Chicago Sun-Times

Harris said to be fine following knee scope

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PHOENIX—Tommie Harris underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee during January, a source at Super Bowl XLII said Saturday, but the defensive tackle is well enough to be out and about the Valley of the Sun.

Harris bowed out of the Pro Bowl last week, and Arizona’s Darnell Dockett was added in his place, because of the knee injury. He played on a bad leg for the entire season, first dealing with the hamstring surgery he had in 2006, and then dealing with the effects of a leg whip by Dallas offensive lineman Marc Colombo.

Even short of 100 percent, Harris did not miss a game and recorded a career-high eight sacks to go with two forced fumbles. He is expected to be a full-go for the club’s offseason program.

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29 Comments

I still feel like the Bears need a true nose tackle who can rotate in next to Tommie and take some double teams. We get wore down to much on the ground by teams that stick to the run and wear down our smaller tackles. That being said I do like the potential of a healthy Dvoracek and great rotational run stuffers like Garay and Tuinea. We just need to decide if we can get by without a true dominating 330+pd. nose tackle. Go Bears!!

Bill, that's an excellent point about the DT's. I have oft felt that our 'gap control' defense kills us in games where the offense can't get some clock control. It puts our smaller DT's out there and where's them out. Plus, late in the game against LARGE linemen, they were being dominated. Here's to 2008. Glass is half full again.

I am a life long Bears fan who has studied this team inside and out, as most true Bears fans have. Anyways, I don't think I have ever been more sure of anything in my life, but it just so happens I have the components that will save the Bears and build a new NFL dynasty for many years to come. This comes from every Bears fan that's cares about this team and wants to see the second guessing end, now!

Free Agency:
-Sign Michael Turner: perfect compliment and definate successor to your very own "Cry Baby Benson. Just look how he ran through the best run D in the league, in Indianapolis. He shouldn't command an ungodly amount of money either, since he has been sitting behind LT his whole career. Play action last year was a joke, and for good reason.
-Sign Alan Faneca: R. Brown is far too old and Alan will open up some great holes on the left side, while adding the type of strength, smarts and tenacity that has made Olin so successful. This will allow Josh Beekman to compete for Roerto Garza's un noticed job, who has been known to make costly mistakes and have blown assignments more than a quality NFL guard should.
-Sign Max Starks: He is one of the most promising young tackles in the game and will no doubt benefit form having an old teammate like Faneca on the line. Just look at how successful the Steelers O-line has been in running and protecting their QB. Enough said, Fred Miller as our starting right tackle, is done!

* Its no secret the Bears have more than enough money. They are listed in the bottom half of the league in salary cap room (practicaly every year), and need to dig a little in their already heavy pockets, to make these three critical moves. Now is not the time to be cheap. Pay these three missing pieces what they need!


Draft:
1st Round: 1 of the top three QBs should be available......probably Andre Woodson. Take one of them now and he can groom for a year, while Rex and Kyle massage and manage this season. Joe Flacco is another interesting prospect, who could be had in the second and give the Bears the ability to trade down in the first. Kenny Phillips is a good possibility here if Flacco is the pick in the second round.
2nd Round: Frank Okam would be a great fit here, with great size that the Bears lack in plugging holes and keeping blockers away from their LBs. This is no doubt the top reason why Brian Urlacher struggled this past season (the back problems were mearly an attempt by the orginazation to keep the real issues hidden). On paper the Bears depth at DT may look good, but we do not have that massive nose tackle we need to free up our other play makers like Tommie, Brian, and of course our gifted ends. Darwin and Anthony are soft, and Dusty has yet to prove himself as durable (IR in first two seasons). Lovie can preach about having light, quick DTs all he wants but, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A HOLE STUFFER AT THE NOSE TACKLE POSITION. Tommie cannot play the way he does and expect to stay healthy. He needs real help!
3rd Round: Has to be the best SS or LB available here (Mike can't seem to stay healthy and Lance more than likely is on his way out). Jamar Williams unfortunatley, is not the answer. Usually you can tell if a linebacker is going to be great within the first few games he plays, like we saw in the past with Lance and Brian. I feel the organization is putting too much faith in someone (Jamar) who is completely unproven, and in a position (Will Linebacker) that requires great, not just adequate athleticism and instinct. Jamar is simply another case made by our fantasic GM....we drafted him so he's got to be good, right?
3rd Round: Whatever isn't picked before of the two positions. Archaletta was a absolute joke in tackling this year, and of course his lack of speed got him out of position and beat many times. He's a special teamer at best. Chris Harris for an overpaid, underacheiving Archuletta (another one of Lovie's winners)....great job Angelo.
4th Round: A WR that can separate from DBs and can be just a reliable safety net for whoever is QBing (a Bobby Engram/Jeff Graham type). Nothing great, just a reliable, hard worker.
5th-7th Round- The best available for OL (prospect/back-up), LB (more depth/possible push for Hunter) and DB (depth at safety)

