Camp Chat: John Tait

Even with no semblance of a passing game last season, the Bears had three different tailbacks average better than 4.0 yards per carry. John Tait, who anchors the left side of the offensive line, had an awful lot to do with that. The former Cougar spent some time with Bear Report to discuss training camp after all these years, his battles with Alex Brown, and the love of run blocking.

This is your eighth season in the NFL. How is it different preparing for training camp now versus your rookie year with the Chiefs?
"I just know what to expect now. I'm familiar with the system and much more comfortable with what I need to do."

Alex Brown says that he is a better player because he goes against you in practice every day. What's it like facing this defensive line each and every day?
"It's tough. They're a very talented group over there. And they want to get better, which is why I think it's good for us as an offensive line. They practice so hard every day, so I just try to hang on and do my best. So Alex is a great guy to practice against."

The offensive line is very experienced and should be quite good. But do you worry how much you have left in the tank, and do you need some help from the younger guys?
"I don't think so because we have guys like John St. Clair and Terrence Metcalf, Steve Edwards. All those guys have played in games and started games in the past, and they're capable of stepping in across the offensive line and helping out."

There are three pretty good running backs in camp this year. Does the offensive line have to make adjustments based on who is getting the handoffs from the quarterback?
"Nope. We block them the same way every time with whatever play is called. If the defense is doing something special in a game-time situation, we just tell whoever's back there what adjustments we're making. But it's pretty much the same."

Most offensive linemen will run block all day long but aren't quite as fond of pass protection. What is it about the running game that gets your juices flowing?
"Well if it's working, it can really wear down a defense. It's more of, I think, a psychological thing with the other team. And that opens things up for the pass, you can do different things. But it's good to be balanced."

JC


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