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Bears Banter Vol. 5 – Part 2

Part 2: Special Off-Season/Draft Edition Of Bears Banter Volume 5

Columnist Eric Cook Dishes Out Questions To Site Editor Russ Loede

6. Who is the one draft prospect you want to see the most in a Bears uniform in ’08?

James Hardy, WR Indiana (Why Hardy?). Next Plaxico Burress. Brings added dimension to woeful offense. Who wouldn’t want a 6-foot 7 target that can flat-out play? Hardy is easy to find, a legitimate weapon, and he will distract and draw defenders away from our other WR’s/TE’s.
7. The Bears obviously need help on offense. What defensive positions would you like to see the Bears address with this year’s draft?

Safety/Defensive Tackle. Maybe another linebacker prospect that can play special teams and give us depth. At safety and defensive tackle we are always hurt, so I’m looking at these intriguing candidates as potential possibilities (WarRoom Rankings) to select Day 2: S Josh Barrett (Arizona St.), S Quentin Demps (UTEP), CB/S Reggie Smith (Oklahoma), DT Dre Moore (Maryland), CB Antwuan Molden (E. Kentucky), LB Xavier Adibi/Vince Hall (V-Tech), DE Jason Jones (E. Michigan), LB Marcus Howard (Georgia), LB Phillip Wheeler (Georgia Tech), S Tyrell Johnson (Arkansas St.) S DaJuan Morgan (N.C. State), DT Marcus Harrison (Arkansas), Craig Steltz (LSU), S Marcus Griffin (Texas), and S Tom Zbikowski (Notre Dame), DT Letroy Guion/Andre Fluellen (Florida St.), Ali Highsmith (LSU), LB Geno Hayes (Florida St).
8. What team in the NFC North will be the biggest challenge for the Bears in ’08?

It has to be Minnesota because we match up well against Green Bay, as you saw last season when we took it to ’em, beating them twice. Minnesota has that great rushing attack that’s hard to stop and an offensive line that netrualizes our quick defensive line and speed pass rushers. They also have a decent unit on defense that can make plays and they are tough to beat on the road at their crib in the Metrodome. I don’t think Detroit, despite losing to ’em twice, has much on us because they are not fundamentally sound nor explosive on offense or imposing on defense (when where they?). Green Bay still has a strong running game with Grant/OL and an average defense intact, though not intimidating, yet you have to consider them as a tough test with/without Favre (not coming back).
9. Tommie Harris and Brian Urlacher are both in contract negotiations – who can the Bears least afford to lose?

Tommie Harris – he’s younger and has more years in his “prime” left. It’s a close call because we are 0-7 when Urlacher does not play. The middle linebacker is the quarterback/leader of the defense and it couldn’t be more true or apparent with Urlacher and this Bears defensive unit. Defensive tackles are usually not difference makers on D, but Tommie Harris is one of the finest exceptions and when he is at his best the former Oklahoma Sooner is the best defensive lineman in the NFL. Even though it may’ve been considered an “off” season (made Pro Bowl), Harris still put up eight sacks despite playing with multiple injuries throughout the year, but that did not stop the “Real Deal”, as he started in all 16 games! I’d take Harris over Urlacher without too much hesitation. Harris will continue playing at a high level no matter what adversity he faces and Urlacher seems to have lost a step or two – the scary thing is, Harris has yet to reach his peak.
10) Looking at the Bears schedule for 2008 – who is their the toughest test?

Home: Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Philadelphia

Away: Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota, Atlanta, Carolina, Houston, Indianapolis (Sunday Nite, Week 1), St. Louis

Toughest Test Has To Be – The 2006 Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts, Week 1. What a challenge this will be to start the ’08 season on the road Sunday night against Manning & Co., as they open up their new stadium (Lucas Oil Stadium). It looks like our road schedule is not as tough as it was in ’07 – I may be wrong, and you cannot really determine yet who’s going to be tough and who’s not going to be as it’s always hard to tell. Plus, things will change from now until then, and also we haven’t even gone through the Draft, Training Camp, Pre-Season, and injuries can come up like us Bears fans know! At home it’s a different story, Jacksonville, Philly, Tennessee, N.O., and Tampa are all going to be difficult challenges, as they’ll pose (Saints have improved and will get better via Draft) strong defenses that we’ll have to battle at Soldier Field.
Speaking of schedules, I can’t even describe in detail the words or express through proper emotion in this article how much I love the schedule that just came out – All just like myself, you football/Bear fans out there want some interesting, exciting news to come out, rather than scanning through some old rumors and mock draft projections – and the 2008 NFL Regular Season provides some surprises and enjoyment, as it’s great to see 5, count ’em 5 Prime-Time games for our Bears, and also we get Noon games back, instead of those 3 o’clock games! It was great looking at the schedules when they first came out as it’s a joy to find out the prime time games, when we play each team, and the Packer match-ups of course! Get Ready for the ’08 Season Bears Fans – It’ll be a crazy ride once again like in ’07 – This time I’m hoping for the better – and more games in January – a return back to the postseason, and possibly a trip to Tampa in February!
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