Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith always says his team gets off the bus running, but in preseason the Bears have merely been running in place.
Offensive coordinator Mike Tice Sunday blamed that problem with the running attack simply on a lack of practice blocking the run.
"We'll run the ball fine," Tice said. "We just have to pay more attention to it in our individual work.
"We've focused so much on making sure that we're able to protect our quarterbacks that we've taken some of that time that we usually work on in those individual periods and focused on the protection stuff. We just have to, in these next 10 days or whatever, spend more time honing up some of those things."
Against the Giants' first team in the first half Friday, Bears running backs netted 6 yards on nine rushes. In the first preseason game against Denver, the backs had 6 yards on seven carries in the first half against Denver first- and second-teamers.
The only respectable effort came against Washington when backs gained 43 yards on 11 first-half carries.
"I think we need to decide on what runs we want to really focus on this next week and get after those and clean up those and move forward and make some strides in our run game," Tice said. At least the pass blocking encouraged Tice.
Gradually the Bears line has improved in this area since the first game.
"No sacks," he said. "I didn't see a ton of pressure. We were edgy a few times, but nothing that makes you start to worry about where we're at right now."
Tackle Chris Williams calls it understandable that the run blocking hasn't been there from the start due to the emphasis on the pass.
"There are so many moving parts to any part of football," he said. "In the run game, one guy's off, it's not a good run. We just had a lot of that. It'll clean itself up. I'm not worried about it."
The left tackle battle between Williams and J'Marcus Webb remains on for now, as coaches hadn't made a decision on Sunday as to whether they'd call a winner yet or who would play against Cleveland in Thursday's preseason finale and for how long.
Williams has obviously been behind Webb because he's taken fewer first-team snaps. Williams had one embarassing play against the Giants when DE Osi Umenyiora seemed to get around him before he got out of his stance.
Williams doesn't necessarily see his job as being in jeopardy, although it wouldn't be shocking if the loser of the left tackle battle got cut if an experienced left tackle came available when other teams make roster cuts.
"I feel like I've got a spot on the roster," Williams said. "But you never know until the last day's up I guess."
Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLCHI.