Chicago Sun-Times

Hobbled Colvin weighs in on Pats, Bears, Urlacher, foes of Rocky Balboa

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Found a familiar face in the New England locker room inside Gillette Stadium Sunday night when Rosevelt Colvin came hobbling along using a small cart to keep his right leg up.

The ex-Bear suffered a broken bone in the Patriots’ 11th game that knocked him out for the season. He’ll miss his second Super Bowl with the Pats next week in Glendale, Ariz. Colvin didn’t talk a lot about the injury, but insisted he’s on the comeback trail. It was an odd little contraption he was scooting along with, and the AFC Championship Game is the first game he’s attended since being injured making one wonder if he underwent surgery.

``They don’t think it’s serious,’’ Colvin said. ``Obviously I’m with the cart, but I should be cool when everything comes around.

``I missed the first [Super Bowl since signing with New England] in Houston in ’03 when I first got here. But fortunately, the next year we went back. Hopefully, the guys are going to take care of business. They’ve been playing good all year.’’

After Colvin was lost, New England moved free-agent signee Adalius Thomas outside to his position and began using 39-year-old Junior Seau more at inside linebacker.

Colvin had been enjoying a fine season, even landing on the cover of Sports Illustrated with his fellow linebackers in November. He had four sacks, three forced fumbles and a touchdown.

The time off down the stretch gave him the opportunity to watch a little more football, including his former team. He said he caught up with Brian Urlacher last Friday, and was hitting up Urlacher for some signed equipment.

``I always watch him and the Bears from afar,’’ Colvin said. ``It’s unfortunate [the 7-9 season] but situations like that happen. You get some injuries and sometimes you can’t recover from it. It was like ’02. We had like 15 guys hurt, it was ridiculous, and we had to go to Champaign. Then at the same time, you look at different teams and they can overcome injuries and they can play through them. Look at the Colts this season. They have been the epitome of consistency in the NFL the last, well, almost 10 years. You look at the way that our team handles itself.’’

Asked if the arthritic condition in Urlacher’s back had hampered his play this season, Colvin said he couldn’t make a judgment like that as an outsider.

``I don’t know,’’ Colvin said. ``I don’t remember that being an issue when I was there, and if it came up after, it may have been something. That dude is 260 pounds, almost 6-5, he’s not a robot. He’s like the guy from Rocky, the Russian dude Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). He’s human.

``When you’re winning, you don’t see a lot of that stuff. You don’t see the injuries, maybe. You guys analyze it a little differently, `Oh, well his back is the reason he’s not playing as good.’ Well, he might have played the same way last year, but now that the team’s record isn’t is good, it doesn’t look the same.’’

It will be interesting to see if Colvin’s career mirrors that of Lance Briggs. Colvin was the first one who got away from general manager Jerry Angelo, shunning contract overtures and leaving via free agency following the ’02 season. The Bears drafted Briggs weeks later and now he’s in position to split.

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If Briggs career mirrors that of Colvin, the Bears should be fine. With a number of young, capable linebackers like Williams, Wilson and that kid from Northwestern in place, the Bears should be able to find a proper replacement.

Jan is right and you forgot last year the kid from Stanford Okowo probably misspelled but you know what I mean. I think the Bears should take advantage of Anderson's speed and use him as a linebacker/rush end if you put him and Urlacher outside you just got faster playmakers in space.Improvement on the D-Line (healthy) will make a difference.

You simply don't let a guy like Briggs get away; i.e. perennial Pro-Bowler, sure tackler, etc. The Bears have over $20M in cap space and should make every effort to retain Mr. Briggs' services.

As for Jamar Williams, he would be well suited to take Hillemeyer spot. Hunter seems to be a weak link on our 'D'.

I dont know about the rest of you but hillemeyer is a good player he finished 3rd on the team in tackles and as far as not being that good alot of the players didnt play as good as they did the year before.

How can you say Hunter is a weak link? He finished with 101 tackles...third to Urlacher and Briggs. As far as letting Briggs go, nobody really knows if we will be able to replace him with one of the young guys. Only time will tell.

