Coach Lovie Smith feels that the Bears’ family atmosphere provides the ideal environment for a player who needs a change of scenery and a chance to revitalize his NFL career.
Such is the case with Brian Price, a defensive tackle the Bears acquired Thursday from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for an undisclosed 2013 draft pick.
Price has struggled with the death of his 33-year-old sister, Bridget James, who was the victim of a hit-and-run automobile accident in May in Los Angeles. The 6-1, 303-pounder was reportedly hospitalized due to exhaustion in the wake of the tragedy.
“I think we have a great locker room for any player coming in,” Smith said. “If you want to be successful, you want a second chance to make things right or just a new start, it’s a great place for it. Our guys are going to meet him, be there for him as a teammate and let him know how we do things. But we’re bringing him in here to help us win football games and hopefully that’s what he’s coming in to do.”
Price was selected by the Buccaneers in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft with the 35th overall pick. After appearing in five games as a reserve as a rookie, he started 14 of 15 games played in 2011, registering 24 tackles and three sacks.
“From him coming out of college, I had a chance to look at him a lot,” said defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. “You follow the guys in the league and he’s a physical guy. He fits like our guys; athletic, the movement, he’s got good power. So we’re anxious to get him here.”
Price passed his physical with the Bears Friday. But in accordance with the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, he will not be permitted to practice until at least Wednesday at the earliest.
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