"I don't want to go into the last week of (training) camp and all the sudden I get flipped over there," said the highest-paid Bear for the 2004 season. "So definitely I think the coaches, they're going to keep that in mind.
"We can't predict the future, but I'm sure they'll let me know and give me enough time to mentally prepare for it in the future."
Coaches so far have characterized the move as only a chance to build depth and reward veteran right tackle challenger Aaron Gibson for an off-season of hard work. Gibson has lost more than 40 pounds in an effort to get into better shape and become one of the five best offensive linemen.
However, Bears coach Lovie Smith seemed to be changing his stance somewhat and leaning more toward giving Tait a serious look at left tackle a month ago when he said:
"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."
"Rusty," is how Tait has described his first action at left tackle since playing there with Kansas City in 2001. "I'm going back to left again, so it will take me a little while to get back to my old form. But I've been there and done that." After three seasons at left tackle, Tait moved to the right side after the Chiefs acquired Willie Roaf from New Orleans prior to the 2002 season. Tait never had to move back to the left side because the Chiefs had former Bear Marcus Spears to back up either side.
"For me, I was in a luxurious position at Kansas City where when they moved me to right tackle we had a swing tackle who played both," he said. Tait said the change in stance from right side to left side threw off his game somewhat.
"It just feels a little bit weird," he said. "It's all repetition. I just need to get some reps and get it back down again."
Qasim Mitchell remains the starting left tackle on the team's official depth chart.
"Q is a good, young lineman. He's very athletic and he's quick enough to play in this offense," Tait said. "Right now I'm the right tackle. Now, as we go into camp and things get closer, who knows what's going to happen?"