When Chris Williams underwent surgery last week most thought it was only a matter of time before John Tait found himself back on duty on the left side, but it seems the Bears are not planning on making that move.
'I just look at how they are playing. I don't look at the number of starts or who played where,'' Hiestand said. ''We are different every year. You are different, I am different. You don't stay the same. What they did in the offseason to prepare to play the positions they are playing right now -- the amount of repetitions that has gone into their work to get to the point they are right now is incredible. Nobody has any idea how many hours they have worked on their craft from that side.''
During practice Monday safety Brandon McGowan went down with an ankle injury. It is not thought to be anything more than a basic sprain, but when any injury creeps up at the safety spot it becomes a big deal.
"We can't have an injury at any position, particularly on the back end," Bears secondary coach Steven Wilks said. "That's why you have backups, and we feel we have qualified guys in Payne and Steltz."
Bears players are still taking the high road after former Bears receiver Muhsin Muhammad felt the need to trash talk his former team.
"'Bernard Berrian came here and developed and became a rich man,'' receivers coach Darryl Drake said. ''Everybody is entitled to their opinions. I love Moose and hope that he continues to have an illustrious career. We're going to do what we do here. That's our feeling.
''I'll give him a great big hug, right around the neck [when they meet in Week 2] because I love him.''
Newcomer Brandon Lloyd said Muhammad's reaction is natural. Lloyd was critical of the 49ers after they traded him to the Redskins in 2006. ''You say bad things when you're hurt,'' Lloyd said.
Rashied Davis said Muhammad was upset when he was cut, a move that saved the Bears a $500,000 roster bonus.
''I don't think receivers go to die here,'' Davis said. ''I've been making myself here.''
Offensive coordinator Ron Turner also wanted to stay out of the action.
''I could say a lot,'' he said, ''but I won't.''