Bears WR Bennett Fined $5K for Bright Orange Shoes

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett has drawn a $5,000 fine from the NFL for wearing bright orange shoes in Monday night’s 30-24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Bennett, who was playing for the first time since Week 2 following a chest injury, said he probably won’t wear the shoes against the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Soldier Field.

“They say they will double the fine, so, it would be 10 grand,” Bennett said. “And I don’t think my wife would like that.”

Bennett was asked if he got an explanation for what was wrong with the cleats.

“They were too orange I guess,” he said.

Bears Release DT Tommie Harris

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The have released veteran defensive tackle Tommie Harris, a three-time Pro Bowl pick who had struggled in recent years because of injuries.

The Bears also released linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer and offensive tackle Kevin Shaffer on Monday.

A Pro Bowl pick from 2005 to 2007, Harris was limited by knee and hamstring problems the past few years and never regained his old disruptive form. He had signed a four-year, $40 million extension in June 2008 and was locked in through 2012, but the Bears decided to cut him loose after several ineffective seasons.

He was a healthy scratch against in September and finished the season with 13 tackles and 1½ sacks in 15 games. He was held out of a game last year and got suspended by the team for one in 2008 because of detrimental conduct.

In seven seasons, he had 286 tackles, 28½ sacks, 38 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and one interception.

Hillenmeyer made 69 starts and appeared in 101 games over eight seasons for the Bears, recording 458 tackles and seven sacks with two interceptions, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He missed almost the entire season after suffering a concussion in the preseason.

Shaffer, a nine-year veteran, made seven starts at right tackle over the past two seasons.

Bears Hire Phair as Defensive Line Coach

Filed at 5:29 p.m. EST

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The have hired Mike Phair as their defensive line coach.

He replaces Eric Washington, who took a similar position on Ron Rivera’s staff with the . Phair spent the past six seasons with the , the last three on the coaching staff after working for them as an area scout.

He was a defensive assistant last year after serving as assistant defensive line coach (2009) and assistant linebacker coach (2008).

He also spent three seasons in Tampa Bay’s college scouting department and has coached at Arizona State and Tiffin University. The Bears announced his hiring on Thursday.