Chicago Sun-Times

Tommie Harris has seen the light, excited about 2011

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It's been a long road back for Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris, but he feels like he's finally made it.

''I was just getting started,'' said Harris, who had three sacks, two tackles-for-loss and four quarterback pressures in his last four games. ''I felt like that was Game 4 for me. I was just starting to feel great.''

While a late-season improvement might not be enough to keep Harris in Chicago for 2011, it was monumental for Smith, who said he ''grew up'' this year and took accountability for his demise as an impact player. ''I stopped pointing the finger at everybody else,'' Harris said. ''I paid attention to myself, which was the most difficult thing to do.

''I learned that it's not what you go through, it's how you go through it that will determine the outcome. You can either fold if things aren't going the way you wanted or you can work harder to get out of that situation. I learned how to persevere through that.''

Harris said he plans on running this offseason, which is something he said he was told by doctors not to do. He believes in it so strongly, he'll do it this offseason regardless of what the doctors tell him.

''I know what works,'' Harris said. ''I found out what works and what I can do and what I cannot do.''

Harris, 27, has two years left on a four-year, $40 million extension he signed in 2008. But unless the Bears see the same thing in him that he sees in himself, it's more likely they will not have him back at his current price.

But he wants to return.

''I would love to be back with my teammates,'' Harris said. ''I love this city. It's just up to [the Bears].''

Bears coach Lovie Smith indicated he'd like to keep Harris next season, but it was hardly a ringing endorsement.

''We're just starting the process [of evaluating players] right now,'' Smith said. ''Every day I've been here, Tommy has been here. I don't see why we would say he wouldn't be here.

''I'd say that about the rest of our guys. I like this team. We're going to try and keep this core group together. There's no reason to break it up.''

General manager Jerry Angelo was even more noncommittal, calling speculation about any player for 2011 ''premature.''

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Come on all you Tommie lovers lets here what a great year he had, how he was just coming on. He is nothing but a waste of money and NO matter what should be let go, we already know JA will draft a dt in the first 3 rounds. Harrison can take TH's place they both are bad and Harrison is younger. JA knows he has to score big on all of this years draft picks, he can't afford to be cutting any of them. In one of my other posts I said bears should have signed M. Turner instead of drafting Forte, a few bloggers( Brando and Kevin) disagreed and came up with all kind of stats that Creighton put into better prospective. So how about this one instead guys, tell me you would rather have Forte over C Johnson. If you remember the bears could of had him, but the great JA decided we needed an OT with a bad back(The Great Chris Williams) who isn't even playing tackle anymore. Hell we could of even had D Rodgers-Cromartie and S Jackson, J Sitton(who is a monster for GB) and C Nicks. Wow imagine that bears could of had 2 young stud o-linemen, a shut down corner and a big play WR. Instead we end up with williams, forte, bennett, harrison, steltz and bowman. Enough said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Up Rooted do you understand that 23 other teams could have had Chris Johnson.31 other teams could have had the other player you are talking about. 31 other teams could have drafted Tom Brady with 5 rounds to spare.
The players you named were not sure fire players. Think about it there is no player in the draft that is a sure fire pick. That is an easy out Up Rooted to TX. Any armchair GM 3 years later can see who the Bears could have had and ones they shouldnt have picked.
What are you like 16 years old Up Rooted cause that sounds like something a teenager would say not knowing much on how the draft process takes place.

What i dont understand Up Rooted and others that you say you would like this player and that player. Why cant you and some unnamed people enjoy the sucsess that Matt Forte has done in his 3 years with the Bears. The only running back to do what Matt Forte has done with the Bears has been Walter Payton. Some of you fans that claim to be hard core Chicago Bears fans cant see the importance of having a running back that is a weapon anywhere on the field. Teams have to plan for him in way more ways then what team prepare for Michael Turner and lets throw another big name out Adrian Petterson.

So yeah Up Rooted you fall in love with all the other players on other teams but be so blind to the ones that took the Bears to the NFC championship.

It is so unnerving to see alot of fans say well could have had that player but insted we have this one and because the Bears didnt draft or sign the one player(s) then I dont like the player(s) that the Bears have now.

Lets also say this Up Rooted 31 other teams passed on Devin Hester and still probably would have untill mid 3rd round but you know what the Bears have a Hall of Fame kick/punt returner that all teams could have had!!

Grow up Up Rooted to say the Bears could have signed this player could have drfted that player, your living in a fantasy world buddy, come to reality and enjoy what the Bears have insted of complaining, moaning and getting mad.

