Who says you can’t go home again? With the loss of Henry Melton for the season with a torn ACL many Bear fans are speculating on what the Bears could do to fill the hole. I’ve heard and read all kinds of ideas. So, let me throw one more log on the fire. What about Tommie Harris?
Now before I go to far down this rabbit hole I haven’t had contact with Tommie since I left national radio years ago and I have no idea what kind of shape he is in or if he would even want to make a comeback with the Bears. I know that he has dealt with a terrible personal tragedy over the last year and I couldn’t begin to speculate on if his mind is on playing pro football again.
But, from a fit and chemistry perspective plugging him into this Bear defense is intriguing to me.
Harris is only 30 years old but has been out of football since being let go by the San Diego Chargers at the end of the 2011 season. In that 2011 season Harris posted respectable numbers in 13 games. He clearly wasn’t the Harris that Chicago fans grew to love as a dominant force on the inside but he was still serviceable producing 3.0 sacks and 10 quarterback pressures in roughly 250 snaps playing on an injury riddled Charger defensive line.
Previous to his season in San Diego we all know what he contributed to the Bears. 28.5 sacks, 3 Pro Bowl appearances, and the anchor of a Super Bowl worthy defense. So why not give him a look?
He’s got to have a little more tread left on the tires and the Bears wouldn’t need him to be the old Tommie Harris. They just need a player that can eat up the snaps lost with Melton’s injury. Nate Collins will play a critical role but bringing Harris in as a veteran fill in would be worth the risk .
Harris wouldn’t and couldn’t carry the bulk of the playing time but in regards to other free agent options out there I can’t see a better fit. Why overpay for a Richard Seymour when you could get a better player in Harris cheaper?
Harris is familiar with this defense in both personnel and scheme. In fact, it was Melton that replaced Harris when the Bears cut him in 2010. Harris is also a great team guy. Ask any Bear about their time with Harris and they will give you nothing but positive stories. So we know he is a great locker room presence.
The loss of Melton does need to be addressed and we will see how Collins fares this week in Detroit. If he struggles it might be time to give old #91 a call. My bet is that he would answer.
What do you think? Give me your thoughts through this interactive BGO poll: