Posts tagged with: Tommie Harris

What the Seattle Seahawks think of the Bears

It’s always interesting to learn what sports experts in other cities think of our Bears. If you visit the Web site of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, you’ll uncover a preview of the Bears. And what do the fine minds in Seattle think? Well, they have the feeling that new quarterback Jay Cutler will improve the Bears offense. But they’re not sure if the Bears are going to win anything anyway.

The newspaper points out the Bears’ obvious flaws: The offensive line is a weak, and relying on aging, injury-prone Orlando Pace probably isn’t the smartest move. The wide receivers stink. The loss of Tommie Harris and Charles Tillman for the first month of the season, at least, will stress an already questionable defense.

It’s hard to argue with any of this. Some Bears fans are blinded by the arrival of a real quarterback. We haven’t seen many of those here in Chicago, after all. But even a rifle arm isn’t enough to disguise the Bears’ real problems. My prediction? 9-7, again. And no playoff berth, again.

Are Bears overrated?

Training camp is an odd time. You can either leave it completely in love with a mediocre team or horrified by what you see from a highly regarded squad.

That’s because you spend much of training camp watching scrubs try to tackle other scrubs. Sometimes, these scrubs look great. Other times, they look like scrubs.

But this Chicago Bears training camp is something different. This was supposed to be new quarterback Jay Cutler’s camp. And so far, Cutler’s looked impressive. It’s nice to see what passes look like when they’re thrown by a quarterback who has a real arm.

But this training camp has also unearthed a whole slew of questions. First, is cornerback Nathan Vasher ever going to be good again? He hasn’t looked like it during training camp. Secondly, what about Tommie Harris? Will he revert to his old form again, or have injuries robbed him of his Pro-Bowl skill? Based on training camp, unfortunately, it looks like Harris won’t be returning to the Pro Bowl anytime soon.

Then there are the wide receivers. They all sort of stink. We knew that before training camp. We know that now.

And what about running back Matt Forte? He had an impressive rookie year. But he wore down at the end of the season. Is he just a one-year wonder? It’s impossible to tell from this training camp, at least.

Many consider the Bears to be favorites to win their division. That’s partly because Cutler is such an upgrade over former starting quarterback Kyle Orton. It’s partly because the Bears’ division just isn’t very strong.

Still, when you look really closely at the division, it becomes more difficult to make the argument that the Minnesota Vikings aren’t a more complete team.

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.

Bad news for Tillman, Bears

There was just too much good news surrounding the Bears lately. They picked up new quarterback Jay Cutler, somehow. They found a new offensive lineman with past Pro Bowl credentials in Orlando Pace. And then came the news that both Brian Urlacher and Tommie Harris reported to mini-camp looking hungrier and trimmer than ever.

You just knew the bad news had to happen. This is the Chicago Bears, after all, a team that’s managed to win just one SuperBowl, a squad where wide receivers and quarterbacks seemingly go to die.

That bad news came this morning: Veteran defensive back Charles Tillman is out indefinitely after having back surgery.

Yes, this is serious bad news. The Bears’ defensive backfield is already a disaster. This injury leaves it even shorter on talent.

It all means one thing: Cutler’s going to have to throw an awful lot of touchdown passes.

You change the “attitude,” but defensive line still features same players

I came across this rather nauseating story at the Bleacher Report blog: Seems new Bears’ defensive line coach Rod Marinelli has changed the sign on the defensive-line meeting room at Halas Hall from “Defensive Line” to “Rush Men.”

How cute.

I wonder if Marinelli tried any of the same “motivational” tactics for the defensive linemen of the Detroit Lions. If he did, it didn’t keep them from going 0-16 last season.

These motivational techniques by grown men for grown men are a bit sickening, aren’t they? They’re silly. Spare me the platitudes of Marinelli instilling a “new attitude” among the defensive linemen. Aren’t these guys grown men being paid very well to do their job? I hardly think they need a new attitude. They may need more talent, more natural pass-rushing ability and maybe, just mabye, some better schemes (the one thing Marinelli can actually help them with ), but a new attitude? C’mon, this isn’t grammar school football here.

What really amazes me is that no sportswriters openly mock the “Rush Men” sign change. Or do the sportswriters in town think such silly things actually have an impact?

What will have an impact is Tommie Harris actually playing like the star we all thought he was going to be, or Adewale Ogunleye playing like he’s actually alive.