Posts tagged with: defense

Will we see the dominant Tommie Harris again?

When the Bears made it to the SuperBowl in the 2006 season, defensive lineman Tommie Harris was a big reason. Simply put, he dominated several games.

Then Harris suffered a serious of injuries. He hasn’t been the same since.

Sure, he’s been a good player. But he hasn’t been the same fearsome force he was.

Of course, a lot of things went well in 2006 that haven’t gone quite as well since. Remember how strongly the offensive line played? Remember that the Bears defense as a whole was a turnover-creating machine?

Harris, though, has been the big disappointment to me since that 2006 season. I’d love to see him become a nightmare to quarterbacks again. Some say that Harris won’t ever be quite as effective as he was in 2006, thanks to all those injuries. But if he can at least resemble that player again? Then the Bears’ chances of winning their division skyrocket.


Which Chicago sports team will win a title next?

Sports fans love to make predictions: the White Sox will trade Paul Konerko. The Cubs will fall short in the NL Central this year. The Bulls will make a terrible pick in the NBA draft.

One of the more intriguing guessing games today, though, centers on the Bears. The question is: Which Chicago team will next win its league champsionship? Most fans usually pick either the Bears, bolstered by this summer’s signing of quarterback Jay Cutler, or the Blackhawks, fueled by all that young talent.

If I had to wager a guess? I’d go with the Blackhawks.

Here’s what fans forget about Cutler and the Bears: The Denver Broncos didn’t win the SuperBowl with Jay Cutler as their quarterback, and the Broncos have a supporting cast that’s every bit as strong as — or maybe stronger — than the Bears have.

Don’t get me wrong; Cutler is a huge upgrade at quarterback. He had a great season last year. But to believe that Cutler will lead the Bears to the SuperBowl, you have to think that the Bears were just a quality quarterback away from making it back to the title game. Unfortunately, that doesn’t look to be true.

The Bears’ defense, despite its reputation, is weak. The receives are terrible. The running game is thin. And the offensive line doesn’t rank as one of the game’s elite. The Bears have above-average tight ends and a darn good punter. Is that, combined with a ProBowl-caliber quarterback, enough for a championship?

I don’t think so.


Bears need a top-form Urlacher, too

Brian Urlacher is a jerk. Listen to him talk to the media and you can tell: This guy is an a-hole. He doesn’t seem like he’s going to win any father-of-the-year awards, either.

Despite this, he’s been the face of the Bears for years. Maybe this is why the team hasn’t won the Super Bowl since 1985: It’s hard to win it all when you’re most dynamic player plays on the defensive side of the ball.

Last year, Urlacher regressed significantly. In fact, he’s been regressing ever since the Bears last appearance in the Super Bowl.

For the Bears to get back to the Super Bowl, they need Urlacher to return to the player who was an annual Pro Bowl selection. They need the Urlacher who gave opponents nightmares, who nabbed sacks, interceptions and fumbles, along with all those tackles.

Even with the addition of Jay Cutler, the Bears won’t be a championship force unless their defense improves upon its largely miserable peformance of last year. And this won’t happen if Urlacher doesn’t pressure the quarterback or grab some turnovers.

And, yes, even if Urlacher does have a good year, he’ll still be a surly, ungrateful jerk. But at least he’ll be a Pro Bowl-caliber surly, ungrateful jerk.