Chicago Sun-Times

Still gunning for comeback, Simeon Rice mentions Bears as possibility

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Simeon Rice has been on the comeback trail since the scouting combine and is still seeking a team to, well, make his comeback official.

Profootballtalk.com unearthed a radio interview Rice did last week with WQYK-1010 AM in Tampa where the former Illinois star mentioned the Bears as one the possibilities for his services.

"I'm going to play this year,'' said Rice, who has 122 career sacks. "I've got about two weeks. I have a chip that is so big on my shoulder it couldn't even get inside the building I left it by the car.

"I called my boy Raheem [Morris, the Bucs coach] up. This is the place I want to play. I've got the Bears, I've got other other teams that are talking to me, but I want to finish out with the team I love. I love Tampa Bay. I love being a Buccaneer. It's not a money situation. It aint the money. My motivation is going out there on top, going out there and claiming my crown back and saying, `OK, I reign supreme. That's my love jones.''

It's a good thing Rice has identified Tampa Bay as the place he wants to be because we don't see an opening for him with the Bears, not after they used a fourth-round draft pick on Texas' Henry Melton. He will be the fifth end with Alex Brown, Adewale Ogunleye, Mark Anderson and Israel Idonije. If Rice has anything left at 35--that's an if--he's got one year remaining. That would give the Bears four, count 'em, ends with one year left including Ogunleye, Anderson and Idonije.

Rice very well may be talking with defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, who coached him in Tampa Bay when his career took off as one of the dominant pass rushers of his era, but the Bears are intent on developing Anderson and Melton and an aging veteran who has not played since 2007 when a shoulder injury did him in.

Rice hit the radio circuit in Chicago before free agency and has not been able to drum up enough interest to land a gig yet. He said on WQYK that he would likely have something in place in the next two weeks. Rice claims he's fully healthy and is running the 40-yard dash in the 4.5's again and is doing 360's on the basketball court. That's great but can he, you know, jump out of a swimming pool standing up? That might get the Bears' attention.

"Right now, if I was to put on a helmet, I'm automatically in the top five in this league at that spot," he proclaimed.

"I want to say I'm the number one guy, I'm the king, baby. But I'm not gonna say that because that's always an earned spot. So I'm humble enough to say, 'You know what? I gotta go back and do my work.'"

We'll take a closer look at how playing time is going to be divided on the defensive line a little later on today. We've got some interesting stuff to look at. Check back later on.

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14 Comments

Cut or trade Wale and sign Rice for the league minimum. The money will come in handy when it is time to Mark Anderson, Greg Olson or Cutler to an extension

Cut Alex Brown. Wal-E at least has flashes. Alex is MIA on the field. I've always wanted the hometown guy on the team.

I say keep Ogunleye for the season. Afterwards he can ride off into the sunset so Gilbert can slide outside in 2010. Try to trade Anderson or Idonije to a pass rush needing team for perhaps a midround 2010 draft pick or a FS.

Of the two, I would prefer to keep Idonije and try to extend him. He has more value because he can play DE or DT. Anderson is purely a pass rush specialist and is a liability vs the run. The Bears need to make room for Melton anyway and keeping and Extra DT is also wise considering the Tommie Harris yearly leg concerns.

Harris shouldn't be playing over 56% of the defensive snaps either. Lovie needs to find a better rotation that would limit Harris to 30-something snaps a game instead of 40+. Either get Adams more involved or let Gilbert and Harrison enjoy plenty of snaps. A fresh Harris is a healthy Harris and a healthy Harris is more productive Harris. A more productive Harris is a key to reviving the mediocre defense we had the past (2) seasons.

Go Bears !!

What a coincidence. I saw Rice on Pros vs. Joes last night. Rice took a RB he was supposed to be tackling, picked him up, and slammed him on his head with a piledriver. He is psychotic.

I predicted some months ago that the Bears would acquire Rice because Lovie, Angelo and Marinelli love to pretend they're still in Tampa Bay. Of course I wasn't really serious about it.

John O, why would you get rid of Wale? He's productive, having had a fantastic year in 2007, and is entering the final year of his contract. Ogunleye won't disappoint. You're proposing getting rid of Goon for someone the rest of the league has shown no interest in? C'mon. Actually I like both our starting ends, they're fast and smart, the problem is in the middle. We don't know what's going on with Tommie Harris' mind and/or body and without the disruption in the middle, our ends, our whole defense in fact, will suffer.

Hopefully Anthony Adams can pickup where he left off last season. That is, if he isn't on the inactive list.

Mark Anderson is done. I don't expect him to return to his rookie form at all. He benefitted then from being an unknown and coming in on obvious passing downs. Since, the league has figured him out. But I'd love to be proven wrong.

The Patriots have done this for years... Bring in an aging vet who can still play at near allpro level ONLY FOR "KEY PLAYS" (ie: only key 3rd down passing situations.) And, for those situations, not only are they VERY GOOD, they provide great leadership and example for the developing younger players to LEARN from. The only reason this doesnt happen more is because many of those aging players are ONLY doing it for one last big PAYCHECK and are taken by teams who want the player to fill too large a NEED (ie: Jason Taylor) but it works for Patriots because the veteran players they get WANT to play with the Pats for PRIDE (a title-shot) and NOT "the money." And that is basically the same scenario Rice is offering to the Bears.

