|Bears LB Urlacher offers few words; Harris offers to help inner-city Chicago|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 25 October 2007 13:22|
While one Chicago Bears star all but continued his media boycott, another vowed to help the city's youth.
When reporters gathered by his locker on Thursday, Harris immediately steered the conversation away from football. He said he was so moved by a TV news report last week on the shooting of a child on the South side that he wants to do something about it through his charitable foundation.
``I want them to have a different mind frame,'' Harris said. ``It's difficult because that's their mind frame. That's all they've seen all their life.''
Urlacher insisted his mind frame is just fine, although it's tough to make a convincing argument using just one or two words. And that's exactly what he's been doing lately.
The pattern started in the locker room following the Bears' 34-31 loss to Minnesota on Oct. 14 and continued the past two weeks.
On Thursday, his weekly news conference lasted just a couple minutes, with his answers short if not sweet.
Someone asked about how the Bears need to attack the Detroit Lions this week.
``Get pressure on the quarterback,'' Urlacher said.
Is there a bad taste lingering from the fourth quarter of last month's game at Detroit, when the Lions set an NFL record with 34 points and won 37-27?
``Yes,'' Urlacher said.
Did the Bears talk about that quarter this week?
``Yes,'' he said.
What happened in that quarter?
``Didn't make plays,'' Urlacher said.
Someone pointed out that his comments the past few weeks have been short and asked if something's eating at him.
``No,'' Urlacher said.
Why the short answers?
``No reason,'' Urlacher said.
Are you upset about something?
``No,'' Urlacher said.
He answered one more question and said ``good talking to y'all'' as he left the room.
Never the chatty type, this is unusual even by his standards.
He basically shut out the media during training camp, and although he didn't bare his soul the first few weeks, most of his answers were more than one or two words.
Urlacher had five tackles against Minnesota, and he took issue with a question about his back during his news conference the following week even though it has bothered him this season.
``Was it on the injury report?'' Urlacher responded that day. ``Did you see the injury report? There you go.''
Urlacher then delivered one of his best performances this season, contributing 13 tackles in last week's 19-16 win at Philadelphia.
While his play improved, his demeanor didn't.
With Urlacher and Lance Briggs basically shunning the media, the only starting linebacker talking to reporters is Hunter Hillenmeyer.
``Lance used to take most of the blame and take most of the quotes and get the headlines with outrageous things he'd say. Now that I'm the only linebacker that ever talks ... don't write anything bad about me,'' Hillenmeyer said.
He doesn't think Urlacher is angry.
``I just think it's always a sticky relationship sometimes, especially when we're not 7-0 and there are things to write about that probably aren't so positive,'' Hillenmeyer said.
Harris is trying to do something positive for the city.
He wants to construct youth centers, start Big Brother programs, provide an alternative to the streets and show kids how to build a better life. He's willing to provide the money and he wants input from neighborhood residents, which they can give through his Web site, www.tommieharris.com.
``I want a chance. I want to change. I want to show people that there's a way out,'' Harris said. ``I've been that kid, and I didn't know that there was more beyond Texas until I got a chance to go out and see.''