LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Tank Johnson has found himself in his
third legal entanglement in the last 18 months and Chicago Bears
general manager Jerry Angelo says it's time for the nose tackle to
clean up his behavior.
"He's made bad decisions. We've seen that. But he's not a bad
person, so I'm not going to sit here and indict him on anything
other than he's made poor choices. He's done some stupid things,"
Angelo said Friday, a day after police found six guns in Johnson's
home and he was charged with misdemeanor possession of firearms
without proper identification.
"We're embarrassed by this," Angelo added. "It's unfortunate
that it did happen and in particular it happened to Tank. He's had
now a history of doing things and that history has got to stop."
Johnson will sit out Sunday's game against Tampa Bay, a decision
made by coach Lovie Smith, who said it was not a disciplinary
action because that would have to come from the NFL.
"Right now with what Tank Johnson is going through, he hasn't
been convicted of anything. I'm going to let that play out, but I
never kick guys out based on something that I think happened,"
Smith said, adding his decision was made to give the Bears the best
chance to win Sunday.
Johnson practiced Friday and afterward offered a public apology
to his teammates and family. He said it was especially difficult to
see newspaper photos of two children being carried out of his house
Thursday as it was raided by Gurnee police.
"I feel like I've learned from a lot of situations in my life
and this one is no different. I just hate the fact that my family
was portrayed like that on the paper," Johnson said.
He also said he didn't want to be a distraction as the Bears
gear up for the playoffs. They will play Sunday without either of
their starting defensive tackles. Tommie Harris is out for the
season after surgery on a torn hamstring. And now Johnson is out
for at least one game.
"I hate to be a deterrent from all the good that's going on
here at Halas Hall," said Johnson, who turned himself in and was
released Thursday after posting his $1,000 bond. He didn't discuss
specifics of the case.
Johnson is scheduled for a court appearance Jan. 9, which would
be several days before the NFC North champion Bears play their
first postseason game.
How Johnson's latest brush will affect his probation from
another case was not clear Friday.
In November 2005, Johnson was sentenced to 18 months probation
and 40 hours community service after pleading guilty to a
misdemeanor charge stemming from an arrest in which a nightclub
valet reported seeing Johnson with a handgun in his sport utility
Johnson also was arrested last February after a confrontation
outside a Chicago nightclub, but the charges were dropped after the
police officer he allegedly scuffled with decided not to pursue the
Cook County prosecutor's office spokesman John Gorman said
Friday that the office would examine papers related to Johnson's
most recent case. He said it would take at least several days to
decide whether to file for Johnson's probation to be revoked.
Two of the weapons seized from Johnson's home Thursday were
assault-style rifles, an AR-15 and a .223 caliber, said Gurnee
Police Chief Robert Jones. Three were powerful handguns -- a .44
Magnum, a .50 caliber, and a .45 caliber -- and one was a .308
Winchester hunting rifle, Jones said.
"The biggest thing you get is that he doesn't have a card for
guns that are legally his," Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye
"It's not like he stole the guns, they are in his name. He
bought them legally, and they got some misdemeanors out of it and
it's a waste of time and a waste of taxpayers' money. The media's
going to blow it out of proportion, and I just hope it all turns
out well for him."
Police said during the search they also found two ounces of
marijuana and arrested Willie B. Posey, 26, on a count of felony
cannabis possession. Posey was released Friday after posting the
$10,000 bond set by a Lake County Circuit Court judge. He is
scheduled to return to court Dec. 21.
Posey said in court Friday he was Johnson's bodyguard, the
Chicago Tribune and Arlington Heights Daily Herald reported on
the newspapers' Web sites. Gurnee police could not confirm Posey's
relationship to Johnson.
Angelo said the Bears can't levy a punishment against Johnson
because it's a league matter.
"A fine isn't an option. We have no option. Again, personal
conduct policy is regulated by the league," he said. "They will
levy any fines, any suspensions."
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello reiterated Friday the incident was