Mark Anderson: Bears perspective

(Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago files an entry reflecting on Mark Anderson's time with the Bears from 2006-2010.)

For a brief time, Mark Anderson appeared to be a one of the steals of the 2006 NFL Draft. Selected by the Chicago Bears in the fifth round out of Alabama, Anderson burst onto the scene as rookie when he collected 12 regular season sacks for one of the top defenses in the league. The Bears, especially head coach Lovie Smith, were so impressed with Anderson, they handed him a starting defense end job the following the season, at the expense of veteran and locker room leader Alex Brown.

That proved to be a bad decision.

Anderson's success that first year with the Bears was due in large part to his role: a situational pass rusher. But as a full-time starter, Anderson, no longer an unknown commodity, was exposed a poor run stopping defense end and failed to develop any new pass rushing moves. He promptly lost the job back to Brown the following year. Then from 2008-09, Anderson was a non-factor, recording a total of 4.5 sacks. The Bears once again tried to hand Anderson a starting role at the onset of 2010 opposite Julius Peppers, but he was beaten out by Israel Idonije, and eventually released by the club on October 5, 2010.

Anderson did play in a 3-4 defense while at Alabama, but failed to rack up impressive numbers (13.5 career sacks). That lack of productivity during his four year career college career led to him being drafted in the fifth round in the spring of 2006.