OTA Chat: DT Marcus Harrison

The Chicago Bears could have a great tandem at defensive tackle with Tommie Harris next to Dusty Dvoracek, but health issues forced Jerry Angelo to draft Marcus Harrison from Arkansas in the third round. Harrison spent some time with Bear Report after Wednesday's OTA workout at Halas Hall.

John Crist: I bet you're probably sick to death of answering questions about your character that came up around the time of the draft. But given the landscape of the NFL these days, were those questions about you fair?

Marcus Harrison: Yeah, I say they're fair just because in today's NFL, character is the main issue today. And I'm just trying to prove that it was a mistake in the past and I've moved on.

JC: In today's sports media, it seems like a pro athlete can do a dozen great things in the community, but all anybody ever wants to talk about is that one time when he made a mistake. Given what you had to go through with the draft process, do you think you're wiser than you were before and won't show the bad judgment you occasionally did in the past?

MH: Exactly. Right now, I've just been trying to put my best foot forward and just move on. I'm pretty comfortable when people ask me in the press just because I know that I've done it, so I have to fess up to it when asked these questions. But mainly, my main goal is just to try to prove to everyone that I'm the type of guy I am.

JC: Not only is Tommie Harris maybe the best defensive tackle around, but he's also known as one of the best guys in the league away from football. What can you learn from someone like him, both on and off the field?

MH: A lot. I look up to Tommie and try to talk to him and go to him and ask questions whenever I can whenever he's available. We talk a lot. I mean, he's like my big brother. He pretty much is trying to teach me everything, things on the field and off the field.

DT Marcus Harrison
Scott Boehm/AP Images

JC: I believe you played a lot of the three-technique position at Arkansas, but you'll probably see more time at the nose in this defense. How much of a difference is there between the two, and are you comfortable there?

MH: Anything for the team to help the team out. I played nose a lot too at Arkansas just because we switched pretty much. But I'm comfortable playing it, switching sides and everything. Anything to get on the field and help my team.

JC: Ruben Brown said on the radio today that it takes time for rookies to earn their keep, and sometimes he doesn't even know their names until they've been in the league a year or two. Do the veterans on this team make an effort to introduce themselves, or have they gone out of their way to ignore you?

MH: I would say it's 50-50. But with the defense we've got out here, you pretty much got to earn whatever you get around here. And that's cool just because it makes you work hard. You want to earn their respect. You don't want anything given to you. It's pretty much get in there and try to make plays and make a name for yourself, then it's like they'll start coming around.

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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