My favorite parts of the whole article?????

''I was just getting started,'' said Harris, who had three sacks, two tackles-for-loss and four quarterback pressures in his last four games. ''I felt like that was Game 4 for me. I was just starting to feel great.''

---Tommie was healthy for the first time in 3 years in this offseason, so why did it take him 15 games to finally start playing like a healthy player???

While a late-season improvement might not be enough to keep Harris in Chicago for 2011, it was monumental for Smith, who said he ''grew up'' this year and took accountability for his demise as an impact player. ''I stopped pointing the finger at everybody else,'' Harris said. ''I paid attention to myself, which was the most difficult thing to do.

--Harris has done nothing but think of himself since he got hurt the first time. Questioning his desire to play football, playing soft and slow because he was "recovering," and quitting on so many plays I can't even count by allowing himself to get knocked down and not getting up.

This is just sad, and there is no reason the Bears should allow this waste of money to even show up for camp next year. He needs to be released, but I would wait until after June 1 (pending the new CBA) so that the cap hit can be spread over 2 years. You want to question toughness and heart? Start with #91, not #6...

Well I would rather have Chris Johnson of course, but that doesn't make Forte bad, although I would like to see Forte be more consistant. 2 good years in a row would be a start. Brando stop comparing Forte to HOF players, he is not a great natural runner, he is a very good reciever for a RB. He is a decent Runner, he is not a great runner. Not saying he is bad, I was very impressed with him this year and this is the perfect offense for him, but he is pretty much the only person on the team who the offense is perfect for. And while he had a very good year it was not a great year. He can't carry team. He doesn't put up the rushing yards or TD's to do that.

As for Tommie, why is it every year at the end of the year he says the exact same thing. I was just getting started, wait till next year. He just got his but kicked in the Packer game. If he isn't playing against a bad guard he is a non-factor.

Last year it was the same thing with Harris. It's the same thing every year. End of the season he plays a couple of bad guards and then wants to stay and get paid off his bloated contract. He got his sacks playing against a practice Squad guard from Seattle and a flucke sack against GB in week 17 when Sitton thought the play was over and stopped planting him in the ground and actully let him get up.

Brando that is the response I would expect from you. First off no I am not a teenager or an armchair GM, I have been a fan since 1972(43 yrs old). What I see that you can't is the ineptness of JA's drafting and scouting teams. I just pointed out the team we could have had. That line about so many teams passed on this guy or that guy is so old, thats were talent evaluation comes in which JA sucks at. Maybe you can also explain to all of us(those who you didn't name) the draft process, because I forgot that you had a direct line to JA. Creighton if I am wrong about that statement please let me know. You also say that forte is a threat anywhere on the field, you really think more so than C Johnson, I don't. I'm so blind to the talented players that took us to the championship, these aging non talented players. If you haven't heard let me tell you what the great Danimal said, "NOT 1 PLAYER ON THE BEARS OFFENSE COULD START ON THE PACKERS". But he doesn't know anything about football either I guess, I don't think 3 division titles in 7yrs is anything to talk about. Yes alot of teams haven't made the playoffs in along time, I don't care about them, I care about the BEARS.

Hey Joe remember last April, back during the draft, we where all talking about who the Bears should take to play safety. If you remember and you can go back and check the archives, you nad me where big on a kid named Nate Allen who was not a real popular name or big name in last years draft. He was ranked like 5-6 at the FS position going into the draft. We where both hoping the Bears would get him, Eagles drafted him. Bears couldn't do anything about it.

However I notice a certain someone saying that it's easy for people to want other players after the fact. Well we both wanted him before the fact and PFF ranked him as one of the top FS in football this year. So kudos to us for spoting talent.

I won't remind this person about how everyone on this board was against the Gains Adams trade, which by the way if they had not made that trade, could have drafted Allen.

I won't bring up Chris Willians, or Benson. I will skip Metcalf, Bowman, Afalave, and Payne. Cause it's not like anyone called them out when people where all high on them. I won't mention Corey Gahram even though I believe you are a big fan of his and have been waiting for him to get a decent shot at doing someting with the team.

I will skip Dusty cause I never said Adams was better than him or Harrison and should be the starter. Nope nobody on this board ever spots talent.

By the way anyone catch Mendenhall in that AFC title game? Carried the damn offense. Those 13 rushing TD's this year where not bad at all.

But nobody ever out does the Angelo in the draft. Not ever. Never.

