Two for Two

Adding talent on the defensive side of the ball has been the Bears priority in the draft through two rounds. GM Jerry Angelo followed up his selection of DT Oklahoma's Tommie Harris by selecting Washington DT Terry "Tank" Johnson in round two.

While it might seem odd to an outsider to go after players at the same position with consecutive picks, the Bears brass said they couldn't pass up on Johnson.

"They're similar players. But we just felt the quality and the value of the position was too good to pass," GM Angelo said of Harris and Johnson. "We want to get guys who have good fits and obviously the speed is very very important."

Angelo has tried Lovie Smith feel comfortable in Chicago by making the Bears defensive line resemble that of their days spent in Tampa Bay. The two spent five seasons (1996-2000) together with the Buccaneers and it appears that the Bears will resemble a northern version.

"They're (Booger) McFarland-like and (Warren) Sapp-like in terms of their frames. Very fast. Both of them have very good speed," Angelo said of his first two draft picks. "Hopefully we're going to see some of the shades that when I and Lovie were in Tampa (when we) were there both with McFarland and Sapp. Am I saying that they're McFarland and Sapp? Time will tell that. I'm saying that they're clone-like and they're very very competitive people. That's what we like."

At 6-foot-2, Johnson has been clocked in the forty anywhere from the 4.6s and low 4.7s. He is also a polished pass rusher reaching double-digits in sacks as a senior. He tallied 10 sacks in 2003, which is one more than Tommie Harris had in his three years at Oklahoma.

The reason Johnson didn't go in the first-round is because of concerns about his character, but Lovie Smith deemed that as an "unfair assessment."

"We've done our research on him. We felt real comfortable bringing him being a part of the Chicago community," Smith said. "He's a young kid, I can't say he is perfect. None of us are. He didn't have a criminal record. We checked him out fully and feel good about him being a part of the team."

Johnson, who spent part of his childhood in Gary, IN, has had problems with teammates and coaches during his collegiate career.

"I know that having a clean slate with no one looking at you as a bad seed is real special for me," Johnson said.

Nicknamed "Tank" for his aggressive play, Johnson could become a fan favorite early in his Bears' tenure for putting opponents to the ground in a physical fashion.

However, it would be difficult to start two rookies on the defensive line, it's clear that the Bears don't see Alfonso Boone and Bryan Robinson being every down players in the new scheme.

"It doesn't say anything about their futures," Angelo said. "It probably says more about the competition and that's what it's all about. We like Alfonso, obviously we like Bryan. We just got better today."


Bear Report Top Stories