Chicago Sun-Times

Makes sense to add another line coach

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It’s an interesting move by Lovie Smith to add an assistant defensive line coach to the mix in Northwestern’s Eric Washington.

It makes sense with the numbers on the line and the youth. The Bears are going to be counting on a big season next year from tackle Dusty Dvoracek, and will need a bounce back season from Mark Anderson at end. The team insists he graded out well for the season, but the fact is his production wasn’t nearly what it was as a rookie. Then there’s Matt Toeaina, the late-season pickup from Cincinnati, who made a nice impression in the final three games.

The team also employs assistant position coaches on the offensive line and in the secondary, as well as with special teams, groups that have big numbers.


Smith still is working to replace linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson. Once he does that, and provided there are not other changes to the structure, there will be 19 coaches on staff. That’s easily the largest in recent franchise history.

Remember, John Shoop used to resist the idea of even having a quarterbacks coach on staff when he started off as the offensive coordinator. He didn’t want anything to potentially impede his direct communication with the quarterbacks. That, from a former quarterbacks coach.


A source close to cornerback Greg Fassitt said he was weighing offers from a couple clubs before deciding who to sign a reserve/futures contract with. The Bears had wanted him back after he spent the entire season on the practice squad, but that appears unlikely at this point.

Fassitt, a native of New Orleans and a Grambling State product, is believed to be considering an opportunity with the Saints.

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I like the Bears situation up front if every one stays healthy. The only thing I would like to see is a competition between Alex Brown and Mark Anderson for starting right defensive end. And the Bears need to pay Tommie Harris and keep him in Chicago because the constant double team that he commands helps free up the other d-linemen. I like what I saw in Dusty Dvoracek when he was healthy he just needs to stay on the field also Matt Toeaina looks like a good fit in Lovie Smiths system he could be a steal.

In addition to having a healthy defense which does require the return of Tommie Harris and Lance Briggs, the defensive scheme needs to change. Knowing Lovie will not stray away from the "Cover 2" scheme, the Bears are in need of more blitz packages and perhaps the usemore traditional 4-3, 4-4 packages for run stopping. The Bears cover 2 was exposed this year and to further support the failing system the Colts Cover 2 was not able to hold up either in the the AFC divisional game yesterday.

The Bears Achilles heal of the defense last year was the D Line and the safeties. We didn't get anyone playing nose tackle well all season. This team misses Tank more than people want to admit. Walker was a bust. Anthony Adams got pushed around like a shopping cart. Toeaina and Dvoracek looked good but what can you really assess out of one game for each. We need to find a good player in the draft cause Walker will be gone and Adams is inneffective against the run. We should move Anderson back into his role of 06. A situational pass rusher. Brown and Ogunleye are every down ends but when we can sub in Anderson at both end spots he won't be stopped easily. He didn't play the run well and won't unless he gets bigger which will limit his pass rushing. Also the safeties were horrible. We need competition for both safety spots cause we can't count on Mike Brown even being with the team next year and Manning hits like his name a girl. I'd like to see a new D Line and O Line coach next year as well as some new players on each side. We badly need a tackle. Whether we draft one or sign a free agent such as Jordan Gross. Fix the O Line and the running game will follow. Hopefully with a new featured back.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 12, 2008 5:41 AM.

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