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Tank Trades Stripes for Solids, Hester Trades X's for O's

By Benjy Lipsman in News on May 15, 2007 12:49PM

2007_05_sports_tank_johnson_biopic.jpgAfter serving 60 days of his 120-day sentence, the Bears' Tank Johnson was released from Cook County Jail early Sunday morning. His sentence was reduced for "good behavior" during his time incarcerated, which included a private cell and nearly 100 visits from family, friends and teammates. Maybe Tank could call up Paris Hilton and tell her jail ain't so bad!

While serving his time for probation violations, Johnson pleaded guilty to the gun charges that started this latest chapter, and he was sentenced to 45 days in jail by a Lake County judge. But since he was allowed to serve it concurrently with the term in the Cook County slammer, his time behind bars is behind him — for now, at least.

That's not to say that his punishments are over. Tank still has to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss Johnson's violations of the NFL's new stricter personal conduct policy. After the two have a chance to meet on Wednesday, Goodell will determine how long Johnson will remain sidelined as punishment for his offenses.

While some believe the commish may go light on Tank in light of his having learned a lesson by going to real jail, we're not so sure about that. If guys who haven't spent time behind bars for their transgressions got eight and 16 games, how can he give Tank fewer games? The NFL isn't the real world, and the real world isn't the NFL. To mitigate his suspension because he spent time behind bars sends exactly the wrong message to fans. Time behind bars proves a severity of bad behavior that should include additional time off the field.

Hester's New Role
2007_05_sports_devin_hester_biopic.jpgAt the same time that Tank's adjusting to his new life off the field, Bears' superstar kick/punt returner Devin Hester's making some big changes on the field. The Bears announced on Monday that, starting with the upcoming minicamp, they're moving him from defense to offense. He was bad at cornerback as he was good as a return man, so Chicagoist certainly welcomes this move. While technically he'll be a wide receiver, we suspect much of Hester's time on the field will not be as a traditional receiver. His speed gives the offense an additional weapon that can be employed in a variety of creative ways.

While Hester envisioned himself the next coming of Deion Sanders, he finally realized that'd never be the case. And with the defense replenished with secondary talent in last month's draft, the move makes a ton of sense in terms of maximizing roster spots. We're just excited to see what kinds of plays Ron Turner can diagram to take advantage of Hester's unique skills.

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