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Transcript: Mike Smith Post-Practice Interview


On today's practice in the rain:

"This was a day for us to introduce the Bears a little bit. We won't really start our full game plan until Wednesday, but it did allow us to get out here and work in the weather. It's something that we haven't done and there's a chance at some point during the season that we'll have to handle a wet ball. I thought it was good for us. We spent about three-fourths of our practice out here in a pretty good downpour."

On who he will designate as the third quarterback:

"I'm not going to divulge that right now. In fact, there is not a third quarterback designation anymore. You have a 46-man roster that you can put 46 players and have them active. You definitely would not want to talk about strategy in terms of that situation."

On the first day of practice for James Sanders and Kelvin Hayden:

"It was nice to see them move around. They're probably behind in terms of understanding what we're trying to get done. We've had a crash course over the last five days and we wanted them to get some reps and they were able to get some reps today. We're going to continue to indoctrinate them into our system and try to get them ready to go as quickly as possible."

On Matt Bryant:

"It's reassuring to know that you have a guy who is an 85 percent-plus career guy who is going to be able to hit it between the pipes. He's won them for us in some pretty crucial situations where the game was on the line. A couple of times, he had to do it a second time. He's a veteran, has a lot of moxy and savvy and I think that he's also going to be good for our young punter and kickoff guy."

On how comfortable he is with two quarterbacks on the roster:

"Again, it's a different season this year in terms of what the rules state. There is no third quarterback. You have a 53-man roster like we have had in years past but on game day, we have a 46-man roster. In the past we've had a 45-man roster with the 46th player being the third quarterback. You put your roster together each and every year the way that you feel like is going to be the best. In the discussions that we've gone through over the weekend, like every year, we're putting our roster together that we feel like gives us the best opportunity to win."

On the rule change giving you another football player available:

"Again, you put (the roster) together the way that you think is the best and that's the way that we feel like is best for us in 2011."

On keeping 10 defensive backs on the roster:

"Right now, we have 10 defensive backs on our 53-man roster. Those are guys that can play special teams and we have a couple of guys that just got into the building on Wednesday of last week, so there is a number of factors that go into how many you keep at each position. It's a process that you go through each and every year and every year, it's a little bit different. This year, it's a little bit different in terms that we've got 10 defensive backs on our opening day roster."

On Chicago's running game:

"Matt Forte is an outstanding running back. He's a big, strong guy who can catch the ball out of the backfield and they added Marion Barber into their backfield as well. He's a big, strong back that we've seen for a number of years and faced. (Bears Head Coach) Lovie Smith does a great job, Mike Martz is an outstanding offensive coordinator and Rod Marinelli does a very good job with their defense. It's going to be a big challenge, like all of them every year. The great thing about his one is it's number one. It's our first opportunity to go out and see what our 2011 football team will be able to do."

On whether the team can take things away from previous games against Chicago:

"It's a different team in terms of the coordinators. Schematically, defensive philosophy, it's somewhat similar but it is a new coordinator. Offensively, it's a new offensive coordinator as well."

On Garrett Reynolds:

"Garrett Reynolds will be our starting right guard."

On what Reynolds did to earn the start:

"Through the entire training camp, there was an open competition and we felt that, through the whole entire piece of work, he definitely earned the starting job."

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