Used under the Patriot scenario Rice would be GREAT for certain "game on the line" KEY pass-plays LATE in the game. And with the 'close games' style the Bears always play, that would likely provide opportunity for a few more WINS - wins that might determine playoffs/seed placement, etc... The Pats have proven that when handled THAT way, these aging vet stars are also kept fresh for the playoffs (when most of the league is beat-up) and if they get there, these prideful former stars always have a few last great "warrior" games left in a championship run.

This would be a VERY GOOD move for the Bears. It'a a good idea; the Bears should do it.

Robby T...what are you thinking dude? Alex Brown is our best end.

@ Kennzington

First of all, way to many capitalized words. Capitalizing "paycheck", "very good" twice and "late" didn't add to argument, and it kind of made your post look stupid.

The problem with comparing the Patriots signing of veterans to the Bears maybe going after Simeon Rice is a question of scheme and a question of position. Keep in mind that the New England Patriots haven't had to do anything about their starting defensive linemen for over 4 years, as they drafted Seymour, Warren and Wilfork as 1st round picks so far this decade. They've since developed guys like Jarvus Green and others to play as their reserves and in rotations.

The only 35-year old defensive linemen that's going to help an NFL team is one like Pat Williams, Ted Washington or Keith Traylor when they were that age.

There's a reason that Jason Taylor, 35, is not being looked at as a traditional DE for teams with needs at that position. Instead, he's being recruited by teams with 3-4 schemes, and even then not very ambitiously

Linebackers that play in the 3-4 see their careers extended because they aren't fighting a battle with a tackle or guard every single play they're on the field. A speed-based defensive end who's been injured two straight years and is on the very wrong side of 30 can't be expected to be effective.

The Bears already have DE's who excel at other aspects of their game, like batting passes at the line and doing a decent job of stopping the run, just look at Brigg's newest post. Push from the interior and actual sacks on the outside or the need, and an old defensive end with one year left won't do or teach anybody anything.

Alex Brown and Ogunleye are still the ends they used to be. The problem is that no one is collapsing the pocket from the middle. If Marinelli can help Harris, Gilbert, and Co. push back the line of scrimmage, sacks will come in bundles to anyone playing end.

Furthermore, if that happens the entire defense "looks" better, especially the secondary. No offense to Vasher, but half his interceptions from his pro-bowl year came from quarterbacks throwing the ball up for grabs because they were running for their life.

Everything this season depends on the play of our DT's.

So, here's to Marinelli in hopes that he can coach em up.

what do you mean, cut alex brown, trade adewale o?! do you even watch football? i've always been a fan of simeon rice but come on. 93 is a stud, 96 is a winner. hopefully, under marinelli, these guys will take us all the way. stay loyal bears fans.

Rice was once a great player, and with all do respect to him, just because you want to do something, does not mean you should do something.

Rice has not had a good season sense 2005, in 2007 he was cut by both Indy and Denver. It's intresting to note that in 2007 and 2008 Marinelli showed know intrest in Rice even though Rice fit his defense.

Marinelli is not a miracle worker he is however an excellent teacher of the basic fundamentals of defensive line play in the tampa 2 defense.

The DT is like many of you recognize is the key to this defense. It's a shame that the Bears have too worry about guys like Harris and DD who are such major injury concerns and this forces them to retain extra DT's which takes away from the rest of the team. The Bears could really use a Kevin Williams, maybe Gilbert will one day be that guy, with his similar hieght build and athletisism, it's really a shame the Bears traded down in 2003 Williams would have been the prefered pick over Rex and Haynes, then in 2004 they could have then taken either Harris or Wilfork, Harris next to Williams would be a very dominant force in 05 and 06 and would fit the Tampa two defense to a tee. Wilfork would have given them more balance. But that is all just speculation and leads to the whole hindsight conversation. Thats what is rough about the draft a single mistake can really cost a team for years.

Interesting side note, I believe that Angelo will find a way to get a first round pick next year via a trade. I believe Angelo covets Gerald McCoy out of OU, if not him Greg Romeus out of Pitt. If McCoy stays in then he will try and find a way to get him in 2011.

Robby,
That's insane picking Wale over Alex...Wale will have a hard time getting a job after his Bears gig,he's too old ! Sorry for your "hometown" preference(who wasn't a Zorich fan?)..just a weak reason to hold on to the trash.

mateo. you are right as long as the defensive tackles don't collapse
the pocket our ends can be all universe, the qb will step up in the
pocket and connect on his passes. most of you bears fans are right
but we are again begining to be weak on the d line. harris and dusty
should have been replaced. now harris has to be a part time tackle
i know he makes too much money but if we can't trade him for a draft
pick then what else can we do. i hope with our ends leaving and with harris and dusty about out of their primes, it looks like we will look like our o line did at the end of last season. i'm sorry to say this but management lacks vision to see ahead of itself. it seems like it waits until it's cornered to make a move in the right direction. because d tackles usually take a couple of years to develop we may be in trouble already if we try to use the draft to solve this problem. i know we have to hope we can get some help in free agency to allow whom ever we draft to develop. go bears anyway.

Simeon Rice signed here in Indy with the d-line starved Colts and lasted only 2 weeks before being cut! No burst, he looked slow, old and was being pushed around by younger guys. Experience is nice, production is better. Simeon, retire in peace!

Simeon Rice is sucha good player!!! for anyone who wants to see this start athlete backing the bid for the 2016 olympics in chicago, check out www.aChicagoThing.com to see an exclusive interview!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on May 5, 2009 8:07 AM.

Four Down Territory, May 4: Does Ta'ufo'ou spell shot at the roster? was the previous entry in this blog.

Where do Gilbert, Melton fit in? An analysis of '08 playing time on D-line is the next entry in this blog.

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