Lovie likes CB depth, but knows Harris
November, 8, 2010
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- In the event the Bears are looking to add depth at the cornerback position, head coach Lovie Smith won't need to do much homework on recently released veteran Al Harris.
Jeff Hanisch/US PresswireAl Harris and Lovie Smith go back to their days in Tampa.
"I am familiar with Al Harris," Smith said Monday. "Al and I started together back in Tampa a long time ago. He's a good football player. He'll land somewhere."
Harris, a sixth-round draft choice of the Buccaneers in 1997, spent his rookie season on the Tampa practice squad while Smith was coaching the Bucs linebackers under former head coach Tony Dungy. After being cut by Tampa at the end of the following summer, Harris, 35, went on to enjoy 12 productive seasons with the Eagles and Packers.
Green Bay released Harris Monday after failing to activate the veteran off the physically unable to perform list. Harris suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in November 2009, but has been practicing since Oct. 19.
The Bears currently carry six cornerbacks on the 53-man roster: starters Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings; nickel back D.J. Moore and reserves Zack Bowman, Corey Graham and rookie Joshua Moore.
Bowman has missed the last two games with a sprained right foot, but appears close to returning to practice.
"I'm very happy with it [the depth at cornerback]," Smith said. "You mention a guy like Corey Graham, all he does is everything we ask him to do. He hasn't had an opportunity to get many other plays besides special teams right now, but yes, we are pleased with our depth for our football team.
"That is one of the storylines that goes unnoticed a little bit: our depth. We don't have a lot of injuries, [but] getting a player like Major Wright back into the mix a little bit yesterday -- we didn't get him as many reps as we would have liked -- but getting him back involved [is key]. Hopefully we can get Zack there [back on the field] and get some guys to choose from."