Briggs not any closer to knowing where he'll play next season
It's been an awful season for the defending NFC champion Chicago Bears, who were officially eliminated from the postseason after a 20-13 loss at Minnesota on Monday Night Football. But on a brighter note, weakside linebacker Lance Briggs received some personal recognition Tuesday when the former Arizona Wildcat was named to his third straight Pro Bowl. Currently fulfilling a one-year deal as the team's franchise player, Briggs has solidified himself as one of the league's best `backers and certainly earned himself a healthy payday in free agency this coming March – whether that payday comes from his current employer is anyone's guess.
Briggs has been at war with the organization and the Windy City media for quite some time, and he admits that the the business of professional football sometimes gets in the way of his enjoyment of the game.
LB Lance Briggs
Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images
"To me, the business side kind of takes away from the joy of it," Briggs said Wednesday before practice at Halas Hall. "To enjoy football is just to go out there for practice, jump around with your guys, be sound on your tecnhiques, and go out and have fun on Sundays. I have a lot on the line. The next play you could get hurt, and you could go from a person potentially that can make $50 million to a person that's gonna end up making $30 million, which is a lot of money, but potentially you could have made a lot more money. You want to maximize in this business because you don't know when your last day's gonna be. And football is not guaranteed like baseball or basketball, so you gotta make the most while you can."
Briggs hasn't made any determinations yet in terms of his future in Chicago, choosing to keep his focus on the field for the final two games.
"Every football season, try to handle football," he said, "And then every offseason, try to handle the business side."
However, when asked if he can see himself as a Monster of the Midway yet again next season, Briggs gave Bears fans reason to be concerned.
"I can see myself in a lot of uniforms," he joked.
Harris doesn't see much of a difference between Orton and Griese
There are many experts around the NFL who believe that Al Harris is the second best cornerback on the Green Bay roster behind Charles Woodson, but it was Harris – not the former Heisman Trophy Winner – who was elected to the Pro Bowl this season. The Packers are cruising along at 12-2 and still have a shot at homefield advantage throught the playoffs, but one of their defeats came at the hands of the rival Bears. Head coach Mike McCarthy offered up the typical "you can throw the records out when these two teams get together" line already, and Harris is looking forward to a little payback Sunday at Soldier Field.
The Green Bay defense will have to prepare for Kyle Orton at quarterback this time as opposed to Brian Griese, although Harris doesn't believe any drastic changes will be necessary.
"I don't think so," Harris said Wednesday via conference call at Halas Hall. "Just from our point, we don't prepare for quarterbacks. We're going to prepare for their scheme, so it really doesn't matter who's quarterbacking. Schemes don't change."
CB Al Harris
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
The Bears were atrocious on offense Monday night in Minnesota and have struggled to score points consistently all season long, but Harris still sees a lot of talent in Chicago's receiving corps.
"I think they've got a great group of guys," he said. "Any one of those guys can hurt you at any given time. They're professionals. [Muhsin Muhammad] is a professional. He does a great job of getting open. [Bernard] Berrian will stretch the field on you. The tight ends are playing well. I think they've got a good group of guys."
When asked about possibly having to cover Devin Hester, Harris didn't seem overly concerned since the Pro Bowl return man is still inexperienced playing offense.
"I haven't really paid attention to him," Harris said. "He's an exceptional player, a great player, a great return guy. As a receiver, like you said, he's learning on the professional level. So that's how you have to look at it."
As for the Packers, FB Korey Hall is out with a hip injury. CB Jarrett Bush (calf), OT Chad Clifton (shoulder), OG Junius Coston (ankle), TE Bubba Franks (knee), CB Al Harris (heel), DT Ryan Pickett (groin), WR Koren Robinson (knee), QB Aaron Rodgers (hamstring), S Aaron Rouse (shoulder), OT Mark Tauscher (ankle), LB Tracy White (ankle), and CB Charles Woodson (toe) were only able to participate on a limited basis.
For the Bears, DE Mark Anderson (knee), LB Lance Briggs (hip), QB Rex Grossman (knee), DT Tommie Harris (knee), WR Devin Hester (shin), CB Nathan Vasher (groin), DT Darwin Walker (elbow), and LB Rod Wilson (quad) did not participate in practice Wednesday.
News & Notes
When asked whether or not he would compete in the Pro Bowl this February, defensive tackle Tommie Harris admitted Wednesday after practice that he'd probably skip the game because of health concerns. He did, however, have a suggestion as to who should play. Harris believes Darnell Dockett of the Cardinals is deserving of a trip to Hawaii.
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.
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