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Bears hoping CB Bowman takes advantage of fresh start

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted June 03, 2011 @ 11:01 a.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Although head coach Lovie Smith benched Zack Bowman three games into the 2010 campaign, Smith has made it clear this offseason that he has not given up on the cornerback.

The Bears are going to give Bowman a chance to reclaim the starting job at left cornerback whenever the labor situation is settled and we hear they are hoping he will return motivated and win the job over Tim Jennings, who replaced Bowman in Week Three.

Jennings started for the rest of the season and proved to be serviceable, but Bowman, who battled a foot injury that sidelined him for three games last season, has more size and the team still views him as a player with great upside. Bowman impressed the coaching staff in 2009, starting 12 games that season. Chicago moved him from right to left corner before last season, flipping Charles Tillman to the right side, which was viewed as a strong vote of confidence in Bowman. He struggled early on, however, and didn't escape Smith's doghouse.

It's a big year for Bowman and Jennings, as they each are entering the final year of their contracts. Joshua Moore, a fifth-round pick in 2010, would be a sleeper to watch at corner if there were minicamps going on this offseason, but the lockout has prevented him from getting the opportunity to work with the coaching staff and carve a niche after watching from the sideline in all but three games as a rookie.

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