I decided to do a countdown to the Chicago Bears season opener on September 8th versus the Cincinnati Bengals. Thanks to one of my followers on Twitter @Beneiserle, I decided to combine the countdown with a roster preview of sorts.
This might have been a good spot to post about Amobi Okoye, but he’s not coming back to the Bears. The current Bear wearing jersey number 91 is Aston Whiteside. Who is Aston Whiteside you ask? Good question and there aren’t many good answers. The Bears don’t list a bio for Whiteside and all I could dig up on the defensive end out of Abilene Christian. I think he’s a longshot to make the 53-man roster and could even have a tough time joining the practice squad.
Instead, let’s talk about a recent #91 who made a big impact on the Bears, Tommie Harris. The Bears drafted Harris with the fourteenth pick in the 2004 draft out of Oklahoma. In his first three years, the defensive tackle was dominant. He finished second in the balloting for 2004 defensive rookie of the year and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2005-2007.
Harris was the ideal fit for Lovie Smith’s defense, which calls for a dominant 3-technique defensive tackle to collapse the pocket and pressure the quarterback from the interior defensive line. Harris’ dominance was short-lived, as knee and hamstring injuries limited his effectiveness and he soon became a point of frustration for Bears fans, who only saw the biggest numbers from #91 on his contract and not in the box score.
We’re 91 days away from kickoff. Are you ready???