Former Eagle Walker approaching this week just like any week
Defensive tackle Darwin Walker played the first six years of his career in Philadelphia and accumulated 27.5 sacks in an Eagles uniform, but he got into a contract squabble with the front office and came to the Bears in a trade by way of Buffalo after refusing to report to the Bills. Walker became a starter in Week 2 once Dusty Dvoracek was lost for the year on injured reserve with a ruptured ACL, and he was playing pretty well before being sidelined last Sunday with a knee problem. Perhaps not by coincidence, the Bears were destroyed on the ground by Minnesota to the tune of 311 yards rushing – the third most ever allowed by the Monsters of the Midway in their 88-year history.
DT Darwin Walker
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
While Walker initially said that he would not rush his recovery and is looking at this week's matchup as just another game, he has fond memories of his time with the Eagles and admitted that the trip would bring back some memories.
"It's special because I had a great career in Philadelphia," Walker said Wednesday before practice at Halas Hall. "I enjoyed my time in Philadelphia, and I look forward to going back and playing. I don't hold any malice [against the organization]. I'm extremely happy where I am now, and I wouldn't take it back for the world. But at the same time, I enjoyed being in Philadelphia and I've got a lot of great memories there."
He met with offensive line coach Harry Hiestand on Monday afternoon, presumably for some insider's tips on stopping the likes of DE Trent Cole and DT Brodrick Bunkley, but it doesn't sound as if Walker believes he was able to help the coaching staff very much.
"I think that I may know a few things about a player here or there," he said, "but the other side knows that I'm here as well. So there's not going to be any ancient Chinese secrets that I'll be able to give away."
And what kind of reception is Walker expecting to get from the notoriously-nasty Eagles faithful Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field?
"I know I'll probably get a few boos ... but that's Philly."
McNabb refuses to take bait with Chicago trade speculation
The Bears haven't had legitimate stability at the quarterback position seemingly since the days of Sid Luckman before Harry Truman was in office, and it became official that Rex Grossman was not the long-term answer this season when the former first-rounder was benched in favor of veteran Brian Griese a few weeks ago. The Eagles, on the other hand, have seen Donovan McNabb named to five Pro Bowls since selecting him No. 2 overall in 1999 and have been a perennial title contender in the NFC for quite some time. However, McNabb has had trouble staying healthy, the team took off once Jeff Garcia replaced an injured McNabb in the lineup last season, and he fell flat on his face in Super Bowl XL if you listen to former Philly receiver Terrell Owens.
QB Donovan McNabb
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Philadelphia chose QB Kevin Kolb with its first pick in the draft this past April and only solidified the speculation that 2007 could be McNabb's last season with the Eagles, but the Chicago native refused to say whether or not he's thought about playing for the Bears one day – the team he grew up rooting for on the city's south side.
"I really can't say much on that," McNabb said via conference call Wednesday at Halas Hall. "I have a lot of fans there, and I have a lot of fans here. But I can only just focus on being here right now. I'll be a Philadelphia Eagle as long as the organization and the team wants me here. So if [a trade] happens, it happens. But if not, I'm here in Philadelphia trying to win the Super Bowl."
According to McNabb, he plans to finish his career in the City of Brotherly Love despite never truly being appreciated by the fans for everything he's accomplished during his career.
"I do believe that," he said. "And again, like I said, I love being here. I love playing for the Philadelphia Eagles [and] love the fans here. And you just want to continue to win and have success here."
But what about those comments DT Tommie Harris made not too long ago about the Bears definitely winning the Super Bowl if McNabb was under center?
"I didn't hear that," McNabb jokingly responded. "I really didn't hear that. Did he say that at my event? I was working with the kids. I wasn't able to pay attention to that. I don't know what happened."
For the Bears, Harris (hamstring) and CB Nathan Vasher (groin) were both held out of practice Wednesday. Walker (knee) and OG Ruben Brown (shoulder) were only able to participate on a limited basis.
News & Notes
Devin Hester, who returned a punt 89 yards for a touchdown last Sunday against the Vikings, was once again named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, his second such honor this season and fifth of his career already.
John Crist is the Editor in Chief of BearReport.com and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.