The "Real Deal" is back.

That’s what two-time Chicago Bears Pro Bowl defensive tackle Tommie Harris says he has called himself "for a while."

"Some of the media got hold of it somehow," he said after Friday’s first training camp practice at Olivet Nazarene University. "So I thought since

I’ve been here four years, you guys could start calling me that now.

"I’ve always called myself that in my mind. I’d say ‘Real Deal, Real Deal,’ when I’d run out to the huddle."

Head coach Lovie Smith is just glad to see No. 91 back after Harris hurt his hamstring midway through the team’s 19-game schedule last season. By most estimations, he’s ahead of the projected rehab schedule.

"It’s the first time I’ve heard about it," Smith said when asked about Harris’ nickname. "Hey, if he’s for it, I’ll start calling him that. Tommie

the Real Deal sounds good to me.

"He is the Real Deal, I will say that. Arguably, he’s the best football player on the team. Getting him back, of course, is special."

With Tank Johnson released in the offseason, the middle of the team’s defensive front will have a different look. It might be different by most accounts, but the two first-stringers are longtime acquaintances.

Second-year man Dusty Dvoracek, who got hurt (foot) after playing in only two preseason games last year, is slotted alongside his former linemate at

the University of Oklahoma.

"We have a good feel for each other," Dvoracek said. "It’s easier, and we help each other with anything. If we see anything, we relay calls back and

forth to each other. Anytime you’ve played with someone previously, it helps a little bit."

Harris agrees.

"It feels natural. It feels good," he said. "When you take another guy out you’re used to playing with, I played with Tank four years. I played with

Dusty three years in college and one year here.

"I’m just getting the feel of having somebody there, the security of knowing he can handle his business. He knows the plays, and we’re familiar with one another. There’s definitely a confidence boost."

Helping each other will help the line and the team. Getting a full training camp of repetitions is the goal now, as each battles back from inactivity.

"The better he plays the easier it’s going to make it for me and vice versa," Dvoracek said of Harris. Any time you have two good defensive

tackles, they complement each other because you can’t double-team everybody. If one of you is dominating, one of you has to get a single block."

Dvoracek also knows he has to focus on more than just Harris. He’s knows he’s inexperienced, and thus doesn’t have the job security his former Sooner pal has.

"If you ever get comfortable at this level, I think that’s a mistake," Dvoracek said. "I don’t think any guys are comfortable. You’re always

competing and trying to get better.

"Right now, it’s my position. I’m running with the 1’s all the time. I just got to keep getting better everyday and keep my spot. I just feel really

blessed, very fortunate. At the same time, I’ve worked really hard to get in this position. I’ve showed the coaches I can play there and I deserve it."

Harris just has to prove he’s healthy.

"I’ve got to get my lungs back and up to speed with my feet," he said. "Then we’ll be on track.

"It just feels good to be back in the thick of things."

Contact staff writer Reed Schreck at 815-987-1381 or