Chicago Sun-Times

Mully checks in from Florida: Brown to start at FS

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Mike Mulligan checked in from the airport in Florida on his way from the owners meetings.

He got a couple interesting tidbits during breakfast with Lovie Smith Wednesday morning. Check right here for his full story.

A few highlights:

*** Smith projected that Mike Brown will be the starting free safety. Presumably, that means Danieal Manning is out of a job and Brandon McGowan and Kevin Payne will battle for the strong safety job.

*** Smith reiterated John Tait could be moved from left tackle to right tackle depending on what kind of personnel is added. He couldn’t name an offensive line, though, or a quarterback. And then there’s the situation at running back. Smith called the position deep in the draft.

*** As expected, Israel Idonije has been moved inside to defensive tackle.

*** Smith said he expects running back Cedric Benson to be ``motivated.’’ No word on what happened in terms of motivation in 2005-2007.

*** No player will ever be taken out of the role they’re best in, so Devin Hester will not disappear as a returner. That doesn’t mean he won’t be spelled at time to time by Manning or maybe Rashied Davis.

*** The quarterback job between Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton will be decided in training camp. Bourbonnais, here we come.

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33 Comments

I think Brown should have to earn the Job, not that he is not good enough for the job, but Manning should feel the need to be motivated and should get as much practice in in camp with the starting D. In my opinion Brown has not earned his money the last 4 years due to his injuries, I do see him getting hurt again. Manning needs to be ready, you could see he was lost when he first stepped in last year. The Defense will get over extended again and Brown and others will probably go down. Even in there Super bowl season the D got over extended. They used turnovers to help get themselves off the field and score points for the offense. Everyone is guarding against it now when they play the Bears. The Bears style of offense does not compliment there style of Defense, it exposes it and vise versa. Unless the Bears suddenly become a high flying offense like they want to be, this team will struggle. A team that relies on it's defense scoring a lot of points and forcing a lot of turnovers and it's special teams scoring a lot of points as well to win games is a major risk.

Great Lovie is looking at the Draft going RB is deep, it's not deep after the second round, but it sounds like he wants to hold off on the so called compitition for Benson till later in the draft, I guess cause Benson has been so great and injury free, smart move. Oline is deeper maybe he should address that later in the draft too like round 7 where we have 4 picks.

Nice one Biggs, on motivation and Benson.

What if Benson is not motivated yet again this year, or what if that was him motivated. He still goes down on contact and can't turn the corner, block or catch out of the backfield, but hey lets keep treating him like a first year rookie cause we wasted yet another high first round draft pick on a bad back. Lets Back Rex too cause he had 6 good games 2 years ago. Didn't mention Wide Reciever I guess we are set there too.

Can't name the Oline Lovie? I can: Olin and Tait.

Im glad Lovie, Turner and Angelo seem to be hangging there hat on Benson, like they have sense he got here. I will wait and see how that works out for them this year. I am planning on hearing the words, "we have had a lot of injuries this year" and "where not sure why we are having so many injuries" or "Rex is our Quarterback he got us here, he took us to the Super Bowl (that will be at 0-6). I am really glad Lovie believed Rex got the Bears to the Super bowl, I guess the D and special teams had nothing to do with it.

I kind of figured the Bears were going to move Israel Idonije inside to defensive tackle especially with Dan Bazuin coming back.
Now the Bears will have four Defensive ends in Ogunleye, Anderson,Brown, and Bazuin that should be able to get the job done. There is one question concerning the defensive ends that I wanted answered, will there be a battle between Mark Anderson and Alex Brown for the starting right defensive end position? I like Alex Brown as the starter and use Mark Anderson as a pass rush specialist. I think Alex Brown is a better every down end especially vs the run. I say let em battle and see if Anderson is ready to step up his play if not go with Brown. The Bears must still like Brown they gave him an extension. I won't lie that 12 sacks that Anderson had his rookie year had me excited I had big expectations for Anderson then he floped vs the run, I still kind of hope he can come on vs the run and become a more complete end. The cover two relys on the front four to get constant pressure and if Anderson could return to his rookie form it would help if not use him as a pass rush specialist. I also want to check out Dan Bazuin, the Bears got a 2nd round investment in him. I know at C Michigan he was a high motor, productive player who is disruptive behind the line the Bears could use these attributions. It would really help to have a healthy Dusty Dvoracek and Tommie Harris at tackle this line could be great GO BEARS!!

