Chicago Sun-Times

Bears deactivate Tommie Harris, bench Zack Bowman

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The Bears defense replaced two starters they had high hopes for Monday.

Three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Tommie Harris was a healthy scratch, and cornerback Zackary Bowman was benched in the second quarter.

Bears coach Lovie Smith explained both decisions after his team's 20-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

On replacing Bowman with veteran Tim Jennings: "We just felt like we needed to get a different look there; wasn't pleased with the way we started the football game out in that position. Tim Jennings has been practicing hard; we have a lot of confidence in him and just felt like it was time to give him a shot. He played outstanding ball."

On Harris, who was replaced by Matt Toeaina: "We have 45 guys that you can go with; we have everybody healthy right now. Just felt like we wanted to get a look at Marcus Harrison, him and [Henry] Melton inside, a little bit. Just performance based. Tommie's been doing everything we've asked him to do."

Jennings did seem to play well; not only did he have that impressive fumble recovery in the fourth quarter, but he also was sound in his tackling and very aggressive.

But Toeaina wasn't credited with any tackles, and Harrison registered just one.

The Bears, though, have been effusive in their praise of Harris, who has been battling to regain his Pro Bowl form. Although durability hasn't been an issue, Harris managed just one tackle in the first two games and two quarterback hurries.

Despite their 3-0 record, the Bears defense has mustered just two sacks thus far. One of the keys to Smith's defense is the play of the two interior defensive tackles, so they'll need someone to step up in a big way.

As for Bowman, he clearly struggled in the first quarter, as quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed five of six passes for 70 yards, including a seven-yard touchdown.

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10 Comments

Geesh-

I hope you guys don't "DWELL" on Tommie Harris being inactive and the benching of Zack Bowman. People complain about Lovie not being in control of this team, and (IMO) he is clearly showing these players-

"Don't produce, GRAB some bench".

Same thing with going for it on 4th down. The strategy of making a team drive 99 yards IF they don't make it, has worked out well for the Bears BECAUSE he(lovie) is showing faith in his "D". PLUS that ball was catchable.
Time to give this team some "props" and let go of all these connotations about this team.

ANYBODY seen "CRYBABY Creighton???

Tell him he can get back on board. We miss his "long-winded" posts... Ummm NOT!!!

Bwaaaah ha-ha

Watching the game, the Bears might be trying to get a bit beefier in the middle - hence Matt & AA inside. May not be the sacks, but it's also the push up the middle, and Rodgers did a good job of sliding outside when pressure came up the middle or blind side.

Not bad. Sacks aren't everything, and the bears rush defense is a strength right now. Maybe Tommie's in the dog house, or maybe like Smith said, they're trying to see what Marcus can do inside.

Like Idonije opposide Peppers. And hope Melton keeps improving. I like the idea of Matt in the middle - he can push and hold a double team.

I would have liked Idonije a lot more on the left side if he was not slipping every time he tried to change direction on a pass rush. That turf is god-awful, and it isn't even October yet.

On the other side, Peppers could have gotten 10 more holding calls during the game at least. They were abusing him, not to mention the trip when he started chasing Rodgers out of the pocket. He is a true Monster of the Midway, scaring any player that has to block him, forcing mistakes, and providing opportunities for his teammates, who yet again failed to capitalize on those chances. Anderson missed finishing on yet another nice pass rush move, as he got there faster than he was prepared to make the tackle. the DTs were not collapsing the pocket from in front, but they were moving Rodgers by pressing one side or the other, which helps a little, but not enough. We are not getting enough contact with the QB. Cutler is taking a beating, and we need to reciprocate...

If they don't figure out how to close the deal and get some sacks, our defense will continue to be exposed and look confused in coverage. How many times was Finley open down the field? How many times was Tillman or one of the safeties out of position when Rodgers threw the ball? Way too many. I say let Graham get some PT as the starting corner, and see if that makes any difference. We are ok with Jennings starting for a few weeks, as we are playing smaller receiver teams, but when we get back into the mix against big receivers, he would be better in the slot.

Hey Geesh,

I thought the Bears D-line played very well. Unfortunately, it doesn't show up in the box score. It looked like Mr. Peppers was being held on nearly every play!!!!

I am tired of the talking heads of the media not giving the Bears any credit. Steve Young saying the Packers beat themselves. That's ridiculous. The last penalty was a jump-ball and the Packers mugged Bennett. It was catachable. Everybody is just sad because their star-crush Aaron Rodgers couldn't beat Chicago.

The Packer O-line could not protect their franchise and so they HELD. I wouldn't be surprised if they were coached to do that. As bad as the Bear O-line is, I think the Packers might have a worse unit.

As far as the Pack having 100 more yards of offense. That starts with poor field position and taking advantage of the Bears Cover-2 defense. In the end, as the field shortened, the Pack O-line had to hold because it was harder for Rodgers to find an open reciever. That's how Cover-2 works, and it worked last night.

