When the Chicago Bears last ran the Tampa-2 defense, it was under Lovie Smith.
When the system ran at its best, it came with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Tommie Harris in the middle.
The Bears drafted him 14th overall in 2004. From the outset, it was clear he was a problem.
Guards and centers couldn’t handle his mixture of power, quickness, and ferocity.
In his first four seasons, he collected 19.5 sacks and 24 quarterback hits, making three Pro Bowls.
Bears fans will always wonder how great he might’ve been if knee and hamstring injuries hadn’t sapped his explosiveness.
Former Bears scouting director Greg Gabriel played a central role in helping draft Harris all those years ago.
He has a deep familiarity with the Tampa-2 defense Matt Eberflus and his staff want to run.
It requires a three-technique defensive tackle that can get up the field,
shooting gaps and creating havoc. After watching the 2023 draft class,
there was one name that caught his attention immediately.
It is somebody that gave him immediate memories of Harris at his peak.