We already tried to resign Briggs we offered him 50 million for like 5 or 6 years and he declined. We got stiffed this year with the 7.5 million franchise tag man dump this guy. I would much rather have 2 capable players playing for half the money cause somewhere down the stretch we will have injuries. We should get a sure solid o-line and new offensive coordinator because with Mike Brown coming back he is destined to have a great season and is worth the money to bring him back even if he cant make the whole season. The defense is very capable to win games but with all the fire power on offense we need to give them a break cause they carry us year in year out. the tightends need to be utilized and upfield blocking needs to start now to have a screen package for hester, wolfe, and Michael Turner.Resign Grossman to shovel the snow @ Halas Hall and pick up empty bottles and gyro plates.

As far as the Bears linebacker situation is concerned, a lot of fans AND sportswriters seem to be living in fantasyland.

The biggest fantasy is that Briggs is not all that talented and that he simply benefits from playing next to Urlacher. That is, plain and simply, a load of horse manure.

A close second, is the idea that the Bears have quality depth at LB. While Jamar Williams has not really proven himslef fully - because he hasn't had enough PT yet - let's assume that he can step in replace Briggs without any dropoff in productivity.

That still leaves a big question mark as far as Urlacher's durability due to back problems. There is not a single fan or sportswriter who really knows what to expect. Only Urlacher and, most likely, the Bears coaches know that.

Then, you have Hillenmeyer, who is either a "weak link" - which I do not believe - or a solid but unspectacular starter.

So, as starters you have one, hopefully, up-and-coming star, one superstar whose health is at least questionable and one average to better-than-average veteran.

Behind them, there is no, I REPEAT, NO, experienced, quality LB on the team.

In talking about Colvin, when he went down the Pats had Seau as a backup who contributed 73 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 3 interceptions.

If Williams becomes a starter in place of Briggs and no veteran LB is added, the Bears will play Russian roulette with their starters.

In the Bears defensive scheme the Linebackers should be 1,2 and 3 in tackles. Hillenmeyer benefits from playing next to #54 and #55. He is not as good as his numbers say and would be easily replaced with someone better.

"In the Bears defensive scheme the Linebackers should be 1,2 and 3 in tackles. Hillenmeyer benefits from playing next to #54 and #55. He is not as good as his numbers say and would be easily replaced with someone better."

Wrong. If he was healthy, Mike Brown would be number 3 in tackles in the Bears "scheme".

In 2000, Brown had 102 tackles and in 2002 he had 93.

Also in 2002, Adam Archuleta, playing SS for the the Rams in the same scheme under Lovie, had 116 tackles.

As I said before, Hillenmeyer is not a star but is a steady performer. I don't have a problem with him being replaced by somebody better but the fact is that there is no reason to believe the Bears have that player right now or that they have adequate backups if any of the starters go down.

This year the Bears brainless trust believed that AP and Garret Wolfe were adequate backups for their soon-to-be "star" RB, Benson.

You saw how that worked out.

That is a good point Tim. Man I wish we had the Adam Archuleta that played football in 2002. There is a lot that needs to be done this off-season and I am scared that the front office has blinders on when it comes to our real needs. Take a guy like Shaun Alexander, he is basically getting run out of Seattle and this is the league MVP from 2 years ago. Players step up out of weird places and especially late in drafts and the bears need to focas this years draft on the offense for chnage.

What is all this hate towards Hillenmeyer? I remember a lot of missed takles this season, but not by him. Lets be realistic, we can't have three pro-bowl linebackers. Hunter is solid, he may not make spectacule plays, but he doesn't make big mistakes. Every player that has stepped in next to Urlacher has performed. Briggs wants more money than Urlacher, not gonna happen. Put in Williams, and please spend some serious money on the O-line. And one more thing, bring back Rex! And draft Flacco, that kids the real deal.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 23, 2008 10:12 PM.

Ranking the Bears' draft needs was the previous entry in this blog.

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