Halas Hall Chat: FB Jason McKie

Fullback Jason McKie talked with Bear Report before Thursday's practice at Halas Hall about winning the turnover battle, some glimmers of hope for the running game, and if there is any added pressure to score a lot of points against a good offensive team like Detroit.

John Crist: The offense didn't turn the ball over once last week, and you guys were consequently able to get a victory in Philadelphia over the Eagles. Is there an obvious correlation there?

Jason McKie: That's the key in the NFL. Any team that wins the turnover battle or doesn't have turnovers in this league will come out on top in the game. All the games in the league have been close. The parity is spread out so the talent is spread out within the league, so a lot of games have come down to a game-winning drive or a last-second field goal. And if you win the turnover battle, usually that team will come out on top on Sunday.

JC: Can you consciously think about not turning the ball over when you're playing on Sundays, or is it something that simply must be perfected in practice during the week so you're not thinking about it in the heat of the moment?

JM: It's something you have to focus on, especially during practice. You've got to take care of the ball in practice. You've got to be conscious of it in practice. But in the game, you've just got to go out there and play. You can't be worrying about turning the ball over. You've just got to go out there and execute, and then everything else will take care of itself in practice every week.

JC: The running game struggled tremendously last season before really hitting its stride during the second half of the schedule. With the rushing attack having trouble yet again this year, do you see some positives that lead you to believe you can turn it around again?

FB Jason McKie
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

JM: Yeah, we're doing some good things. We have had some good runs – some good, tough runs. A lot of teams are stacking the box against us, but that's with any team who has a good running game. Teams will stack the box against you. We've just got to go out there and we've got to be consistent, and that's the thing we've been lacking is consistency running the ball. And that really hurts the running game. So I think if we go out there and be consistent, everything will take care of itself.

JC: We all know that Detroit has a good offense and is capable of hanging a big number on just about anybody. Do you ever think about having to score more points than usual on game day when facing a high-powered team?

JM: Not at all. We focus on ourselves here. We try to come in each game and worry about ourselves. We feel like the only team that can stop us is ourselves. We're not going in there worrying about trying to outscore Detroit's offense or really worrying about their defense. We feel like as long as we execute, then everything will take care of itself. And I'm sure that's with any team around the league. They feel if they go out there and execute their plays, they will score points. And I think that's what we'll do.

JC: This offense has always wanted to run the ball in order to open things up for the pass. Can you reverse that and have the passing game open it up for the running game, or is the game of football not quite that simple?

JM: You can. It works both ways, especially when you've got guys making plays down the field. They'll take that eighth guy out of the box, and that will open up things for the running game. They won't have that safety down in the box. That safety will have to cover the tight end or he'll be dropping back in zone playing Cover 2, and that will open up things for the running game. So it works both ways.

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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