John of all trades

The Bears believe John Tait can be a Pro Bowl right tackle, but that won't stop them from working the $33 million man on the left side.

While Tait worked at left tackle over the weekend, Love Smith believes his home is still on the right.

"He's definitely our right tackle," Smith said. "We're just looking for options if something would happen to Q (Qasim Mitchell)."

Smith also said that he had planned to get Tait some work protecting the quarterback's blindside even if Mike Gandy were healthy.

Tait spent three seasons playing left tackle for the Chiefs, but made the switch when Kansas City brought in future Hall of Famer Willie Roaf. He said working at left tackle is a matter of doing what's best for the team.

"If I was in a position where I was only able to play one position, that would hurt the team," Tait said. "The more positions you can play, the better. Playing both tackles, I think all of our tackles should be able to do that."

Working Aaron Gibson with the first string offense is also a reward for the veteran, who has lost nearly 40 pounds this off-season. Gibson started 16 games for the Bears at right tackle. If Tait moved to the left side he would be the top option to fill the void on the right.

Also using Tait at left tackle is the first sign that the Bears aren't sure about Mitchell being ready.

"We don't know who the best guys are right now so we're trying to give everybody an opportunity to prove that they should start," Smith said.

First Impression
Among the rookies that stood out during their first mini-camp included DT Terry Johnson and WR Bernard Berrian.

Johnson worked with the first team defensive line during the three-day camp. The prospect of having he and Tommie Harris mature along side one another excites Smith.

"Both of those guys have great speed and they're powerful," Smith said. "They're both confident. Both have personality. That's what we would like to have at our two inside positions. We see them playing together for a long time and being pretty good in the league."

Berrian showed that he's the fastest receiver on the team, which is something the Bears wanted to address in the draft. Their crop of receivers had plenty of size, but lacked a true burner. Although his biggest impact as a rookie could come on special teams. During his career at Fresno State he averaged 24.7 yards per kick return.

At this point Smith still plans on using Jerry Azumah on kick returns.

"The object of each play is to score, and if you have a guy that can score on a play like Jerry can, you have to put him out there," Smith said. "All the return games are very important to me and we're going to have our best guys out there whether they are a starter or not."

Roster Moves
The Bears signed quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie, an undrafted free agent out of Boise State, while releasing QB Zak Kustok.

Dinwiddie was signed after receiving a try-out invitation to the mini-camp. The two-time all-conference performer set school records for passing yards, passing efficiency and touchdown passes in three seasons as the Broncos starting quarterback.

Yesterday the team agreed to terms with two other undrafted free agents. Safety Virgil Williams out of Washington State and long snapper Brian Pare from Florida Atlantic.


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