Signing the above free agents will make not only the team much improved, but will open up many more options through out the draft (as shown). The organization cannot continue to be frugal in free agency. If the coaching staff is going to consist of winners such as Bob Babich and Lovie's feared Rams defensive scheme (big laugh!!!), than it would behoove them to sign and draft it right this time. The time is now!!!!!

Damn, cry me a river... it's a blog people not a journal. the bears should have at least one big guy at the DT position for short yardage. at this point all you need are situational players and maybe 3 players from free agency. the rest you can get in the draft. this team has a ton of talent just needs better coaching. a healthy bears team should be a good thing. if i were the bears i'd sign mike brown and play him sparingly. Don't play him in the preseason games just let him practice and play him after the 3rd game of the season. this should be plenty of time to heal up and get back into football shape.

Dustin HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND! or you don't watch much football. There is no 1st round QB in the draft (by the way did you see the Senior Bowl) games are won and lost in the trenches and that is were the Bears got beat, that and poor tackling the latter is a practice issue the other is a player (personnel) issue. You don't need a run stuffer a offense is the best run stuffer, points and time of possesion are the best run stuffer, better tackling is a run stuffer. The Angelo regime has drafted good in latter rounds in order to change he must do better in the first two. The Browns drafted Joe Thomas and began to win games and run the ball get the picture Dusty. Get that Qb crap out of your mind look Tom Brady didn't look so good on Sunday without blocking NOW DID HE!!

The Bears do not play a 3-4 defense and, therefore, do not need a Nose Tackle.
330 lbs. Tackles generally excel at stacking against the double teams and playing off of blocks in a 2-gap system. However, the Bears play a One-gap defensive system in which huge DTs probably lack the quickness and speed to stun blockers, penetrate the gaps, get into the backfield, pursue and force/recover turnovers.
One-gapers are generally better using quickness to collapse the pocket and pressure quarterbacks, which can neutralize that position (see Brady in the Superbowl) and contribute to turnovers via forced fumbles and interceptions.
Rotations are supposed to prevent tackles from wearing down. Gap-shooting, penetration and pursuit are supposed to discourage teams from using the double team. Injuries took a toll in '07.
Get the fastest, quickest, strongest, most flexible and rugged 300 pounder for the D-line. Dusty is perfect. Harris may require more space outside the guard in order to maximize his skill set.
We...were...topnotch in turnovers, tackles for loss and pressures.
BTW...Give Benson some blocking and he will be successful. STOP HATING!!

Draft offensive line and then draft more offensive line. Someone should be held accountable for the Adam Archuleta fiasco. I am rooting for Rex to come down to Florida and join the Dolphins. Rex, Move on brother! Show us what good coaching can do. The Bears have great talent and yet? Go Mike Brown you da man! Hey McKaskey your a turd!

Gee Dustin you are a real Mel Kiper arent you. You dont think we have spent enough on O line through free agency the last 4 years? Why not draft 3 of them this year like every team does, and develop them. Starks is not a left tackle which is what we need. Dont you think Faneca will want 6 million? I do think Turner would be a good fit.....money....I think he will command top dollar. Id draft Oline, recievers, and a fatass nose tackle, that can stuff, aget some inside rush. Did you see Jay Alford pummel Tom Brady fro inside. Good work Dustin. Do you think Lance should feed his family too?

