Chicago Sun-Times

Kevin Shaffer Q&A on joining Bears

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Kevin Shaffer did his homework when it came to joining the Bears, checking in with Roberto Garza, a former teammate in Atlanta. He liked the situation the Bears presented and ultimately moved to sign with them even though he was getting interest elsewhere, including from the Cincinnati Bengals.

In the AFC North, Shaffer faced a slew of talented pass rushers playing right tackle last season, including Baltimore's Terrell Suggs and Pittsburgh's James Harrison, the defensive player of the year. Stats Inc. had him allowing 4 1/2 sacks over the season. Although that is an impossible statistic to truly track, consider Stats had John St. Clair surrendering 9 1/2 last season at left tackle for the Bears, half to Minnesota's Jared Allen.

Here is what Shaffer had to say this afternoon about joining the Bears. He will sign his contract Thursday after undergoing a physical.

Q&A

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON JOINING THE BEARS?

KS: It feels great. I'm glad we were able to work something out. It's something we were talking about for a while and I am definitely excited.

IS YOUR GOAL TO COME IN AND WIN THE RIGHT TACKLE JOB AS SOON AS POSSIBLE?

KS: The goal is to come in and win a starting job. We haven't talked too much about that, or at length or anything. We came up with the deal and I am going to hear out there [Thursday] and sign the deal. But when I get there I want to show them what I can do. I have always been a hard worker and I am in a situation where I am going to prove myself. I have always been a hard worker. The goal, obviously, is to win a starting job but no matter what happens I'm going to give everything I've got and show them what I am made of.

YOU'RE A GUY WHO HAS MISSED JUST TWO STARTS THE LAST FIVE SEASONS. IS THAT KIND OF TRACK RECORD IMPORTANT TO YOU?

KS: I had a nice streak going and I missed one game there. That's one thing I have been able to do, I've played in a bunch of games. I came to realize if you're a full-time starter in this league you're going to have some aches and pains and problems here and there. It's playing through that and playing at a high level. I hope to be able to continue to do that for several more years.

HOW DID IT END IN CLEVELAND WITH THEM RELEASING YOU BEFORE A ROSTER BONUS WAS DUE?

KS: We were talking to them for a couple of days before the bonus was due. We tried to work something out and at the end I just didn't feel comfortable with the situation. They had a decent offer [for a restructured contract] on the table but for whatever reason we just didn't feel comfortable with the situation. I didn't know what was going on [with the new regime] and where that was going.

WAS IT A SITUATION WHERE THEY JUST WANTED TO TRIM TOO MUCH SALARY?

KS: It was a whole new situation with the deal they wanted. It didn't make us feel good about the situation overall. But it was a decent deal.

OBVIOUSLY, YOU PLAYED IN ATLANTA WITH ROBERTO GARZA, WHO YOU COULD PLAY ALONGSIDE HERE. WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE BEARS?

KS: Everything I have heard has been positive. I played next to Roberto with the Falcons and I thought he was an awesome player, very strong in the weight room. We worked together and had a competitive nature there and on the field. We were good friends. Everything he has said has been very positive. Lennie Friedman, who used to play for the Bears, we are good friends and he filled me in on the coaches and the city and the scheme. Everything has been very positive.

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11 Comments

Wow...Lennie Friedman...there's a name I haven't thought of in a while...

Hopefully he will be decent enough to hold down the fort while our draft picks develop for the RT position. I think Creighton may be on to something with Britt. Seems like he is screaming up the board and should go in round 1, and my own theory is that Jerry likes Loadholt, and will take him in round 2. Britton should show well in his workout, but I wonder if that is a ploy to entice the Eagles to move up with one of their first rounders to our spot to take Britton to play for Runyan (the 28 and 53 picks back to us) and then take Beatty at 21, since I think Oher slides to Pittsburgh at 32.

Jerry has his targets already identified, but I bet there is someone we aren't thinking of. maybe Delmas will be his one pick from a small school this year in round 2.

We had no tackle with any quality starting NFL experience. Now we have one. Good move.

Jerry deserves some credit. At this point it's very hard to figure who he wants at 18. I'm inclined to think he is looking DT and plans on a RT in the 2nd.

I agree with JA on this signing. We very much needed some veteran help at the OT spot. I would have no problem with him starting at RT come the season opener. I say this sets the table for one of two things.. #18 is a DL or its a trade down to get another 2nd rounder..

Nice signing. The move solidifies the O-Line with a veteran player and gives the Bears some latitude in the draft. Savvy move. Now I'd like to see the rest of the plans for the team.

Brad,

I heard that Braylon Edwards is being looked at by the Giants. What would be the chances of the Bears getting an experienced receiver like Braylon if the Giants don't manage to get him?

Pretty suprising to see jerry being this proactive

I think I would like to here what the doctor has to say about him. He has not shown the ability to stick with a team. 4 Years in Atlanta, 3 years with the Browns, and now the Bears. Plus he is not making much money for a starting tackle who only gave up 4 1/2 sacks. By the way he did not face Suggs who plays on the other side of the field from Shaffer. He also did not face up against Harrison, but Woodley. Not to mention I would like to know why anyone would pay more for St. Clair. Thats just bad. Here is thought though he is there RT and they were the 26th ranked running team last year.

Wow, Braylon Edwards talk. I don't know if I'd make a move for Edwards considering he drops a lot of passes (both the easy and difficult varieties), will want a new contract and doesn't seem to be the type of WR that can help out this team.

Edwards has a long frame and big wingspan and can also cover a lot of ground with a few strides, but it seems like more of an up the field deep threat and not the possession/move the chains WR the Bears really need.

Plus I think the Browns would probably want a # 2 and a mid round pick for him. Talk around the league is that no teams are willing to give up a #1 for Anquan Boldin.

Hey Creaton, if your going to throw out stats, throw out he was the starting LT on Atlanta when they led the league in rushing for two years. I hear your mommy calling, you need to go in for your nap. Who helps you with the Captcha? If must be hard for you.

couldnt have said better duane!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 25, 2009 7:54 PM.

Shaffer anxious to get in mix for starting right tackle job was the previous entry in this blog.

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