Creighton I agree forte is not a bad RB and he did have a good year but you hit it on the head that he is more of a receiving rb than your true clock eating rb. But as you can see there are a few people who can't tell the difference, all they see is he plays RB. Good call on N Allen missed alot of the predraft talk on here, I know none of us know how to evaluate talent on here but maybe you and Joe can give us a few players you think the bears should go after this year.

Well, I can't speak for Uprooted, but there is audio proof I was against Chris Williams on draft day. I got into a heated argument with the great Bears "guru", the Hubster. When the Bears came up at 14 and Mendenhal and Sam Baker were both on the board, I was just coming on the air and saying they need to either take Mendenhal or trade down and draft Baker. {hmmm...that's no rocket science on my part. Its an O-lineman from USC. How hard is that to figure out.} But Hub {who I have never gotten along with since I called him a Bears apologist back in 97/98} was saying, "Gear, you can't trade down if you don't have a partner." Detroit, the next team traded down. I have said it over and over again. Would you rather have the 6th or 7th best tackle on the board or maybe the 1st or 2nd best RB at the same draft slot? Unless Covert, Munoz, Boselli, Ogden, Clady, and Jake Long all come out in the same year and you get Jake Long vs. who ever is the 2nd best RB, then you take the 2nd best vs. 6th or 7th. Especially when you needed both positions.

Uprooted. Here's the dilemna. And don't get me wrong, I wanted Harris gone this past off season and use the money on Atogwe. One of the things that is sort of getting swept upder the carpet with the Jay Cutler situation is that HE REALLY DID GET HURT!! Something some of us have been saying would happen for a long time. {I know, I was like predicting a tremor on the san andreas fault line.} And with him getting hurt, JA needs to spend 3 out of the first 4 picks on offense. The other pick a CB. So, what would you rather have. Harris back for 1 more year and Angelo drafting offense because the one thing that has been exposed all year is that Knox is at his peak maybe a 2nd or 3rd WR and the offensive line needs 2-3 new people. Or get rid of Harris and the Bears use a valuable draft pick on a DT? It's a hard one. I don't know if any of you have been watching the Senior Bowl practices on the NFL Network, but some of the OL prospects are pretty good. And there are a couple of WR's that have caught my eye. Namely that Pettis kid from Boise. Not quite as tall, but reminds me a little of Jenkins from Atlanta. Not fast, but runs great routes, finds the holes in the zone and catches flies with sandpaper.

Ok kiddies I think it's story time. Let me tell you about how Jerry Angelo lost me as fan. It's one of the worst series of draft moves I have ever seen and it took place a long time ago on a draft day far far away.

Let me tell you about the great draft robbery of 2007. Let me tell you the tale Angelo and the Weddle.

I will skip the fact that Angelo drafted Greg Olsen with a first round pick instead of Ryan Kalil, Sidney Rice, or Steve Smith. I might add that I was in favor of Kalil and posted it.

First lets talk about needs that year. The Bears had the oldest offensive line in football and lacked depth on the line. Second the Bears where in dire need of Safety help. They brought in Adam Archuleta, they had Mike Brown who was going through injury issues, Daniel Manning who they believed to be a top notch FS, and let Chris Harris go.

The three main needs Where O-Line(not a surprise), Safety (not a surprise), they already had Des Clark, could have used another reciever too. So those are the main needs.

With the first pick Angelo takes a TE. Do you know why? Because he was fast and Angelo is a stop watch GM who loves 40 times. So they took Olsen.

Now comes the disaster. At the time the Bears held the 37th pick in the draft in the 2nd round. A very nice spot to be sitting at. Well as mentioned Safety was a major need. And sitting on the board was Eric Weddle, now a lot of fans had posted they like this guy, I liked him a lot of people liked him, he was very well tough of, and a highly reguarded player. A natural FS with all the tools. But Angelo was not fan because he didn't feel Weddle was fast enough.

Well a guy by the name of A.J. Smith gives Angelo a call he is the highly reguarded GM of the Chargers, considered one of the best GM's in the game. This guy wants to trade up for Eric Weddle. So he makes a trade, and boy Angelo thought he really pulled one over on Smith. Smith traded the 62nd pick (2nd), 93rd pick (3rd), and a 2008 3rd rounder and 2008 5th rounder to the Chicago Bears for the right to move up to the 37th pick and select Weddle.

Now at first glance this looks like a good deal for Jerry, except for a few things at the time of the trade a lot of experts thought Smith go the better deal because so many of them liked Weddle. Second when a top GM is willing to give you that much for a draft pick, your warning light should be going off. Third even if you get a lot of picks, it's not the amount of picks but what you do with them.

