Off-season of Bad Publicity Continues

Tight end John Gilmore signed a two-year contract to stay in Chicago during the off-season, but after being arrested in the early morning hours of Saturday his time with the Bears could be coming to an end.

Gilmore was charged with trespassing, resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of less than 2.5 grams of marijuana. While an officer tried to handcuff Gilmore, he resisted and a "small tussle" ensued.

The incident took place around 2:30 a.m. at the Leg Room, a bar in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood. He was released from police custody after posting bond with a court date set for Sept. 15.

Gilmore will head to training camp as the No. 2 tight end on the depth chart behind starter Desmond Clark. Considering Gilmore is the fourth Bear to have legal issues in less than six months, he could be on a short leash.

Cornerback Ricky Manning's future remains uncertain following an assault charge stemming from an April 23rd arrest in which he was allegedly part of a group that attacked a man at a restaurant in Los Angeles.

February proved to be an embarrassing month for the organization. Defensive tackle Tank Johnson was charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest outside a Chicago nightclub. Although the charges were eventually dropped, it was his second arrest in eight months. Cornerback Daven Holly, who has since been released, was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and not having a firearm identification card after a shooting incident.

The six-foot-5, 260-pounder is the best blocking tight end on the roster. However, he's only caught two passes over the last three seasons. Making negative news away from the field is something he can't afford to do.

Worth the Wait
Harry Hiestand finally made the move to the NFL last season to be the right-hand man and offensive line coach for Ron Turner after he was hired as the Bears offensive coordinator. It took 23 years as a college coach, including the last eight at Illinois, where he was also Turner's assistant head coach for the final five years.

Hiestand inherited a veteran offensive line, including Olin Kreutz, who was voted to his fifth straight Pro Bowl after last season. The undersized but hard-working and feisty line leader has already made a believer of Hiestand.

"I think he's clearly the best," Hiestand said. "I don't see anybody better. What makes him so good? The No. 1 thing is his work ethic. He's got a tireless work ethic. He works to get better every day, whether it's in his preparation in the weight room or on the practice field. There's no doubt that he's the example of what you want an offensive lineman to be."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're really excited about what he might be able to do for us this year." -- Bears coach Lovie Smith on second-year RB Cedric Benson

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