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Bears must tighten up that run 'D'

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Posted March 19, 2007 @ midnight
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:26 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

If you're like me, and you struggled to explain fully the Bears' struggles against the run down the stretch and in the Super Bowl, you have to think now that the team will pay serious attention to the DT draft market in five weeks' time.

You have Tank Johnson going to jail for 120 days (though he might serve 60) and likely faces a four-game suspension. Ian Scott and Alphonso Boone are gone. Tommie Harris, the team's best lineman, and Dusty Dvorcek are coming off significant injuries. Dvorcek has never played a snap of significance as a pro. And Lance Briggs is whinig about his deal and could, though likely won't, hold out.

Yikes. That makes D-tackle a priority this spring. There are none left in free agency. You can't project Israel Idonije or Antonio Garay as being big help there. A look at past history shows that GM Jerry Angelo tends to draft mostly defense one year, mostly offense the next. But he might have to break rank in '07 (last year was primarily a "D" year) and get a tackle with one of those early picks, either 31 or 37. A Briggs trade -- again, unlikely -- could net another early pick.

Who could they take? Justin Harrell could be there for their first pick, though he might not get by the Colts at 32. Ray McDonald should be there for either pick, though he won't get out of teh second round. In fact, he looks like a great fit for a team that has taken on its share of Gators players of the years. If not those two, the talent pool drops off a good bit. Guys such as Turk mcBride, Tank Tyler and Ryan McBean are third-rounders on many teams' boards, though someone is likely to fall in love with McBride (especially if they watch the Boston College tape) and overdraft the guy.

Boy, the Bears' Super Bowl hangover has been a whopper, eh? 

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