Halas Hall Chat: DT Matt Toeaina

If Dusty Dvoracek is indeed a goner for the Chicago Bears, then Matt Toeaina stands to benefit greatly. Still on the bubble to make the roster, the D-tackle should see plenty of snaps Sunday against Denver. Toeaina spent a little time with Bear Report before practice Thursday at Halas Hall.

John Crist: You missed a little practice time because of a concussion. Tell me about the play when it happened, and have you ever dealt with concussions before in your football career?

Matt Toeaina: No, this was actually the first concussion that I had. As far as the play, I really couldn't remember what play it happened. But apparently, when I watched it on film, I guess I probably hit my head on the ground. As far as that, I don't know. I played three plays after that, and then I went in for halftime and pretty much went blank from there. That's when I first went to the trainers about it, talking about how I didn't know. I couldn't remember anything.

JC: Because of the injury to Dusty Dvoracek, you're going to get more chances to make an impact Sunday. Is that opportunity going to be soured at all since it only developed because of an injury to another player?

MT: Oh yeah, definitely. Because Dusty, he's a great guy. I've been around him all offseason. He works very hard, one of the hardest-working guys here. It's unfortunate, especially for this to be a constant every year and stuff like that. It's really tough, just to happen to him and stuff like that. You always feel like, When will he catch a break?, and stuff like that. But this is definitely an opportunity, so I've got to capitalize.

JC: The Denver offensive line tends to be a little smaller and quicker compared to others you face around the league. Does it change your approach at all going up against a 290-pound guy as opposed to a 330-pound guy?


DT Matt Toeaina
AP Images: Nam Y. Huh

MT: These guys are a little quicker than guys we usually face, but we've just got to stick to our keys and just can't let them be quicker than us pretty much. We've just got to, not pretty much out-scheme them, but just out-hustle them, outplay them and stuff like that. Stick to our keys, like I said.

JC: You guys know Kyle Orton very well, and he knows you guys very well. Do you think there's any discernable advantage one way or another here, or does it all sort of wash out at the end of the day?

MT: I don't know. As far as the D-line, this is a different D-line with a different coach, so we definitely have a different mindset. I don't think Kyle has seen this D-line yet, so I guess we'll just wait.

JC: Because of the drama with regard to the quarterbacks and the trade these two teams made in the offseason, have you ever been around a preseason game that's had so much hoopla?

MT: No, not really. But I guess it will be a good game to watch and a good game to shine, especially a guy in my situation. A lot of guys are looking to see who's going to replace Dusty, so I've got to take advantage of the opportunity.


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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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