First of all i would like to point out all these fans that no nothing about the real chicago bears, last year all ne one said was how great Lovie and Angelo were, Lovie led them to the super bowl and Angelo drafted the likes of Mark Anderson and Devin Hester with a second and a fifth round draft pick Mark finished second in DROY and Devin is well Devin Hester, and now all ne one has to say is how Lovie can't coach and Angelo can't draft that's insane. Angelo may not be the best at evaluating offensive talent, but when it comes to drafting defense, few do it better, just look at his seventh round draft pick this year, trumain mcbride, that little guy only started how many games this year 4 nate vasher, even though we had ricky manning jr still health and on the team, he has also drafted the likes of Lance Briggs, Tommie Harris, and Nate Vasher plus more and how many quality backup d players, w/ mid to late round draft picks so if angelo drafts any defensive player this year, more than likely, you can plan on him making at the very least a contribution. and as 4 lovie, if u r a bears fan, and u don't want him, just leave now, i don't no what ur lookin 4 cuz all lovie has done is well lets see he not only is beating the teams in the division consistently (besides this year) but he's whoppin them, this year the bears could have won every division game if not 4 a couple mistakes, (giving up a team record amount of pts to the lions in the 4th qt) not to mention the bears did still sweep the packers, now tell me when good old dick jauron ever did that, no he didn't u say well then lets go back farther how bout dave wannstedt did he have much success against the packers, no i didn't think so. so basically what u all are sayin is lovie got us back to being a respectable team in the nfl, and now he should leave cuz he had a bad year, he could have gone 1-15 like the dolphins this year, and he still would be the best bears coach i've seen in a long time, who u want cam cammeron, ha it don't get better than lovie, and as 4 benson, u saw what he did to the saints last year in the nfc championship game, with a line that can block he can be a decent rb in the nfl, the line was injured all year, not to mention is getting really old, so ya he didn't do much to impress me either, but the line sure didn't hold up it's end of the bargain either

you're all just a bunch of dumb fans who think they no somethin, well watch the bears as much as me then come talk, watch them back in the 90's, you remeber when they would win one game against the packers in three years and that was cause 4 celebration ya cuz i do, lovie is the best coach the bears have had since Iron Mike, and the days of Gearo Halas and u guys don't even realize it cuz ur not even real bears fans
Oh ya GO BEARS

Nick, I agree somewhat that fans' opinions of Angelo go too far and he has had some nice picks such as Hester and Anderson like you mentioned. However you have to understand why the other side sees what it does. In the SuperBowl, Benson rushed for -1 yards and fumbled once before being taken out of the game where as Jones had over 100 yds including that 50+ yd run. I got nothing against Benson but the GMs rationale behind his trade decision is questionable at the very least. Jones also had better blocking and receiving skills. As for Lovie, how can you blame anyone for getting peeved when something goes wrong in a game and he just stands there emotionless with his mouth closed? I would further point to the coaching decisions of keeping Rex at QB this season when his preseason consisted of multiple fumbled snaps. That is simply retarded. Or look at how they took Benson out of the Seahawks game when he was owning? It's things like that, flubbing common sense decisions that a three year old could make, that results in opinions opposite of yours.

rex brought da bears to the superbowl defence lost it draft nothing but offence let go of briggs resign harris for a long time right now

Responses to some of your well thought out points (not really!):

-First of all the response is long, because its life long, not long as in "I started rooting for the Bears in 2006 (Jerseyboy)." Yeah I'll cry a river, and speak up like true fan!

-Secondly Djssr,did you not pay attention to the free agent pick ups, of 29 year old Faneca (LG) and 25 year old Starks (RT) that I have listed, before you got too far ahead of yourself? Or how about that drafting Kenny Phillips in the first and Flacco in the second would be a good possibility (read much?). Also, reliying soley on one side of the ball to win a game (in your fantastic plan of "O all the time") is simpley ridiculas. We've been doing that with our D for 80+ years....dosen't work! And yes, we do need a run stuffer. Keith Trayler/Ted Washington and Tony Saragusa/Sam Adams ring a bell? Imagine a true run stuffer like that, lined next to Tommie. I'm sorry if you can't

