Say what you want about Chester Taylor and how good a complementary back he’s been throughout his career. Talk about the addition of rookie free safety Major Wright and how he’ll compete for the starting job. While both players have been great additions, the Bears’ second-best move of the off-season was made Tuesday when the team acquired strong safety Chris Harris from the Carolina Panthers.
The best move, obviously, was the addition of defensive end Julius Peppers, but adding Peppers’ former teammate in Carolina should have a dramatic effect on the Bears’ defense.
Harris is obviously familiar with the Bears defense as this will be his second stint with the team. The last Bears fans saw of Harris in navy blue was in Super Bowl XLI in Miami when he intercepted a Peyton Manning pass early in the game. Harris has only gotten better since then and the Bears’ reacquisition of him only confirms the mistake Jerry Angelo made in trading him to Carolina in 2007.
Harris is also one of the best defensive backs in the league at stripping the ball and, paired with Charles Tillman, he should help the Bears generate a few more turnovers this year. The two keys to Lovie Smith’s Cover 2 defense are rushing the passer with the front four — which the Bears should be better at with Peppers on the defensive line — and forcing turnovers — which Harris and Tillman should do many times this year and beyond.