Chicago Sun-Times

Smith still very high on Tommie Harris

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Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris finished a disappointing 2009 season with 2.5 seasons. But Bears coach Lovie Smith bolstered his faith in the three-time Pro Bowl selection and noted his sack total should have been higher.

"I'll say (he should have had) five more sacks where he just didn't wrap the guy up," Smith said at the NFL combine. "He can still be an impact player. He will still be an impact player. Our defense is counting on him to do that.

"When you go through some injuries sometimes you say, 'Well, maybe a guy can't do it anymore.' He can still do it. And he needs to do it this year."

Harris has 7.5 sacks in the last two seasons, after having a career-high 8.0 in 2008. He is due a $2.5 million roster bonus in June.

Smith reinforced the importance of the position to his cover-two based defense ("It's the shortest distance to the quarterback," Smith said), but he also made a strong point.

"We need Tommie to play the way he's capable of playing --- every snap," Smith said.

Harris had his "ups and downs," Smith said, but he also had a lot of "flash plays."

During an earlier interview, as he was speaking generally about some of the combine's elite defensive tackles, Smith highlighted the importance of the position in his scheme.

"Having a dominant player right there, especially for our defense, it makes our defense tick," Smith said. "It's the reason we pay our defensive tackle more money than we have any other players on our team.

"So, it's very important to have a disruptive guy there that can cause havoc and make teams double-team him."

Harris signed a four-year extension in 2008 worth $40 million, including $17 million in guarantees. The deal made him the highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL, at the time. It has since been surpassed, most recently by Albert Haynesworth, who signed a seven-year, $100 million contract last year that included $41 million in guarantees.

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5 Comments

"I'll say (he should have had) five more sacks where he just didn't wrap the guy up," Smith said

*blink*
*blink*
Seriously?

That's like saying "Devin Hester should have had 20 more touchdown catches but he just didn't catch the ball." Maybe Smith is paraphrasing former Lions WR Roy Williams' now infamous quote about how "we could have scored 40 points more on them easily" in a Lions loss.

You know what this is? Loser talk. Losers talk about coulda, shoulda, woulda, not what they actually did. Smith apparently doesn't understand this simple concept.

Shut up and fix it, Lovie. Tommie Harris hasn't been the same player for FOUR years now and he isn't getting any better. Find someone who can get those 5 more sacks. Find the guy who CAN wrap up the QB. Stop feeding us this BS about how your underachieving players ALMOST did something.

Close only counts in horseshoes! And you're still shoveling the stuff that comes out of the horse's @$$ and telling us it's gold!

Sean Harris had 8 sacks in 07 not 08. You have it right it was 3 seasons ago, 09, 08, (07).

Problem is thye can't cut Harris because they have to many holes so Smith is going ot come out and snow job everyone. Thats all he ever does anyway. Its all to complex for anyone to understand his delicate genius so he just makes stuff up.

I love the fact that when Angelo speaks today reporters are not allowed to record him. Hahahahahaha.

Part of Lovies problem is that he cant make those hard roster choices. Its obvious that Tommie doesnt have it..to be a starter. Redo his deal and use him in the nickel package. Just an idea. He would be fresher come 3rd down. I agree we still need to find a "healthy" DT to play the 3 spot. Jarron Gilbert would be an excellent guy to try there. Hes lightning quick.. and has good size. Bulk him up to 295'ish.. at 6-5.. not bad. We also need a legit 2 gapper type to play the nose. Another problem with Lovies D is even though the position says "NT", he has guys that are too small in there. He needs to find that true NT type to man the middle. The NT job is to clog it up inside.. so put someone in there Lovie with the size/strength to do it.

Sean, I found a typo in your post and no I'm not talking about the first sentence. Actually I think you left a few extra words in the title. Here, let me just chop those off and presto!

Smith Still Very High

Now that that's fixed, the article makes much more sense since Lovie still believes that Tommie Harris is a big time, impact player and that the Cover-2 is still the bee's knees.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on February 26, 2010 10:15 AM.

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