Bears Notebook: Harris requests trade ahead of deadline

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Chris Harris would like to get traded to a team for which he can start, but the Bears may not find a trade partner for him.
Chris Harris would like to get traded to a team for which he can start, but the Bears may not find a trade partner for him.

The agent for Bears safety Chris Harris has asked for and received permission to seek a trade for his client ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline.

The news broke Monday after Harris was disappointed by not only losing his starting job last week but not even dressing for the Vikings game Sunday night.

Trading Harris would be more than welcome considering the veteran seems to spend more time on Twitter than making plays on the football field, but it’s extremely unlikely the Bears could get much value in return for the seventh-year pro with a sore hamstring.

It’s clear at this point in Harris’ career that he does not have much football left in him and certainly little to none for a team that needs speed and athleticism from its last line of defense.

Target of Cutler’s cussing a hot topic

Sunday night’s NBC broadcast of the Bears-Vikings game clearly caught Jay Cutler using the F-word, and the identity of whom Cutler was directing the expletive at was a hot topic Monday.

At some point in the game, Cutler was looking at his own sideline when he shouted, “Tell him I said (bleep) you,” as he broke the huddle and approached the line of scrimmage.

The prevailing theory is that Cutler was shouting at quarterbacks coach Shane Day and his ire was directed at offensive coordinator Mike Martz, with whom Cutler’s frustration has been clearly evident in the past few weeks.

I don’t have a problem with Cutler’s intensity on the field and his anger and frustration are clearly justifiable given the intense pressure he’s felt operating Martz’s pass-happy offense. If his emotions affected his play in any way, then I might have a problem with it, but he had a great performance for the second straight week and his emotional outburst probably shows more a sign of confidence and swagger than immaturity.

Hester suffers chest injury in midst of huge game

The story of the game Sunday night against the Vikings was Devin Hester’s contributions on both offense and special teams. On the Bears’ first possession, he caught a 48-yard bomb from Cutler for the first touchdown of the game. Later, he returned a kickoff 98 yards for his second score.

Unfortunately, Hester left the game early after suffering a chest injury.

The sound of “chest injury” initially brought about concern considering wide receiver Earl Bennett suffered one against the Saints in Week 2 and has yet to see the field since then. But Lovie Smith said in his press conference Monday that Hester’s injury “shouldn’t be serious” and that they’re “going to put it in the bumps-and-bruises section.”

Good start for Paea

Few rookies — particularly of the Bears variety — have a better NFL debut than did defensive tackle Stephen Paea. The second-round draft pick saw his first action of the season Sunday against the Vikings and he had a sack and a safety early in the game. Although he didn’t jump out on the stat sheet, he did do his job in disrupting several plays with penetration into the backfield.

Paea figures to see more action this week against the Buccaneers and if he has another good game, he could continue to see playing time after the return of Matt Toeaina from injury.

Bears, Buccaneers have different London travel plans

Ahead of Sunday’s annual NFL game played in London, the Buccaneers decided to spend the week over there to get their internal clocks adjusted to the time zone difference. The Bears, meanwhile, have elected to stay in Lake Forest to practice before heading overseas on Thursday.

I can see the advantages in either itinerary and I don’t have a preference toward one or the other. The Bucs can adapt to the new time zone and get comfortable in their surroundings while the Bears can eliminate distractions and treat this weekend as a short business trip instead of a tourism opportunity. Given that the Bears will have all day Friday and Saturday to get their internal body clocks adjusted to the time difference, I don’t think they’ll have a problem getting ready to play Sunday.

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