Dusty Dvoracek article from chicagobears.comPosted: August 14, 2007
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – He only played 13 snaps, but Dusty Dvoracek earned rave reviews from Bears coaches for his performance in Saturday night’s preseason win over the Houston Texans.
“I thought he played well,” said coach Lovie Smith. “He’s anxious to go. He’s been that way in training camp practices also. He made a couple good plays. He was solid at the nose.
Dusty Dvoracek had four tackles in limited action in Saturday night’s preseason win.
“We brought him here to be our nose guard and take on the double teams and like doing it and that’s exactly what he’s doing.”
After missing his entire rookie year with a foot injury sustained last preseason, Dvoracek registered four tackles on three series before exiting with the rest of the Bears’ No. 1 defense.
“I thought it went pretty well,” said the 2006 third-round pick from Oklahoma. “I made some plays, and it was fun just to get out there and run with the ones and be a part of the group.
“I graded out good. The coaches said I played well. I made a few mechanical mistakes. I’ve just got to go back and work on things that I can get better at and apply that next week.”
An emotional player with a non-stop motor, Dvoracek pumped his arms in celebration Saturday night after helping to drop bruising running back Ron Dayne for a 1-yard loss on third-and-goal from the 1, forcing the Texans to settle for a field goal.
“That was a lot of fun,” Dvoracek said. “That’s big. That’s just something our defense can build on. They were in the red zone twice and we held them to field goals both times.
“That’s a really big step for the defense. I know it’s Week 1 [of the preseason]. But you want that and you just want to keep getting better as the season progresses.”
Nose tackle is probably the least glamorous position on defense, but Dvoracek is ideally-suited to fill that role in the Bears’ aggressive scheme that is designed for quick and explosive players.
“He’s a tough guy No. 1, and you need that,” Smith said. “He’s going to get double-teamed just about every play. We need him to hold the point of the attack and he’s been able to do that.”
When the Bears acquired Darwin Walker July 29 from the Buffalo Bills, many assumed that the eight-year veteran would start next to Tommie Harris. But Walker has worked mostly as Harris’ backup at the three technique with Dvoracek maintaining the starting nose tackle position.
“Darwin’s a great player,” Dvoracek said. “He’s had a lot of success in this league. He’s going to be great for us. I just looked at [Walker’s arrival] as an opportunity to get better. Now I have two great defensive tackles I can learn from and get better from.
“Since he got here he hasn’t really played any nose, so it hasn’t changed my job anyway. It doesn’t matter how many good defensive tackles we have. I have to just get better every day and continue to do the things I’ve been doing and show these coaches that I’m a good player.”
Dvoracek has already impressed the player he faces across the line every day in practice.
“Dusty’s a hard worker,” said six-time Pro Bowl center Olin Kreutz. “He’s going to bring a lot to the defense. He gives his all on every down and wants to be a pro. That’s pretty much all it takes to be an NFL player and I think he’s going to be a great player. He’s an aggressive, get-up-the field guy; exactly what our defense needs at that position.”
Any concerns Dvoracek had about his play after missing an entire year were quickly dispelled when he became lining up against Kreutz in training camp.
“There wasn’t any doubt,” Dvoracek said. “But there’s always a question when you’re away for so long: ‘Can I still do this? Am I still good?’ I go against Olin Kreutz every day. He’s the best in the NFL. I think that question was answered a long time ago. I’ve been doing well in practice. Initially there was that question, but not anymore.”