Numbers Game for Haynes

Lake Forest - Defensive lineman Michael Haynes, who was inactive vs. Minnesota for the first time since being drafted in the first round in 2003, was back on the field against Baltimore, and he showed up at critical times.

Michael Haynes stopped Ravens running back Jamal Lewis for a 2-yard gain on the final play of the first quarter. Midway through the fourth quarter, he and tackle Alfonso Boone split a sack with the Bears clinging to a 10-6 lead.

After sitting out last week in favor of defensive end Israel Idonije, Haynes got a blunt critique of his early-season performance from general manager Jerry Angelo and coach Lovie Smith. It hit home.

"It was a very humbling experience," Haynes said. "They really told me what they thought and what their expectations were, and they expressed that I was not meeting their expectations, and that's the reason that I didn't dress."

With the Ravens expected to pound the ball on the ground, the Bears wanted an extra lineman on the field, so backup ends Haynes and Idonije were both active.

"We realized it was going to be a big defensive game, so we needed all of our horses," Haynes said. "So coaches made sure we had all of our guys available."

Haynes believes he raised the level of his performance, but whether or not the Bears can continue to carry eight d-linemen on game day is uncertain.

"There's a possibility to that, we'll just kind of see how the numbers work out," Smith said.

"All guys need to elevate their game, really as we're getting better. And as a football team each week I'm going to say that about quite a few of us. We all need to get better from week to week."

Backfield in Motion
Marc Edwards is tied for the team lead with two touchdown receptions. He's also done a good job of opening up holes for RB Thomas Jones, but as the only true fullback on the roster the team could use some additional depth.

Jason McKie is currently on the non-football injury list, but started practicing with the team last week. Bryan Johnson has spent seven weeks on the physically unable to perform list and could begin a similar routine today. The team has three to evaluate each player once they begin practicing.

One will likely be elevated at some point in the near future, but there's a good chance Edwards would remain the starter.

"Marc has done a great job for us," Smith said. "He's our starting fullback right now. Once we get other players, once they become a part of the mix we'll put them in that then."

Lofty Numbers
Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher is tied for fifth in the NFL with six sacks and he leads the team with 49 tackles according to With 641 yards rushing, Thomas Jones is sixth in the league, but the five other backs ahead of him have all played an extra game. Bobby Wade is still tops in the NFL with a 14.0 average per punt return.

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