Camp Chat: FB Jason McKie

New additions like Greg Olsen and Devin Hester are getting a lot of attention on offense, but fullback Jason McKie keeps going about his business largely unnoticed. And that's just fine by him. McKie talked with BearReport.com after Tuesday's practice about why the running game didn't do much last week, a tailback run vs. a fullback run, and playing preseason games on Monday Night Football.

John Crist: It looks like things have gotten much more physical in practice after your first preseason game a few days ago. Does that tend to be the case as training camp continues?

Jason McKie: I think now we're just tired of hitting against each other. We've been doing this for a few weeks now, going against each other. I think everybody's just ready to get in a game atmosphere. Not a preseason game, but a real game. So it's kind of good, but it's bad because you don't want to hurt your own players. But it's good because we know that everybody's ready, and the intensity's there.

JC: The passing game was pretty sharp against the Texans, but the running game wasn't so spectacular. Why do you think that was the case?

JM: We didn't run the ball that many times. We only ran the ball maybe five times. Ced (Cedric Benson) had five carries, so it takes a few carries for us to get lathered up as far as grounding it out running the ball. And just like last year we didn't really run the ball in preseason, but then we got to the regular season and ran the ball up and down the field. That's just how it is in preseason, but the running game's there. We're ready, and once we're calling plays you'll see the running game get going.

JC: When a running play is called for a fullback, how does it differ from a call for the tailback? Is it designed differently, blocked differently, or run differently?

JM: Usually when I'm carrying the ball or a fullback's carrying the ball, it's for a short gain. So you're not trying to make nobody miss. You're just trying to hit it and get three yards or one yard, whatever you need for the first down. So you just gotta go out there and just hit the hole hard, and you can't make no moves. Just get the first down.

JC: Since fullbacks really don't generate too many personal stats over the course of a season, how do you decide if you're successful doing what you're doing?

JM: By the tailbacks [and] how our offense is going. If Ced rushes for 100 yards, I feel like I rushed for 100 yards because me and the offensive line helped him do that. And that's how fullbacks are judged in this league. If you have a productive tailback, then you've got a good fullback doing his job. And that's how me and the offensive line gauge our success.

JC: Your next preseason game is on Monday night against the Colts. Do you get extra excited about playing bfore another primetime audience, or is this still just another exhibition?

JM: It is, but it's different now because we're going against the Colts. They beat us in the Super Bowl, so to me it's going to be a little bit more than a preseason game. The emotions will be a little higher considering they did beat us in Miami, but it is still a preseason game. We're trying not to get anybody hurt, so we'll see how that goes.

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

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