-Fianlly, Nick: Any coach/GM can get lucky in drafting/signing free agents, which showed their worth last year however, its what you do as a coach/GM when your team is in need that makes you great or even just good. Free agnecy happens, yes. Injuries happen, yes. Draft busts happen, yes. What do the three stooges do? Make excuses and rationalize each others stupidity. Example: Lovie highers one of his good ole boy coaches (Bob Babich-someone who will just agree with his stupid defensive mentality), instead of the best guy for the job. Lets get serious, Ron Rivera was fired because he had differnt views than Lovie, regarding the D (the right ones). JA and TP are just as guilty for allowing it to happen. C'mon the whole "our defense depends on turnovers" is just stupid! You can't always count on another team turning the ball over, or pressing for one. Another example: Daniel Manning goes to slap the ball from Adrian Peterson's hands, instead of tackling him (good philiosphy Lovie) You have to simply stop them! Turnovers are just a bonus.

Good Day!

I like Jerry Angelo but I admit he has not had a lot of luck on the offensive side of the ball. As far as the Thomas Jones Cedric Benson thing goes I can't really get on Angelo about that. First off Angelo took Benson with the 4th overall pick, coming out of Texas Benson looked like the 2nd coming of Earl Cambell, I mean the guy ran for 1000 yds all four seasons at Teaxas not many backs have accomplished that feat so taking Benson did not seem so bad at the time. Then when Benson arrives the Bears already have a starting back in front of him who is popular with his team mates that didn't help Benson either. Last season when Benson spelled Jones he looked good he was the punshing between the tackles back that we thought he could be when the Bears took him out of Texas. So Angelo trades Jones to the Jets and by the way Jones requested to be traded and Angelo did the fair thing to Jones and gave him a chance to go to a team where he could be the number one back. When Jones got to the Jets where he also was not being pushed for the starting job he responded by rushing for ONE td inside of 310 carries oh ya he had a 3.6 yd per carry average O K. Meanwhile Benson ran for 4 tds with 196 carries and behind an older o-line then Jones ran behind last year now I ain't saying Benson is better than Jones but come on I didn't hear any one complaining when Angelo drafted Benson or traded Joned last year I mean cut Angelo some slack and give him one more season to make things right GO BEARS!!

Kev, the Jets had an overall worst year than the BEARS. Nothing they did worked. The BEARS lost identity because Rex never took over a huddle. No emotion in the huddle until Griese came in. After Griese showed him how to do it he got better. Jones had that emotion that was missing. Now the knock on Lovie about the emotional turmoil;when things were going great in 2006 Lovie rearly showed any emotion. Now in 2007 he's supposed to morph into some kind of Chucky-like persona? I keep saying that emotions don't look good on everybody. And you can't be half of a talent evaluator. Angelo can draft the hell out of defense but we only seem to sign free agents on Offense and the are usually on the downside of talent before long. Who got drafted on our whole offensive team? Rex, Benson, Olson, Berrian and Bradley. How many are out and out stars? Either they are up and comers or considered potential busts. You can't have the talent evaulations only on one side of the ball. I don't care who your coach is. Getting half of the goods will get you half of the glory.

Chucky like persona WRD. Thanks for the compliment.

About the SB, it was our Coordinators that lost us the game. Indy ran at will, and everytime they scored, we just became more conservative on offense, maybe if the game was 45 minutes instead of 60, we would've won.

About the start of the season, Brees and Rex had similar starts, Brees remained QB, Rex gets benched, wonder why only 1 team was in the playoff hunt at the end of the season? We lost our identity, and the coaches wanted to make change, makes me think they lost faith in their systems.

I was a fan of Ron Turner, but he has to believe in himself, if he wants to stay here. The team has changed from the SB, and it is the mentality, not the talent. Let that game go, it's over, we lost.
Only time I will say we when talking about the team, I have invested a lot of my emotions these past 2 years.

"MIke" is a dolt Wrecks apologist.

Urlacher needs to send half of his salary to the DTs, whoever they are, because obviously he can't shed a block to save his life so he can't play the run when the DTs don't keep an OL/H-Back/FB/TE from breathing on him. In Detroit and Minnesota, fans frequently have fun of the pancakes Cory Schlesinger or Jim Kleinsaucer made out of him. It's also blatantly apparent the quarterback of the D was Mike Brown, whose injury precipitates the slide the run defense and overall defense. Dvoczek is a keeper, if he stays healthy. Chris Harris was never a Lovie Smith favorite, always being criticized for pass coverage, so one sort of knew they'd look to get rid of him. Danieal Manning, despite blowing big coverages in important games (remember the Reggie Wayne TD?), still get patted on the back for his speed/athleticism which certainly rarely translates to on-the-field performance. See how awful Lovie Smith's favoritism is?

