Getting last week off has gotten defensive tackle Tommie Harris in a good frame of mind.
There's a good chance that had as much to do with his own little bye week as much as his left knee, and now he's ready to roll Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
"Yeah, greatly,'' Harris said when asked if the time off helped. ``It helped a lot.
"[Lovie Smith] knows what I can do, and everybody knows what I can do. I don't have to prove anything to anybody. It's all about I prove it to myself, I owe it to my teammates, I owe it to this organization to get back to tip-top shape, so that's what I'm doing.''
Asked about his chronic left knee, Harris said "I don't even think that was an issue,'' lending more credence to the theory that Harris was sat down by Smith as a wakeup call two weeks after the Bears had a real bye week. The Sun-Times reported on Monday that Harris said his knee was not the reason for the benching last Sunday at Cincinnati when the Bears were blown out 45-10 in one of the worst performances of the Smith era.
Harris is fine with the expectations that have been placed on him, and understands the scrutiny.
"That's what I got paid for,'' Harris said. "They're supposed to expect that. If you give a guy a whole bunch of money to perform or you ran a Fortune 500 company and the guys didn't produce like he did, what are you supposed to do?
"You'll see Sunday. How about that? You tell me. All right? Thanks a lot. God bless you guys."