Tommie Harris was born in Germany and raised Killeen, Texas. He went to Ellison High School and then enrolled at the University of Oklahoma. He played for Bob Stoops Sooners where he won the Lombardi Award for the Nation’s best lineman in 2003. Stoops said he “almost” felt sorry for opponents because Harris was impossible to block.
Harris who at 6-foot-3, 295 pounds was a first round draft choice of the Chicago Bears and Head Coach Lovie Smith in 2004. He played defensive tackle for the Bears from 2004-2010 and then played one season for the San Diego Chargers. Harris’s Bears career was strong in the first several seasons and then slowed due to injuries. He was a Pro Bowler in 2005, 2006, and 2007–a period with a tough Bears defense that instilled confidence in fans. In 2006, injuries kept him out of most of the last third of the season. The 2006 Bears defense took them into the playoffs right up to the XLI Super Bowl against the Indianapolis Colts, which they lost 29-17 (without Harris). It’s hard to minimize how the loss of a “healthy” Harris would have impacted the game.
Harris is on the 100 Greatest Bears of All Time list.
PAPA BEAR AND THE CHICAGO BEARS’ WINNING WAYS reviews the exciting story of George Halas and his dynamic role in professional football for those in middle school and older. Author: Patrick McCaskey. Great offer today!
Image: Cover illustration by Bill Potter of Papa Bear and the Chicago Bears Winning Ways. Copyright 2021, Sporting Chance Press.