Jeff Graham was a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver. Engram was a slot receiver (No. 3, or barely No. 2). They're completely not the same category of receivers.

People who still want Wrecks and Ron Turner in town after their display of ineptitude don't deserve a winning team, which is exactly what they got.

All of you have made valid points, except that lovie isn't a good coach. The Bears have gotten better every year with the exception of last year. The reason Injuries to the defense which was our strongest unit, if you take the colts for instance(defense) and take away ss bob sanders, both of their starting corners with their #1 corner out for most the season, one of the starting DT's and the other DT plays hurt for most the season and limit their best player their Defense would't be in the top 10. Games are won in the trenches, the qb, and running are a product of that Denver,pittsburgh, and the colts are evidence of that. If Benson was n new england, pitt, San.d, or Indy he would have 1100 to 1200 easy. that line needs some upgrades and what the d really needs is a good strong saftey, all our running problems the last 3 years came when Mike Brown got hurt. Look at the stats its about a 20 to 30yard per game difference with him out. The team also needs the competition at the qb,and rb spots, and more full contact practices, that would help the tackling. We are not that far off but some changes are needed but not drastic ones like firing the coach or G.M.

Dustin you don't read cause if you would and you knew JACK about football you wouldn't make such illiterate statements. First I was a Bear fan and a football fan while you were still a itch. Phillips has been rated by most publications(read much?) as a undisciplined athelete who has a knack for making plays but is usually out of position. Once again did you see the Senior Bowl Flacco has tools but is a long way off not a first day guy. And finally show me the publication were it reports the Bears signing Starks and Faneca. To me it appears if someone else has a idea you don't like you spit out you b.s. like you know something. WELL IDIOT IF YOU WERE PAYING ATTENTION TO THE SUPER BOWL THE TEAM THAT BLOCKED AND THE TEAM THAT COULDN'T BE BLOCKED WON!! I thought you would have noticed since obviously you don't read. PEACE.

Jesse makes a great point that I have brought up several times in past blogs.
1st: Get the BIG DT next to Tommie Harris. There are two good options available right now. Looks like Shawn Williams will be let go by Detroit. He is a huge monster (340) who could be demonic at 325lbs. He would command a double team on every play regardless who else lines up next to him. That would be the center and guard. That leaves 3 lineman blocking Harris, Ogunleye, and Brown (he is just better than Anderson). Teams would adjust by doubling Harris (they have to in order to stop him). That leaves a TE or RB in single coverage on Ogunleye, and the other tackle on Brown. If they go max protect (which they probably would have to do), then that leaves 3 receivers against 7 defenders. BTW....the other option is UFA Haynesworth from tennisee (which would make D-line insanely good).
- The cap is set to be 116 million this year (123 in 09, 130 in 10, 138 in 11). If they sign Harris to extension of value at 7 million per year, and Haynesworth at 6 million per year, then there is still plenty of money left over to allocate to the other postions. I think the Bears should allocate 35% of the cap to the D-line and O-line. That is roughly 40 million per year to shell out.

2nd: The O-line needs upgrades at tackle and guard (no surprise.. I know). Sign Faneca to 4 years 24 mil, and see if either Starks or Walter Jones(he is an UFA) can be had for a slight bargain.

3rd: Let these guys go--> Briggs, Berrian, Miller, Grossman, Walker, Archuleta (this guy made me vomit this year)

4th: Restructure or let go --> Muhammed, Griese, Ruben Brown, Manning Jr., (probably forgetting 1 or 2 more)

5th: The Draft --> You have to take the best player available the first 2 rounds. You can start reaching in the later rounds. Preferably some player that was projected earlier, and is mad/motivated by being chosen "too late". Those players (like Alex Brown and Lance Briggs, and Mark Anderson) seem to come into the league with a chip on their shoulder. This year it might be Mendenhall, Flacco, or someone else I can't think of right now. But you can't draft for need, then you start reaching for potential.

