With injuries to guards Lance Louis and Chris Spencer and the loss of Chilo Rachal, the Bears ended last week's game playing Edwin Williams and former starting right tackle Gabe Carimi at guard. To bolster their line, they signed former Dallas Pro Bowler Andre Gurode, who now occupies Rachal's old locker. RedEye sat down with the 33-year-old to hear his thoughts on returning to the NFL, playing for the Bears, and why his major in ethnic studies and double minor in psychology and sociology might come in handy on Sundays.
Take me through what you've been doing to stay in game shape while you're not on the team.
I'm just constantly working out. I've worked out at a place in Texas called Michael Johnson's Performance. Monday through Friday we have a regimen of lifting weights, and then after lifting weights, of course, movement, then foot drills, then conditioning, then football drills after that. On an average day we would get there at eight and probably wouldn't be done until noon.
I'd talked to a couple teams that showed interest, but like I said, I was trying to make sure I was in tiptop shape, and that's why I took my time during training camp to make sure my body was in the right shape. After that I just kept working to make sure I was ready for a call.
Tell me about getting that phone call.
Absolutely amazing. I was actually in the mall trying to do some holiday shopping. Phone rang. It was my agent. He said that the Bears were interested. And he told me to call the number and we'll set this up. And next thing you know I flew out here and was getting ready for a workout. Everything went great. I did what I was supposed to do and I got a great opportunity.
I read that you were an academic starter in college and you studied ethnic studies.
I was an academic starter, I studied ethnic studies, I had a minor in psychology and a minor in sociology. My grandmother used to say that I needed to make sure I graduated. Between my grandmother and my mother, they really didn't slack on grades.
There's a lot of psychology and communication skills and things like that in football. It's the man with the strongest will that gets the job done. It's not always the best team that has the will to endure to the end on that day that winds up winning the game sometimes.
Right now I have no idea what the [Bears'] plan is for me. I'm just going to do my best to be ready. And if they need me, I'll be ready to play.
All right, so last question. You've played a full career. You've played in five Pro Bowls. Why do you want to keep going at 33?
I just completely love the game. It's something that I dreamed about and I just love playing it.
Jack M Silverstein covers the Bears for RedEye. Say hey @readjack.