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LB Bostic latest Bear thrown into the fire

The SportsXchange

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Another day, another new Chicago Bears defender.

Rookie middle linebacker Jonathan Bostic starts this week for D.J. Williams, who is out for the season, but coach Marc Trestman calls getting young players ready to play merely another role all NFL coaches must endure.

"This is part of the NFL marathon," Trestman said. "These are the day-to-day issues that you have: a new player, a young player, somebody you brought in off the street to try to help your football team, whatever it is.

"There's two ways to look at it and we just prefer to embrace the opportunity to bring these guys along to help them live their dream and hopefully be a part of our football team that can help us succeed down the road and it's nothing that 31 other teams aren't going through right now in some way."

The Bears have to get Bostic ready because his role will be huge this week going against quarterback Robert Griffin III, running back Robert Morris and the Washington Redskins.

Chicago's defense has found a way to yield yardage in at least one way each game, but by creating 17 turnovers, second best in the league, they've helped keep an inconsistent, improving offense afloat.

The Bears rank 23rd against the pass and only six teams are worse on third down (42.7 percent). Meanwhile, they gave up more than 120 yards rushing to three different opponents.

So stopping a Washington running attack that accounted for 216 yards last week in a 21-16 loss to Dallas, and ranks 10th in rushing, will be the challenge.

About the closest the Bears have come to facing a running quarterback this year is Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger, so RG3 will be an added headache for their young middle linebacker.

"He's one of those guys that can buy time, like a Ben Roethlisberger," cornerback Tim Jennings said. "Of course, he's looking to run the ball more than Ben, but he's got guys on all sides that can make plays. He has that triple threat, where he can run and pass. He can make plays.

"You just have to figure out and try to be able to contain him. Take something away from him and make him feel uncomfortable in the pocket."

The middle of the Bears defense is key against the run, especially the tackles. The Bears are counting on getting defensive tackle Stephen Paea back from a toe injury to fortify their depth.

Regardless, it's questionable whether this group has the speed it once had when it routinely contained mobile quarterbacks like Michael Vick. And in RG3, even after the knee injury they see the kind of speed potential at the position that gave them fits last year when they got burned by Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick

"You can definitely see him getting back into form watching the Dallas game," linebacker James Anderson said. "His speed is coming back. He was a great runner before and now he's getting back to his old form."

Fighting their way through injuries is one thing. Doing it when your athletically challenged against an opponent with speed to burn is quite another.
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