Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice, who is 6-foot-8, appreciates new tackle Herman Johnson's size.
"I like it when they're bigger than me," Tice said of Johnson, who is 6-foot-8, 370-pounds. "He's just another big kid who has some athleticism, and we thought we would get him in the fold. I like big guys that can move."
Johnson, who won a national title at LSU, was a fifth-round draft pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2009. But he didn't play in any games, and he was released before the season and signed to the practice squad.
"I had a lot of veterans in front of me," Johnson said.
But Johnson was surprised when his agent, Albert Elias, contacted him Tuesday.
"I was quite shocked," Johnson said of the Bears signing of him. "I guess they're just trying to develop me."
Although he played guard at LSU, the Bears want Johnson to work as a right tackle, where rookie seventh-round draft choice J'Marcus Webb currently plays. If the 6-7, 328-pound Webb and Johnson were to play side-by-side, they would comprise one of the biggest guard/tackle combos in the league.
Johnson, though, noted that Tice coached him at the Senior Bowl before the 2009 NFL Draft.
"I know him and what he's about," Johnson said.