a good camp, including second-year player Stephen Paea and free-agent acquisition John McCargo.
Not happy: Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice took issue with too many fumbles and false starts during the team’s first practice.
“We can’t come out the first day and look like we never did it before,” Tice said. “We’re not going to put up with that. We’re going to have a higher bar than that. … We’ve got to get that cleaned up right away.”
Although Tice avoided naming players, a few sources of his frustration were easy to figure. Third-string running back Kahlil Bell coughed up the first fumble of camp, and left tackle J’Marcus Webb was yanked from a drill after jumping offsides.
Tough group: Receiver Brandon Marshall joked that the Bears were “not even close” to being his most talented team.
After all, who could compete with the kids on the 1994 Knights?
“We were scoring at will,” Marshall said with a smile. “It was amazing. Hopefully, if we match some of that production back in ’94, then I’ll be able to say it, but I’ve got to see it work.”