By Adam Hoge-
HALAS HALL (CBS) Bears linebacker Lance Briggs is still getting used to life without his old buddies.
Brian Urlacher is gone. Israel Idonije is gone. Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli are gone.
“I miss everybody, you guys,” Briggs said Tuesday when asked specifically about Idonije. “I miss everybody.”
Briggs hasn’t said much publicly since Smith was fired and Marc Trestman was hired, but he took a couple minutes (literally, a couple) Wednesday to meet with the media.
“Be fast, you guys. Be very fast,” Briggs told reporters.
Apparently he’s carrying the speed of Trestman’s practices into his interviews.
“It’s kind of like a track meet out here,” Briggs said. “Kind of hearing that around the league with some of the new coaches, but for us it’s constantly running, constantly learning, constantly competing.”
With Urlacher gone, Briggs is now calling the plays for the defense, which is something he’s not used to.
“It’s very different,” he said. “I didn’t call the plays before and now I’m calling the plays. I just have a lot of respect. I’ve been spoiled the last 10 years.”
So what else is different?
“That’s about it. We have a lot of great players, so for me, just getting them aligned and getting them in the best position to compete is my job,” Briggs said.
But the players next to him are another thing that’s different. Instead of Urlacher at his side, he’s now joined by new Bears’ linebackers D.J. Williams and James Anderson on the first team defense.
“D.J. is fitting in fine. He’s fitting fine,” Briggs said. “All the linebackers, we’ve always had a good group and we continue to do that.”
Two new rookie draft picks have also joined the group as Jonathan Bostic and Khaseem Greene battle for playing time.
“These young guys, they are wide-eyed and flying around. They’re very smart guys,” Briggs said. “We’ll get to know more about them when we get to put the pads on, but they’re soaking it in really fast and picking it up so I’m excited to see what they do.”
The defensive coordinator is also new, but Mel Tucker has come in and decided to learn the previous terminology instead of changing it.
“It’s a blessing that he chose to do that instead of having us change our language and the way we do things, so adopting our style and kind of our mantra, I think is going to help,” Briggs said. “Obviously we were a top five defense last year and in order to get back there I don’t think you change and try something different. You keep doing what you’re doing.”
Meanwhile, Briggs’ old buddy Urlacher is still without a job. Just don’t ask him about it.
“You guys have a good one,” Briggs said when someone did.
And with that, the new voice of the defense is again silent until further notice.
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