Halas Hall Chat: OT John St. Clair

John St. Clair supposedly wasn't good enough to be a starter for the Chicago Bears after training camp last year, but now head coach Lovie Smith says he is the best left tackle currently on the team. St. Clair spent some time with Bear Report after Tuesday's practice at Halas Hall.

John Crist: We all know you were going to support your quarterback no matter who ultimately won the job, be it Kyle Orton or Rex Grossman. But now that the decision has been made and Kyle is the guy, is there a sense of relief that's been felt across the entire offense?

John St. Clair: I guess it's more a relief for Kyle than anybody else. I know it's been a tough competition. But as far as the offensive line, whomever is back there we just block, honestly. I'm sure he's happy, and we're happy for him. When he's in there, we've got to block for him.

JC: Last year when you broke camp, you were a backup tackle. This year when you broke camp, Lovie Smith said you were the best left tackle on the team. What happened in that year's time, and is that more a reflection on your play or just the personnel now on the roster?

JSC: I try to pride myself on playing hard every camp. I worked on my diet in the offseason. I worked with the trainers. Whether they came to play or not, I just take the same mentality and play hard like I always do. So I'm grateful if he said that, and I thank him.

JC: You started games last year at left tackle, right tackle, and left guard. Now you're just getting reps at left tackle. Does your daily preparation change when working to be a swing man as opposed to starting at the same spot every day?

OT John St. Clair
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

JSC: Oh, yeah. There's a big difference. You can concentrate on one position. It's a lot easier to concentrate than learning three different positions. Whatever role they give me, I embrace it and will give my best effort.

JC: John Tait told me during camp that there's not much difference between defensive ends on the right and left side these days. Consequently, is the difference between the left and right side from an offensive perspective not as big as it used to be?

JSC: It's pretty much the same. It's the same thing except you're on the left side or right side. In our offense, it's basically the same thing. There's not a big difference. You might write with your right hand like I do, so playing left tackle it's kind of awkward. And then John Tait is left-handed playing right tackle. You get used to it in time.

JC: A lot of Bears fans may not remember that you scored the first touchdown of the 2007 season for this team. Can we expect to see you running any more trick plays in 2008?

JSC: I hope so. I talked to Ron Turner and told him to get me a couple more plays. Bring somebody in to play tackle, and I'll play tight end.

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report 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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