Where is Adam Archuleta????

Lovie means Mike Brown will be the starter for the opener only.

Dave21- I'm not sure why Angelo has kept Archuleta. Maybe he showed a little glimer as a special teams player only. I think he gets cut after the Bears draft a safety late in the draft.

Hey Creeton,

I surely hope by you saying you can name the Oline "Olin and Tait", you're not insinuating that you believe Tait is 'solid'. The man got totally embarassed this year on several, several occasions. 3 games off the top of my head where I went back and slowed down tape to watch his man BLOW by him or just make him look SILLY on an inside move were the San Diego, Philly, and Denver games. And those are just 3 games that I saw him get beat horribly on 4 or more occasions. I can't count on 1 finger how many games he didn't get beat more than twice in a single game. And I don't see him improving all that much with a move to RT.

I am absolutely not a Benson supporter but when you've got 2 guys meeting you 3yds deep in the backfield and another 2 meeting you at the line, brother, there is NO back that is gonna succeed in that situation. Having said that, I'll be the first one to welcome Mendenhall with open arms if we take him at 14.

Our first priority should be Oline, our 2nd priority should be Oline, and our 3rd priority should be .... wait for it...wait for it... OLINE.

I'm not in love with our QB situation but when Rex has time on a "consistent basis", he makes acceptable decisions. But the guy had no confidence that his blind side is taken care and for that matter (with Fred Miller) the front side. Thank God Miller is looking for work. Let's fix the Oline so that our QB, whomever it may be, can fill for the FIRST time what it's like to be comfortable in the pocket. An atmosphere that has been non-existant since Rex has been in Chicago.

Keep The Faith!!

Danieal Manning should be the starting FS and Mike Brown the starting SS. Manning needs to develop into the player we all think he could be, he needs to play and stay at 1 position! Why get rid of Archuleta, his salary this year is low what i read and i have a fealing he will fight back this year and proof Lovies trust in him, dont count him out just yet!!!

So Coach is saying we will get a starting LT in the Draft? That will be fun watching a LT grow up against NFL DE. Give them credit they are finally drafting a LT.
As far as deep RB draft I hope it's deep into 3rd round cause we have lots of holes on OL first and Olin/Tait etc...aren't getting any younger.
Geez I hear Dallas is going after a WR ..huh, we got Booker/Loyd and Williams/Brown/Johnson are available??
Kevin it will be a good year for our Def. line! I can't wait to see Dusty KILL THE PACK! I feel the Defense will be much improved. Living in Indy I am looking for seats to Bears/Colts but not sure I want to see that mauling in person. Gee I can't wait to hear it from the Colts fans again..thanks NFL!

"Where is Adam Archuleta????"

He is off still trying to figure out where all those running backs disappeared to that he swears were right in front of him a second ago!

Good luck on special teams AA.

So if Mike Brown stays healthy, and McGowan and Payne battle it out for the SS position, does that make Danieal Manning a backup CB? If that is the case, I hope we are going to move Ricky Manning Jr in a trade. I think he has significant value as a decent cover guy, and in a man coverage system, he could be a solid contributor. With the play of McBride in 2007, we really don't need Manning here, and if we managed to get a draft pick for Griese, we should be able to get one for Manning.

I would rather count on Danieal Manning as the starting FS, and let Mike Brown work his way back into the lineup by staying healthy through the preseason (let him play a half in each game), and then managing to stay on the field in the early regular season.

I am not as worried about Benson, as long as we fix the offensive line. I bet we draft one by the 3rd round, and considering the depth at the position, we should get someone who can push him and/or complement him, and we will be better on offense. As far as motivation, why does Benson get all the flak, when Muhammed wasn't playing hard the last 2 years, and when the OL was awful, and our QB play was so bad that we wouldn't scare a Pop Warner team with our passing attack. Benson needs to be better, no doubt, but he doesn't deserve to be the whipping boy for decades of offensive ineptitude.

