22 Starters in 22 Days: Ian Scott

On the Chicago Bears highly touted defense, no contribution is more overlooked than that of Ian Scott. Considering it's a contract year for the defensive tackle, will he be with the team past this season?

Scott has become a vital part of the defensive line, which he anchors with his six-foot-3, 302-pound frame. Over the last two seasons, he's started 25 games and made 121 tackles.

However, a disappointing rookie season and a pedestrian training camp left doubt whether or not Scott would even make the team in 2004. After being inactive the first two games of the season, he came off the bench in Week 3 and then went onto start the final 13 contests of the year.

As a fourth round pick out of Florida, Scott is an overachiever. While he's a solid run stuffer, he's not a pass rush force. With just two career sacks, he's taken out in the nickel defense.

For a player who isn't flashy, there always seems to be someone ready to challenge Scott. Before suffering a torn calf muscle this off-season, Tank Johnson was expected to compete with Scott for the staring job. As Johnson's rehab is likely to stretch into training camp, Scott's top spot on the depth chart seems secure.

Entering the final year of his rookie deal, the Bears have to make a decision on Scott. Is there enough depth at defensive tackle to let him test the market or is he viewed as a core player on a young defense that has to be retained?

The selection of Dusty Dvoracek in the third round gave the Bears insurance incase Johnson isn't ready to go when the season starts. It also provides flexibility if Scott leaves via free agency.

Dvoracek and Tommie Harris are close from their playing days together at Oklahoma. Now reunited in Chicago, the duo could eventually become a starting tandem in the same defensive scheme they wreaked havoc in for the Sooners.

During his tenure as general manager, Jerry Angelo has proven he rewards those who have performed in a Bear uniform. Several players have received extensions before ever hitting the open market.

At just 24, Scott appears to be a player who can still improve and worth keeping. He quietly goes about his business without ego. On a star-studded defense, it's good to have a few players that don't need the spotlight.

Bear Report Top Stories