Player Profile: Chris Thompson

Even though Chris Thompson is best known for falling on a Steve Smith touchdown pass in the playoff loss to Carolina, he proved to be a solid special teams player for the Bears. Get up close and personal with the cornerback.

Thompson entered the NFL after being drafted by the Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2004 draft. He spent the entire 2004 season on the Jaguars 53 man roster but never appeared in a game. He was waived by Jacksonville after the final cuts in 2005 and landed with the Bears.

The six-foot, 187-pound Thompson appeared in 10 games and recorded eight special teams tackles. His most notable play occurred in Week 10 against the 49ers when Thompson recovered a muffed punt near the San Francisco end zone that led to a fourth quarter Bears field goal. He also started in the season finale at Minnesota and had five tackles.

A native of New Orleans, Thompson started 32 of 35 games at Nicholls State where he recorded 148 tackles, 11 interceptions, 28 pass break-ups, 2 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries and 8 blocked kicks. He did not allow a TD reception by an opponent during his entire college career and was the first varsity player from Nicholls State to be named to an all-American team since Darryl Pounds in 1994.

Major: Business Administration.

Plans for life after football: Business administration was a good all around major that should give me quite a few options once my football career is over. I'm thinking that I might want to start my own business, but it's way too early to get very specific about that. For the time being, I am concentrating on football.

Did you have any mentors growing up: My family for sure. We've always been close. I have three older sisters. I'm the baby of the family. My grandmother had 12 children so there are a lot of aunts, uncles and cousins. They're my best cheerleaders and my biggest supporters. It's really exciting for me when they can watch me in a game.

They all lived in New Orleans so it's been a difficult year for them. I was relieved that everybody came out OK although a lot of property was lost.

When did you first play football: In grade school, I think it was 6th or 7th grade. I also ran track. I think that's what attracted me first about football. It utilized my speed and I got to hit people too. What junior high guy wouldn't enjoy doing that? I was always an active kid. I'm sure that my family felt it was a great way for me to work off some of my energy.

When did you first sense that you might make it to the NFL: I'd say probably junior year in college. I'd had a good strong season and scouts seemed to have interest in me. It can be hard to get noticed when you are from a smaller school, but Nicholls State had a strong football tradition so that helped me quite a bit. Once I thought I had a chance, I put in a lot of extra time and learning to read plays as they were unfolding.

What's it like to change teams in the NFL: Well, there's the terrible moment of knowing you've been cut, but then that's followed by another team wanting you to join them. That's the best part.

What's the best part of your job: Sundays.

The worst part: Sometimes the days of practice and meetings can get pretty long.

Do you have a favorite TV show: Martin, I wasn't happy when it was canceled but I try to get it in reruns.

Do you go to the movies: Definitely, that's a good way to relax. My favorite so far is Harlem Nights.

Do you have any hobbies: To relax I hang out with my friends, watch TV, or go to a movie.

What would you say to high school or college players who might hope to get to the NFL: Keep working hard and be sure to focus on your studies first. Football can only take you so far, then it's all up to you and what you have learned. If you are well educated, a lot of possibilities are open. And along the way, don't forget football is a game. Have fun.

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