Israel Idonije #71 Defensive Line
6'6", 275 lbs.
9th season / University of Manitoba
Bio - Idonije, who spent the first half of his first season in 2003 with Cleveland before coming to Chicago, has amassed 222 tackles (120 solo), 21 sacks, and 20 tackles for loss. His 8 blocked kicks over the course of his career rank fourth in NFL history since the stat was introduced in 1992. Idonije recorded 19 sacks over the past three seasons and blocked a kick during three consecutive games in 2007. In four postseason appearances, Idonije had 4 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 tackle for loss, and 2 special teams stops. During the 2011 season, he achieved his career high in tackles (57, leading the defensive line), tackles for loss (9), and fumble recoveries (2). One of three finalists for the League award in 2010, the Nigerian-born is known for his charity work with The Israel Idonije Foundation, the main focus of which is encouraging children to stay in school and learn to value citizenship and high achievement.
Lou's Call – You will not find a better person than "Izzy," but this season could be his last if his sack numbers don't improve. The Bears brought back Idonije on a one year contract hoping he improves on his 5 sacks from his 2011 season. I can't believe this is Izzy's 9th year with the Bears, doesn't seem like he's been around that long, but it is. He's always been consistent and set a career high with 57 tackles in 2011 but he MUST get to the quarterback and be that book-end Peppers so badly needs.
Tom's Take – Izzy is a solid defensive. He plays the run well and can provide some decent rush. He will be best used in a rotation opposite of Peppers. He will get the majority of the snaps at left end, but will be replaced some by McClellan in obvious passing situations.
Dionne's View – Strong veteran presence- that's good. 5 sacks total last season is not. Bears gave him a 1 year deal, which I think he earned. He needs to get after the QB a little more to stick around after that.