Late.

The only teams that say sacks arn't a big deal, are teams that can't sack. Sacks are a huge deal. Most QB's in this league are mobile enough to slide outside, so get used to that. Cutler is pretty mobile and he gets smacked around every game. Thank God he is tough as nails, unlike his offensive linemen. I am happy to see the Bears holding their players accountable, "play hard,or go away".

Hmmm it's Gee.

Looks like I was right about Harris and Bowman, again. You know what else I was right about?

By Creighton on September 27, 2010 5:34 PM
Yeah, that's about all I can take of the cheese whiz crew. Vietnam? I don't think so. To much smelly cheese stinking up this joint.

Bears win, Cutler leads a game winning drive and Golden boy kicks a game winning field goal. I don't care if I am wrong I can't take the Chedder Heads and hairy animal women of Green Bay.

Time to send you all back home to momma with tears in your eyes. Someone hide the sheep and other defensless animals Packer fans are going to be looking for comfort after tonight.

I have never taken the Packers before and I won't start now with this over hyped injury riddled team.

Bears by three.

Oooops, didn't see that coming did you? Where is your prediction Gee? Mr. Hindsight is always 20 20, try being right about something. Oh that's right you didn't make one, someone is only big and brave after the fact. You won;t even support the Bears, you wait till after the game to say "hey they won hahahahah, I knew they would I just didn't say they would."

Yeah some fan. In fact I have yet to see you actually talk about the Bears. You just talk about the king.

Let's see how I am doing this year.

Things I was right about:

Tommie Harris
Zack Bowman
Al Afalava
Kevin Payne
Chris Williams
The entire O-Line
Mark Anderson
The D-Line Peppers being doubled and the rest of the line still being bad
The Martz offense at home on grass. 16 points a game. Wow that's explosive.
The day they traded for Chris Harris who predicted he would be the FS and Manning would be the SS? Oh that's right, me.
Matt Forte and the running game, glad he can catch a pass though. Ooooh 38 carries 108 yards 2.8 yards per carry.

All that said I man enought ot say the Bears are a pretty good this year, and should have no problems making the playoff's. So go ahead and hand me my Crow pie. Funny thing about Crow, when your team is 3-0 it tastes a lot like chicken.

Was I wrong about the Bears the last three years? No. Is being good once every 4 years good enough? No. Was I wrong about them being good this year? Look like I just might be.

Still worried about Cutler making it through the season in one piece and the defense holding up over the long grind, they are seeing the field a little to much. 3 and out, give the offense a chance.

Million dollar baby that Tommie is can we please cut him. You don't hang on to this kind of salary draw to not even be activated for the biggest game of the year. Cut him or trade him for a bag of peanuts and lets move on. He has been on this team two years too long as it is.

How about showing Mark Anderson some bench time. Dude has yet to produce. I'm tired of watching his straight up the field pass rush that has him running 7 yards behind the QB. Get him out of there and give Corey Wooten an opportunity.

It's hard to find any good in Harris getting benched, but under the circumstances it's better than the alternative. The fact is that he has not been bad, but he is not playing like an elite tackle either.

The question is why?

If it is because the leg injuries have sapped his explosiveness, then you can't really blame the player. As long as he is in shape,and shows up playing and practicing hard, then I can't knock the guy. All he can do is all he can do. Nobody in the NFL is able to do it forever.

If it is because he is not putting forth the effort it's another thing. Then you start the Albert Haynseworth conversation. Not everybody can handle the consistent effort required to play professional sports after they quit worrying about the refrigerator being full.

Either way sitting Harris could be the right move. They already know his ceiling. If he has lost it physically, then every D-Line player on the roster has more potential for upside. If it's lack of effort, Harris played a lot better last year after Lovie sat him a game.

As for Aromashodu, he is clearly in the doghouse. They may have different skillsets, but neither Hester nor Knox is giving up anything to him on talent. He has more talent than Bennett, but Bennett is usually where he is supposed to be, and catches the ball. He also plays to the whistle and has thrown some very key blocks to spring other teammates for big plays. That leaves DA competing with Davis to dress on gameday. On gameday they need a 4th receiver to be able to play any receiver position and to be a real gunner on special teams. Davis probably trumps Aromashodu on that job because of his versatility.

I think that the message is loud and clear to these two players. We are going to use the players we can depend on. Somebody has to sit and y'all are not exempt.

I hope the benching serves as a wake-up call for Harris.I thought Melton looked pretty good, but he did get an important penalty when he finally got to the quarterback. He has to hit lower and avoid that helmet to helmet penalty.In all, the game was incredible and a great win. To use the old cliche',the defense "bent but did not break,"except for letting Rodgers get loose all too often.The ball Clark could not catch was at least partly Cutler's fault. Gruden commented correctly on the angle of the ball, but Clark still should have caught it.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on September 28, 2010 12:43 AM.

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