Angelo has taken Dan Bazuin, Garrett Wolfe and Kevin Payne in 2007, and Marcus Harrison in 2008. With those picks. This is one of the worst series of draft pick and one of the worst draft day moves you will ever see.

Let me remind you that to this day Safety is still a problem position for the Bears. Let me also point out the Eric Weddle is probably the third best Safety in the NFL. He is an All Pro and while most fans don't know him most all of the coaches do.

One of the worst series of draft mistakes you will see. I would trade all those players and a first rounder for Weddle, he is that good and the Bears still need a FS. Angelo ignored Value, talent, and skill, in favor of more picks that he wasted on nothing but garbage.

This was the draft that convinced me that Angelo had no clue. A nice enough guy but a total meatball of a GM.

Creighton/Crap-ton, no one cares about you! You act like this blog is all about you. It's not! Shut up already!


Slow down a minute my friend Weddle 3rd best safety in the league.....NOT ! I agree that Angelo has blown a lot of picks, but he has also gotten some steals some of whom played for a team that just got beat in a championship game none of us gave a chance in HELLl to be in at the beginning of the season.

The issue here is Angelo being able to identify the needs, and then identify players he can get at a good value to fill those needs. I for one don't want to let him forget the bust of Bazuin, Okwo, metcalf and others. He is now in a fight for his job just like Lovie was in a fight for his coming into the season. Angelo needs to have his best draft ever to really be able to salvage the good will the team has built up this season. Let's keep the focus on the NOW and the Future, the past is the past, and as we see from uprooted's post anyone can tell us who we should have picked after the fact...this guy gets paid to tell us who to pick now.

We have three key needs to me: O-line, Cornerback, and Possession receiver, you can put the corner first if you'd like but we need both of the first two as priorities for next season. I liked what Jennings did, but let him and Moore battle for the nickle slot neither player is big enough to be a full time starter, and with the base coverage we play, we need a ball hawk like Aquib Talib from Tampa out there along with Tillman, Harris and Wright could be a solid rotation. Tice needs to make the call on the O-lineman, like he did with Webb, who I believe with another year under his belt will give us 10 or more years at RT like "Big Cat williams did for years.

Eek! Enough is enough Cr-HATE-on! Jerry Angelo is the bestest and most wonderful GM in all of sports. You are not a Bears fan Cr-HATE-on because you don't think Jerry and Lovie and Ted are the smartest trio in all of football.

Do you want to go Creighton? Come on! I bet you think I'm some kind of feminine limp wristed fruit loop but I can be quite the rough customer!

Anytime anywhere you meanie mister naughtypants scoundrel!

On Average I would say he has been the third best Safety in football over the last three years. This year I would rate him 4th or 5th and I am not the only one who thinks that. He had a minor injury late in the year that slowed him down a bit, if not for that injury I would say he would have been the best safety in football this year. Again I am not the only person who thinks that. PFF, PFW, SI have all listed him as one of the best along with Walter Football, ESPN, and Fox. Teams won't even throw in his direction, I don't see a debate about this guy. He is a top 5 safety over the last three years. Like I said most fans don't know him, but the guy is the goods.

Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu, Eric Weddle, Michael Huff, Quintin Mikell . That's my top five in that order.

Weddle is a FA this year lets see how he does. We will find out what teams think of him.

You also need a safety Chi, oh look Weddle is a FA, I know Harris made it as a second team All Pro this year, but that's because he got one vote from doctor Z and nobody is sure what he is thinking. Harris had some good moments but nailed a ton in coverage, I think Dr. Z was lookiing at stats and not actual play. Either way they need a FS, Wright looked totally lost and Harris is older, slower and generally a liability.

I like O-Line and CB as major needs but I think they need a defensive end and Adams and Harris may both be gone which means a DT as well. They have a Possession receiver, his name is Bennett it's just the teams split snaps between him and Hester all year. They need a number 1 reciever.

As the draft goes, it's a horrible year for O-Line prospects but someone may be able to find a decent RT or Guard. But it will be tough, good year for Corners and there are a couple of high end recievers out their. Decent year for the D-Line as well. Not a great draft year. Bears draft at the bottom, not an easy spot and the reason I picked the 2007 draft as an example.

As for my previous post that is the year Angelo lost my trust, that was his third strike. He has done nothing to bring back my trust since.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on January 24, 2011 5:59 PM.

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