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No joke, Harris making an impact

Tommie Harris had two sacks for a loss of 16 yards in Sunday's win over Seattle. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

CHICAGO -- Speak up when asking Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris a question.

Otherwise, hilarity might ensue.

Asked whether three sacks over the team's last two outings provided vindication from criticism fired his way in the regular season, Harris launched into thoughts about food dispensing systems.

"Uh, I don't eat from vending machines. I don't know much about vending machines," Harris said before finally recognizing the tenor of the question. "Oh, vindication. Vindication. No, it's not vindication. [The] NFC championship was on the line. You've got to get the win. You have to seize the opportunity."

Harris definitely did that against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, dropping quarterback Matt Hasselbeck twice for losses of 16 yards. The increase in production comes after a slow start to the regular season that resulted in Harris being moved out of the starting lineup.

Harris was battling weakness in his knee earlier in the season, but the injury strengthened, so did Harris. Prior to the team's Dec. 12 loss to New England, Harris approached the coaching staff and urged it to re-insert him into the starting lineup. Although he's posted just eight tackles since then, Harris has generated three sacks and has been a force against the run.

"Tommie Harris has been through a lot," Bears coach Lovie Smith said Monday. "To see him have a game like that ... a lot of flash plays. Hopefully that will continue."

Perhaps the comedy remains a mainstay in Harris' repertoire as well.

As Harris' session broke up with reporters following the game, the defensive lineman put a meaty arm around the female radio reporter, who originally asked the question.

"I heard what you asked," Harris said, smiling. "It was just a joke."

Not to mention a fun way to kick off a long week of coverage headed into Sunday's Bears-Packers matchup.