Bears sign veteran linebacker James AndersonContinue reading.
Q & A: New Bears OLB James Anderson
Before a question could even be asked, new Bears linebacker James Anderson, a seven-year veteran from the Carolina Panthers, already started talking about how excited he was to be coming to Chicago.
Anderson, who is in Puerto Rico on vacation with his family, spoke to the Sun-Times on Monday morning about joining the Bears in the post-Urlacher era.
Here’s some of the highlights:
On his decision to sign with the Bears: “I chose to sign with them because they are a great organization. They are a historic team. They always have been known to have great defenses. … I’m excited to become a part of what they’re trying to do.”
On his familiarity with Cover-2 concepts: “I’ve played under a couple of different defensive coordinators in Carolina, so we’ve played Cover 2 and we’ve played different things. I’m just looking forward to learning what they’re trying to do and doing the best I can.”
On his comfort level on the strong side: “I just like being on the field to be honest with you, whether it’s the strong side or whether it’s the weak side. I know they have Lance Briggs on the weak side and he’s been a phenomenal linebacker over the years. I think the strong side is where they want me to play.”
On joining the Bears’ linebackers after Brian Urlacher’s departure: “It’s tough coming in because he’s been a statue of what the Bears defense has been and stood for over the years. It’s sad to see a player like that go. But new guys are coming in and it just means everyone on the defense is going to have to step up our level of play just to try and help and fill the gap that he’s leaving.”
On leaving Carolina: “It’s tough because that was my home for seven years. But this is a new chapter in my life that I’m excited for. I’m definitely excited. There’s no better place than Chicago.
On the Chicago cold: “I’m going to go to the store [soon] and buy me a couple coats.”
On being active in the community like he was in Carolina: “I look forward to getting there and finding out what’s going on in the community and how I could help out and be part of it and work together to do some things.”
On where his level of play is at: “I think all of my best playing days are ahead of me to be honest with you. This is probably one of the best I’ve felt during an offseason. I feel like I’m in my prime and I’m looking forward to playing some ball.”
On proving himself during a one-year deal: “That’s how you have to look at it. You have one opportunity to go and show the team and the organization what you can do to make them hopefully want you there longer for one year.”
On missing four games last season with a back injury: “The back is fine. I just had some minor little back issues. But with a little time off, they’ve all been healed up and I don’t have any more issues with [my] back.”
On playing with Lance Briggs and D.J. Williams: “I know they’re both good linebackers. I’ve played against the Bears the last couple years and with the linebackers you know those guys always have done well. Those guys always been at the top of outside linebackers or linebackers — period. I’m excited to go join those guys.”
On hosting video chats with fans in Chicago like he did Carolina: “I look forward to trying to incorporate that in Chicago and bringing something in that’s new and fresh and having fans interact with me.”