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MINNEAPOLIS--For the sixth straight year, Richard Dent has been announced as a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

That hasn't been an issue for the MVP of Super Bowl XX. It's been getting over the hump on the day the final votes are held. Dent might have a better chance this time around. Dent made the cut from 15 to 10 in the voting process last year for the second straight year. Two pass rushers have been selected in the last two classes--Bruce Smith and Derrick Thomas this year--and Fred Dean and Andre Tippett in 2008. His competition at that position will come from Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene and Charles Haley.

It's a strong class this year with Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith headlining the group.

Dent finished with 137 1/2 sacks in his career. He ranked third in NFL history when he retired behind only Reggie White and Bruce Smith. He was a four-time Pro Bowl performer.


One of the first calls Mike Singletary made when he decided to get into the coaching business was to the Bears.

The Hall of Fame linebacker recounted the decision he made to get into the coaching business on Monday when visiting with reporters in San Francisco.

"Well, I'll put it this way: When I knew we were going to be coaching, the thing that I did was I called Dick Jauron, who was then at the Bears, the head coach,'' Singletary said. "And, I told Dick Jauron exactly this, I said, 'Coach, my wife and I prayed about it, we've decided that we're going to be coaching. I'm not asking you for a job, but I am telling you that this year, in the very near future, I will be coaching. I don't know where, don't know when.' And, that was it.

``He said, 'Well, Mike, good. Let me get back to you and see what's happening here.' And I said, 'Once again, I understand, I'm not asking. If there's something there, great, but let's just not do something just to do it.' So, he got back to me eventually and just said, 'Mike, the way things are here, it just looks like it's going to be a tough situation to work out.' I said, 'Fantastic. I thank you.' And he just let me know that I'm not supposed to be there. So, that was it."

Singletary landed his first job in 2003 as an inside linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens on Brian Billick's staff. It happened to be the final season for Jauron with the Bears, who employed Gary Moeller at the time as their linebackers coach. The Bears did bring in one former Bear to join their staff that season, Richard Dent. He served as an assistant defensive line coach that season.

Singletary worked in Baltimore until he went to San Francisco with Mike Nolan and took on a position as the assistant head coach. Now, he prepares to host the Bears on Thursday night. His 49ers (3-5) are reeling having lost four straight games to fall two back of NFC West-leading Arizona.

The Marvin Harrison-to-the-Bears mystery has been solved.

Weeks ago, a caller to WSCR 670-AM said the former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver was sighted in Lake Forest based on seeing an upscale SUV with Indiana vanity license plates. The plates not only have the Colts helmet, but also No. 88, the number Harrison wore for 13 seasons with the Colts.

It wasn't a hox. In the light rain at Halas Hall, I just spotted the exact same vehicle in front of the building.

INDIANAPOLIS--In perhaps another sign that the Bears will look at an offensive tackle or a wide receiver in the first round of the draft, general manager Jerry Angelo said it's unlikely the club will be able to find an elite pass rusher with the 18th pick in the first round.

"If he's elite there is a reason why he is there at 18 so I can't say he's elite,'' he said Saturday afternoon. "He might have elite traits but to say he is going to be an elite pass rusher, there is going to be probably one flaw is the reason why he is there.

"There are only probably in any draft maybe eight elite players, in any given draft, sometimes you might get to 10, sometimes it might be as few as three. That's a strong word. You might get a player with some strong traits that has some potential but there is going to be some real areas of concern too and one thing I have learned in my experience with pass rushers as there have probably been as many gotten on the second day, meaning rounds four through free agency as gotten on the first day. That is one good thing about pass rushers. You can get them really in any round. There are certain traits that they have to have, very difficult position to project as well."

TAMPA, Fla.--Richard Dent's disappointment today at missing the Pro Football Hall of Fame might linger for a little while.

But the Super Bowl XX MVP could be in good shape moving forward. It's a good sign that Dent made the cut from 15 to 10 for the second consecutive year. It was the fifth time in six years that he was among the final 15.

Two pass rushers have been selected in the last two classes--Bruce Smith and Derrick Thomas this year and Andre Tippett and Fred Dean in 2008. What bolsters Dent's chances are the fact that there are not any more elite pass rushers coming on to the ballot in the coming seasons. Without more competition at defensive end, Dent could be aided. Of course, he needs to get one of the five modern-era slots and Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith will be slam dunks at this time next year. Some of the first-year eligible players in 2011 are also impressive.

TAMPA, Fla.--A long wait for Richard Dent will continue.

The defensive end, who spent the majority of his career with the Bears, was denied in his fifth bid as a finalist on the ballot for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Bruce Smith
was elected in his first year on the ballot as was cornerback/safety Rod Woodson, who spent the majority of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The others who will be inducted in ceremonies Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio, are Randall McDaniel, Derrick Thomas and Ralph Wilson Jr. Wide receiver Bob Hayes, a senior player, was also elected.

RIchard Dent is one of the Bears' all-time draft finds, selected in the eighth round out of Tennessee State in 1983. The franchise's all-time sacks leader with 124 1/2, and the MVP of Super Bowl XX, doesn't think highly of the drafting that is going on these days at Halas Hall however.

Appearing on The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio, Dent criticized the drafting that has been done by the Bears in recent years, particularly the double first-round flops of Michael Haynes and Rex Grossman from 2003, the year Dent was an assistant on Dick Jauron's staff.

"The judging of talent is not great,'' Dent said. "When I look at, you know you bring in a quarterback and you give him 1,000 shots and now you say you want to compete and you've got a kid [Kyle Orton] that's playing well but you want someone to compete against him. Obviously, you know Rex came in, you got him in the first round with Michael Haynes and you lose two first rounders and we're not doing anything without draft picks.

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