Camp Q&A: LB Nick Roach

He may have been beaten out by Pisa Tinoisamoa in 2009, but Nick Roach certainly looks like the starter for the Chicago Bears this year. Roach chatted with JC before practice Tuesday in Bourbonnais.

John Crist: You and Pisa Tinoisamoa are again battling daily for the chance to start at strong-side linebacker. When the coaches told you Tinoisamoa beat you out for the job last year, did you feel he had outplayed you?

Nick Roach: Yeah, I felt like he deserved it after the way camp went. I think at that point, too, I had missed a couple of preseason games and some time.

JC: But what about this year? Tinoisamoa has gone out of his way to be very complimentary of your game lately. Does the competition between you two feel any differently now than it did back then?

NR: I wouldn't say so. I think we're both just a year older. He, obviously, missed a lot of time [last year] and I got to get my experience up, but I think that we're both kind of feeding off each other.

JC: After Brian Urlacher got hurt last season, you got a cup of coffee at middle linebacker before moving back to the strong side. When you went from "Mike" to "Sam" again, were you disappointed? Relieved? Indifferent?

LB Nick Roach
Scott Boehm/Getty

NR: It was kind of either way. It was a good way to be able to contribute still, even though the numbers were low. It just felt good, really, to still be out there, and I really enjoyed playing Mike because it gave me a bigger scope of what the defense was doing.

JC: It has been a while, as he was hurt essentially all of this past year, and no offense at all to Hunter Hillenmeyer, but what's it like having No. 54 back in the huddle?

NR: It's awesome, because I haven't played much with him. I think back in '08, the last nine games I started was the only time I've been in games with him. So it's awesome to have him back healthy and flying around.

JC: Coach Lovie Smith has talked to you guys at length about getting back to being the "Monsters of the Midway." You're 25 years old, so you probably don't remember a lot of that stuff, but what does that term mean to you?

NR: Just kind of what it says. It's pretty self-explanatory. The monsters – just going out there and dominating.

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John Crist is the Publisher of, a Heisman Trophy voter 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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