A lot to learn from Hardin's mistake

Hardin might have been able to get away with dipping his head more as a cornerback at Oregon than he could as a free safety with the Bears.

Being in space makes proper tackling form more important. At his new position, the angles have changed. So has the cushion between him and the ball carrier. And so has the speed of the game.

Any good mom will tell you football always is going to be a dangerous sport, but any good coach will speak this truth: Players can make it a lot safer by using proper form when tackling.

If Hardin overcomes his spinal injury and plays football again, he will be overcoming the odds. He will have had a two-year layoff from the game.

He had such a bright future.

He is 6-3, 220, which makes him stand out even in the NFL forest. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds at the combine, had a vertical jump of 35 1/2 inches and bench-pressed 225 pounds 24 times. He's athletic enough that he usually played man-to-man in college.

So much potential, so much promise.

All risked with a dip of the head.

I wish Harden a speedy recovery.

And I also wish something good comes from what he did.

This is what you call a teaching moment.


Twitter @danpompei