During the third mini-camp of the year John Tait worked at left tackle for the first time in two years. Ultimately will the Bears move their biggest free agent signing in order to cover up another weakness on the offensive line?

Tait spent much of the previous mini-camp working at offensive left tackle, even though he was signed for $33 million as an unrestricted free agent with the idea of keeping him at right tackle, his stronger position.

However, Aaron Gibson has shown increased mobility and overall improvement at right tackle, where he started 16 games last season. And, in light of Qasim Mitchell's inexperience at left tackle, where he's penciled in as the starter, and with last year's left tackle Mike Gandy missing the mini-camp following arthroscopic knee surgery, the Bears wanted to keep their options open.

"He's definitely our right tackle," coach Lovie Smith said of Tait. "We're just looking for options if something would happen to Q. (Mitchell). It's also to reward what Aaron Gibson has been doing. We're open. 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."

Tait was a full-time left tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2000 and '01, but he played on the right side exclusively the past two seasons, so he admitted he was rusty on the left side.

"It'll take me a little while to get back to my old form, but I've been there and done that," he said. "It's important to know more than one position and be comfortable at more than one position. Who knows, sometimes injuries happen and you've got to reshuffle guys in. If I was in a position where I was only able to play one position, that would hurt the team. The more positions you can play, the better. Playing both tackles, I think all of our tackles should be able to do that."

Strategy and Personnel --When asked if quarterbacks Tim Couch, Kurt Warner or Kerry Collins could be future Bears, coach Lovie Smith cast a vote of confidence for starter Rex Grossman and new backup Jonathan Quinn. But he didn't completely rule out adding another quarterback to the mix.

"We like the guys that we have right now," Smith said. "We're not openly going after any of the quarterbacks that are out there. Do things change? I guess sometimes things change, but I don't see why they would here.

"We don't have interest in them. That's what I've said; I'm saying that again. We like the guys we have. Everyone that comes available, we look at, and that's pretty much it."

"Rex Grossman is our quarterback, and we're real happy with that. And anything that we do from here on out is exploratory." -- GM Jerry Angelo on the Bears' quarterback situation.

Notes, Quotes and Anecdotes
--At Ohio State, quarterback Craig Krenzel, the Bears' fifth-round draft pick and No. 3 quarterback, ran a conservative offense focused on running the football.

He prefers offensive coordinator Terry Shea's scheme.

"It's a much different system," Krenzel said. "Aside from the fact that we were a very conservative, run-oriented offense and this is more of a pass-happy, open-up kind of offense. Just the style is different as well, the progressions and how things go. I like this one a lot better. It's much easier to follow. It's not easy to learn because of all the terminology, but in terms of the progressions and the reads, it all makes sense."

Bear Report Top Stories