Chicago Sun-Times

Combine: Defensive tackle vs. safety, the greater need?

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The Bears have a need to stabilize the nose tackle position next to Tommie Harris this offseason. It was a revolving door of players next to the Pro Bowler last season, starting with Dusty Dvoracek, moving to Darwin Walker, then Anthony Adams and back to Walker before rookie Matt Toeaina got a turn.

But is that position a greater need than finding some help at safety where there were four starters for two positions -- Mike Brown, Danieal Manning, Brandon McGowan and Adam Archuleta?

The question was posed to general manager Jerry Angelo, who has said he wants Brown back but realizes the team cannot count on him without major insurance.

``Given the fact that we have four pretty good defensive tackles back with Tommie, Dusty, we talked about Anthony Adams, we even talked about putting Idonije inside as well, I would feel better about that position,'' he said. "Where we’ve hurt at that position is the durability. We’ve lost players with injuries and that made us look a little more anemic than probably really what we are. If all our players come back healthy, we feel pretty good about it.

"The safety position, maybe there’s a little bit more concern there comparatively speaking because you have younger players. You have McGowan, you have Kevin Payne back there, obviously Mike Brown’s still under contract. We feel good about Danieal Manning, but there’s more concern there because they’re younger players. But we feel good about the players that we have playing there and we feel good that we can win with these players even if we didn’t do anything outside of what we have on the present roster.”

Payne actually started the first Detroit game as a third safety. That was the game he suffered a broken arm in, costing him the remainder of the season.

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6 Comments

I'm hoping the Bears go after first a strong offensive tackle. #2 please go after the strong run and pass supporting safety out there, we already know what an healthy Mike Brown means to our defense. so lets draft his understudy while he's still here to help coach him, seeing how he will be a coach for us after his next injury in about game 7 next year. Then sign Micheal Turner from SD Cedrick Benson is a head case, he needs competition behind him or in front to motivate him more. and please please please resign Briggs and Berrian there skills are needed badly. lets not fool are selfs thinking that they can be replaced. the Bears just recoved from losing Wilbur Marshall (lol I'm Serious) while Briggs has been under contract (ok Colvin was good but he was only here 3 yrs) its time to keep wat we develope. there comes a time in life when a parent has to raise his kids allowance so how about we pay are kids for what they have done for us.

Make fair offers to Berrian and Briggs. Berrian is probably more important than Briggs now. If Briggs finds a suitor, move Urlacher to the weak side and extend his career and let him finally realize his potential. Promote J. Smith but play him in the middle.

If the beloved can land one starting OT in free agency, they can use their first pick on the Miami S. They can wait on WR and RB as the draft is deep at WR and quality RBs can always be had in later rounds. The big question is when to draft a DT. I think around the 3rd round (don't they have 2 picks in the 3rd?). So, rd 1 = S, rd 2 = OT, rd 3 WR or RB & DT, rd 4 WR or RB.

If they don't get a starter at OT in FA, then they have to go OT with 2 of their first 4 picks. They bring back M. Brown and hope Kenny Payne is ready to contribute. The team has some nice young DB's so they should be OK. A healthy Brown (dare I hope) would really help too.

Another thing, I want to see more of a quality young RB with good hands named Pope who is under contract (Packers stole him off our Practice Squad and we stole him back). He's going to push G. Wolfe for a roster spot if not Benson and whoever for the starting job. Wolfe might have to make it as a slot receiver.

Finally, I want a look at Beekman, Reed and Oakley at G. If one of these guys can't start we need to move on and find guys that can.

but isn't part of the reason the bears have durability issues at defensive tackle is their preference for smaller/quicker one-gap tackles? usually players that fit this mold are in the 300 pound range and get bullied at the point of attack. seems to me it is a byproduct of the tampa 2.

on the subject, the safety position is definitely a more pressing need. this team should've been mike brown-proofed years ago. tony dungy said safety is the most critical position in the tampa 2, so watching the bears try and get by with marginal talent at that position for years is frustrating.

indy boasted the #3 defense in the nfl last year, starting two undrafted rookies at defensive tackle. given the fact that the bears were able to pluck a guy like toaeina late in the season it seems to make sense to me for the bears to try and sign gibril wilson or eugene wilson and if they strike out there, they must target kenny phillips in round 1.

lets not forget about #52 Jamar Williams - he is definitely up and coming...the same way Briggs was a couple years ago. I still agree we need to keep what we are developing. Briggs is key!
but, I believe #52 will be a bad a$$ with more reps/exp.

I think our biggest concern should be the O Line.
Grossman/Orton could be "that" QB with some F'ing time in the pocket.
we DO NEED Berrian Back! Hester = more reps. Bradley&Davis = step up. Haas = needs a shot at a spot and we need to bring in a good Rookie WR late in the draft.

Next, we need to bring in a good RB to compete for the starting spot. Might need to kick CedBen to the curb if we can find the right guy...

im anxious to find out how that meeting went with management and Rosenhous

Hey Anthony and Jolietguy you build a winner from the trenches out a safety is a waste on 1st pick you need that stud tackle and guard out of this draft this is the best crop of OL in years, and RB the offense needs to get younger and bigger it's the scheme and the execution on defense and the time they spend on the field because of no running game. Three and outs take more out of defenses than anything else. There will be some veterans come free. And they liked Payne before he went down. Feed the offense for a change no first day OL since Columbo, It's been to long.

djssr, looking at the draft class there are far more viable options at OT than S. the steelers director of football operations called this the best OT draft in 24 years. compare that to the safety crop in free agency and the draft and it becomes clearer.

there are 6 top flight OT's in the draft, so the chances of one slipping to round 2 are pretty good.

the drop off from kenny phillips (s - miami) to thomas decoud is huge and there's no chance phillips is going to last to round 2. if the bears strike out in FA for a safety, they need to get phillips if he's there.

i completely agree that the o-line needs major work and we should focus on it in FA and the draft. but in the draft it's supply & demand and there's clearly much better supply at OT compared to S.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 22, 2008 6:53 AM.

Combine: Angelo addresses character issues and Briggs was the previous entry in this blog.

Combine: NFL investigating Bears' charge 49ers tampered with Briggs is the next entry in this blog.

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