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Da Bears

Chicago is holding its minicamp this weekend too and there are a couple of interesting stories to watch.

It gets second billing in the above article, but the first priority for Chicago is the return of DT Tommie Harris. After Harris was lost due to an injury at the end of November, their defense went from legendary to average. Maybe the wear of a long season caught up with the defense by early December or maybe Harris is just that important. Either way, without Harris they're looking at the recently released DT Tank Johnson and San Francisco cast off DT Anthony Adams as the starters. It really is surprising that Chicago didn't add any depth at defensive tackle through the draft.

Then there is nothing to worry about with the absence of LB Lance Briggs because they've got LB Jamar Williams, who is coming off a shoulder injury, and rookie 3rd round LB Michael Okwo. Good luck with that Chicago.

Also they have what is sure to be the most watched position change in the NFL this season in Pro Bowl returner Devon Hester's move to offense. He might seem a good fit at running back since Chicago traded RB Thomas Jones, but Chicago drafted the Wolfe from Northern Illinois as a 3rd down/change of pace to starting RB Cedric Benson. Although Hester will practice with the receivers, Chicago's plan is to use him like RB Reggie Bush.  Maybe there is a good reason Hester played defense in college such has he has wide receiver skills but hands better suited for cornerback. Still the move has potential, although unlike in Bush's case, Hester will have QB Rex Grossman instead of QB Drew Brees.

The last interesting bit is that DE Alex Brown has requested a trade. Brown has been very good in Chicago, but DE Mark Anderson stunned everyone by producing 12 sacks last season and has left Chicago with three starting defensive ends. Brown might force Chicago's hand and they might be forced to trade him if he fails to report. Still its more likely Brown plays out 2007 in Chicago, either wins or loses the battle with Anderson, and may find himself a new home in 2008.