WOW!!! I rambled for a while. Just my thoughts that make sense to me. Win the trenches every year and your football team will be good at the worst, and great if it all comes together.

I wasn't quite through with Dustin (dunce) since your many years of experience (2006) has bought you such great insight as to what it is to be a Bears fan, let me run some names at you Butkus, Buffone, Sayers, Payton, Singletary, Dent, Hampton. Some got to play in the big one some didn't two are in the Hall of Fame never played in a Super Bowl others played with injury, you Dustin know nothing about being a fan since you only started in 2006 that makes you a guru right. Donot insult people you donot know over something you know so little about. And after you figure those names out I will tell you about Johnny Morris, Luckman, Nagurski, O'Bradovich this team has great lineage and deserves more than a winey johnny-come-lately talking about real fans you should shut your pie hole open your eyes and ears and learn something.

DJSSR,
Here I copied and pasted my exact comments for you to read, yet again:
-First of all the response is long, because its life long, not long as in "I started rooting for the Bears in 2006 (Jerseyboy)." Yeah I'll cry a river, and speak up like true fan!

Where does it say in there that I've been a fan since 2006, referring to myself? Look at the quotation marks! And what the hell is spitting off some well known names from the 63 and 85 bunch going to prove? Thats something you could easily get from some random Chicago sports magazine. What exactley are you trying to prove, exept your own insecurity as a fan?

"Phillips has been rated by most publications(read much?) as a undisciplined athelete who has a knack for making plays but is usually out of position"......WTF Are you talking about our team presidant, Ted Phillips?

Finally, when did I say the Bears have already signed Faneca/Starks? This is just stupid! Its like arguing with a 3 year old. Please have someone read this for you sir, so you don't jump ahead looking for trouble where theres not. It will save you a lot of embarrassment! Thanks for everyone elses responses, but I'm off to Iraq for now! Talk to you all when the season begins. Go Bears!

Hey guys what do you think Chicago should do for the draft? I'd say in the first round it's a no brainer KENNY PHILLIPS from Miami. He's got great athleticism, and comes from a program with a rich history of winning (granted his team struggled last year). But Mike Brown's getting old and Phillips already has a good vibe with Hester and Greg Olsen. Yeah I'd say go with KP round 1, a running back Rd 2 (Benson's unimpressive), and some Wideouts in later rounds.

Ohhh! anonymous your so scarry, are you answering for Dustin now, are you having problems reading. So unless you are playing two people, stay out of grown folks conversation. And lastly I can quote those names cause I got to watch them play before the league expanded, So I am a real fan winning and losing. I have coached the game, that's why I say what I say. your going to Iraq I been to Nam. Now what. So unless your other name is Dustin SHUT UP.

I just read that Urlacher had "minor" neck surgury to relieve pressure from partially occluded nerves that were irritated, and thus caused discomfort all the way to his back. What they were rumored to have done (as reported on another certain chicago paper) was a laminotomy (just look it up).

I am currently in chiropractic school, and my father is a chiropractor. Chiropractors remove subluxations (i know you are thinking what the hell is that). A subluxation is a bone that is STUCK out of place relative to the bone next to it, thus impinging the nerve that emits from the opening b/t the two bones. Then the degenerative process begins.

I am jsut curious if Urlacher went and got all the opinions he should have. I know what I know, and I believe if Urlacher went to a chiropractor first, he would have had no need for neck surgury.

I agree with signing RB Turner, OL Faneca and OL Starks. I grew up in Chi-Town, but have lived in Pittsburgh the last 9 years. I know these 2 OL will be an upgrade. In the draft, we need TALENT at WR, and we need more size and speed at LB.
I also think we need to start Alex Brown again. He stepped in last year and did what we all know he can do...distrupt things! The Bears need to get MEAN!

Hey Alex who is going to do the blocking for the second round running back? and without the running game who's gonna get Kenny Phillips and the defense of the field? The Bears have failed in the last 4 drafts to address the OL now there is a good selection the time is now. you will find RB's in the second and third round, GET A LEFT TACKLE NOW!!!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 3, 2008 5:02 PM.

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