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Recently in Tom Thayer Category

I've spent four weeks here analyzing some of the things I'll be looking when when the whistle blows at 3 p.m. Friday and the Bears get rolling with their first practice of the season. Now it's time to turn over some space to the trained eye of Tom Thayer, who lists his occupation on his IRS paperwork every April as a "football describer.''

Thayer, the color analyst for WBBM-780 AM, will be at training camp and will offer daily updates for the Bears' flagship station. Here is what Thayer offered:

"There are three things I will be looking at and one of them is the free agents, the newcomers, [Jay] Cutler, Pisa [Tinoisamoa], [Orlando] Pace, big Frank [Omiyale], [Kevin] Shaffer, [Josh] Bullocks, these guys that came in. I want to start looking at those guys and see if they really are what they are, if they're going to fit in, what they're going to do to the team and how they're changing it. Then, I have a key selection of veterans who have been here already who are on the roster who I really want to pay attention to to see if they re-emerge, if they're playing like they did last year, if they're not involved in the betterment of the football team the way they should be due to their position on the roster and with the team and all that. My guys here are [Nathan] Vasher, [Brian] Urlacher, Tommie [Harris], Kevin Jones, Wale [Ogunleye], Nick Roach.

"And then [Johnny] Knox, [Juaquin] Iglesias and D.J. Moore are some rookies I want to watch. I think Moore may have a place. He is one of the three guys of the rooks I am looking at who may need to come in and just provide interest. Just to see if they can help in any way. There is a specific group and positioning of players that I am interested in looking at first. Then I think if you are looking at a position specifically, I still have concerns about the safety position. I like Kevin Payne but there is a battle for all other interior defensive back positions. Payne is only going to be pushed by himself. He is a guy who has to stay healthy. You can go out there and Kevin Payne can show flashes of brilliance and then he can pop his head in there and come out, get dinged, and you're back to square one. My only issue with Kevin Payne is durability.''

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Looks like things have quieted down a little bit around the league in what is usually a slow period leading up to free agency, which opens in 10 days. It's going to be very interesting to see how the shopping season opens up and we wrote about that last week. Mike Florio of Profootballtalk.com has an interesting take on it here, and he's not alone in thinking this could be a down year for free agency. Perhaps we'll get a feel for the action later this week at the combine. For now, let's jump into another Four Down Territory.

Q: Jeff Garcia has been a winner nearly everywhere he has played. Tampa Bay has decided to go with less than eight quarterbacks this offseason and he's one who will not be back. What are the chances the Bears attempt to sign him?

Eric G., Palatine

A: We're going to say the odds of the Bears pursuing Garcia are only slightly higher than the chances of them going after Kurt Warner, if indeed the two-time MVP makes it to free agency. Because like Warner, Garcia tried to land himself with the Bears before. His agent Steve Baker attempted to place his client at Halas Hall and didn't have success. Same thing goes for Warner, who expressed interest in coming to the Bears on two occasions.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Tom Thayer category.

Todd Johnson is the previous category.

Tommie Harris is the next category.

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