Camp Chat: OT Fred Miller

The Bears are still a pretty young team up and down the roster, but the big boys in the trenches make up one of the most experienced units in the entire NFL. Fred Miller spent time with after Wednesday's practice and talked about what he still has to learn in camp, longevity along the offensive line, and how the running game might be different with Cedric Benson.

John Crist: You've been in the NFL a long time now. What could you possibly have left to learn in training camp?

Fred Miller: I still have a lot to learn. You're always working on your individual techniques, and you're always finding a way to get it done a little bit better. So that's what I'm trying to do – find a way to get it better. We're all seeking to have that perfect game. No one's every going to have it, but that's your goal – to try to have it individually as a player.

JC: How long does it take for the newness of camp to wear off, and then it's just hot and miserable and a lot of hard work?

FM: You know what, it's been totally different this camp. I think the guys, we're glad to be here. Coach [Lovie] Smith does a great job with our camp and makes sure he doesn't overwork us, so it's not too bad. We're out here getting our work done. We're happy to be around one another, so it's been a good time for us.

JC: Alex Brown is getting a lot of snaps on the other side of the line and is now facing you in practice. What have you seen out of him so far?

FM: It's different. Every player is going to be different, and they're going to bring their own unique style to the game. But he's doing a great job over there. He's going to provide something a little different for guys to see, and he's a capable guy who can make a lot of sacks. It's going to be a good rotation for us that we have three great pass-rushers on the field who can get the job done.

JC: At what point does an experienced offensive line – like you guys have here with the Bears – all of a sudden become an old offensive line?

FM: I think it depends on each player. We do have a lot of age on our group, but we're guys who play pretty young. We stay relatively healthy and we play a lot of games, and we just know what to do out there. We're still moving around. We've still got a lot of quickness to us. Who's to say? Bruce Matthews played 19 years, and he had that fire in him for every single one of them. I was there for the 19th year. And just as Jackie Slater, he had 20 years. He still had the same thing going. I wouldn't say that we're going to be around 19 or 20 years, but we're going to try to stay around a couple more.

JC: Last year, the running game was somewhat balanced between Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson. With Jones gone and Benson now the primary guy, will the running game look any different?

FM: Yeah, I think so. Cedric has a little more speed that what Thomas has, so we'll probably try to get the ball a little bit more on the perimeter and stretch he defense a little more because of his speed. Thomas did a great job, and he was a durable guy. So hopefully Ced can do that same thing, be a durable back as well as take care of the football. Thomas did a great job of not fumbling. So if we can get that out of him, we'll have a great running game.

John Crist is the Editor in Chief of and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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