Pregame Q&A With Alfonso Boone

Bears defensive tackle Alfonso Boone talked to's Ed Thompson about his longevity in the league, getting Tank Johnson back this week, and his pregame thoughts on working against the Packers offense.

Ed Thompson:  You've been playing on the defensive line for 7 years. It's a position that's not easy on the body. What do you attribute your longevity to?

Alfonso Boone:  I think it's a lot of good luck. My body used to hurt in the old scheme that we played, but in this new scheme you don't see as many doubles on the line of scrimmage, so it's not as hard on the body. They try to give the under tackle single-blocking more, so its not too bad.

ET:  Tell us how the under tackle role is different from the nose tackle position in the Bears defense. 

AB:  Well, it's tough being the nose [tackle]  in this scheme because you're going to get most of the doubles -- especially since you've got [MLB Brian] Urlacher sitting right behind the nose. Most of the time they're going to double Urlacher, so it's just a tougher position to play.

ET:  How important was it to you guys when you realized that you had finally clinched home field advantage and everybody had to come to your house and play in your weather? What did that do for the morale of your ball club?

AB:  I think more of the home field advantage is for the fans, and it's for us a little bit. But it's more for the fans so they can see us play at home and maybe we can get something going then. That's all home field advantage is because everybody is playing in the same weather.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
ET:  You guys got [DT] Tank Johnson back this week after a one-week suspension. What did that do for the club?

AB:  Tank is a very explosive player, and to us Tank was never gone.  We just were waiting for him to play again. He's a great teammate and a great guy. We missed Tank when he wasn't here and it's going to be great to see him out there again because he's just a funny guy out there. He has fun when he plays the game.

ET:  A good sense of humor even out on the field?

AB:  Oh yeah, Tank's the kind that'll crack jokes out there.  He's always out there talking to the offensive linemen, just funny little comments.

ET:  Well you're going up against the Packers this week and they've got a very good running back in Ahman Green. You've seen him before, what's the biggest challenge in stopping him?

AB:  You've got to stop him before he gets started because once he gets rolling downhill he's a tough guy to stop. He looks really good right now.

ET:  How about Brett Favre? He's not an easy guy to get to or shake up because he's so smart out there. What's the biggest challenge in getting a sack against him?

AB:  I think it's just getting lucky, because he sees everything. You've really got to get pressure on him quick. And if you don't, he'll pick you apart.

ET:  What do you think is going to be the difference in the game on Sunday. What do you think its going to take to beat these guys?

AB:  We have to stop Ahman Green. We've got to make them one-dimensional. If we don't, it's going to be a long day.

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