Benson DID deserve to be a whipping boy. This is Chicago where you expect your back to run hard, catch the ball out of the backfield and be a good blocker on blitzes. But once he got the starting position he did none of those things. He boo-hoo-ed when he got drafted and did the same thing to be the starter and promptly laid an egg. He got his QB smashed way back in 2006 in part time duty and kept it up during the 2007 season. His inabaility to prosper in his 3rd year!!! helped to regress Rex and exposed the line to too many blitzes because if you're a one-trick pony it doesn't matter what we try the other team already knows what you're gonna do. The man get up after he's tackled like he's getting out of a hammock in Maui after laying in the sun all day. He has no urgency. He has to heart and only someone who actually bought his jersey or think that the "Texas cyclone" is wearing 32 for the BEARS will believe in him. And Mike Brown can only be named a starter if they want him to keep the faith. Because aren't you supposed to have some speed to be a FS? How could he after having just about every injury in his lower extremities in each leg the last couple of years? D. Manning has been getting a raw deal with the BEARS since he got here. They don't know what to do with him or they must feel like he's some kind of bust or something. I like he much better than Benson. He's getting the same deal as Archuleta and everyone knows that AA sucks. And who is actually drooling for Bazuin? Aren't those high motor guys hurt a lot? Wasn't Dusty mentioned the same way and he's played in one quarter in 2 years. College success stories rarely translate for the BEARS. We always get projects who pan out as a surprise or fail miserably with expectations. I'll name my next son Dan if the guy even gets 6 sacks this year.

I like the Idea of the Chicago Bears letting the fans and the team know that one of the leaders on the defense will start.Brown is a leader on and off the field.

Daniel Manning will start at strong safety this year. He is the team's fastest defensive back and has the ability to close on ball carriers and cause turnovers.

His versatility is a huge plus. He is much more talented than McGowan and Payne.

When did Bears' fans become psychologists? I do not take anyone’s analysis of Benson's "motivation" seriously because HOW DO YOU KNOW what the guy feels? Just because a guy is laidback does not mean he is indifferent or unmotivated. Wasn't Jim Brown known for looking "lazy" after a tackle?

I think that Lovie's statement is designed to pacify bloggers and writers. It is an ambiguous statement that could simply mean that Benson will (and has always) play with a mean streak, not that he will have new competition. Just by looking at Coach Smith, I suppose you could say that he lacks intensity and motivation, too.

I honestly just don't see the negative characteristics used to describe Cedric Benson (except injuries). To me, he looks powerful, explosive, instinctive, fast, determined and competitive. Granted, he has a hard time eluding multiple defenders in the backfield or stringing together moves in the open field, but they got this guy to be a north-south, workhorse, power running back, not a speed back or scatback. Give the guy a break and stop imposing your "style" expectations.

Chipper, actually Tait is a stud RT when healthy, however last year he was not healthy and sense he came to the Bears they have been playing him at LT. I expect him to return to RT this year if healthy.

Benson ran behind a top five rated Oline in Chicago for two years and could not beat out Thomas Jones. One of the reasons Benson got nailed in the backfield so much last year is he cannot turn the corner, also if you watch film on him he often runs the wrong play and will miss the hole, he also could not break any tackles, in fact sense college he has been known as a guy who goes down on contact. One reason the Bears gave up so many sacks was because he cannot block to save his life, he also cannot catch out of the backfield.

Rex is a bad QB, the Oline was rated 18th in pass protectio last year and was in the top five the two years before. You beat the Bears offensive system by stacking against the run, and blitzing on passing downs. Rex cannot read a D, and panics when blitzed he also does not go through his progressions and has happy feet, he is another Shawn King. Even when he has time he is bad. Also the Bears offense works best in warm weather and or a Dome. When heavy winds take away the deep ball the bears offense become one dimensional. The Air Coryell system they run has worked best in St. Louis, Dallas, San Diego, Oakland, LA. The system also does not work well if the defense is the primary part of the team. It's for Offensive minded teams who think offense first Defense second. It also takes years to build this system. It's key point is a power Oline and a Power back to make it work proper and at least on really good WR. We have none of thee above

Two Comments today:
1. Daniel Manning simply is not going to be a great safety. He is a horrid tackler who seems to avoid contact. Can anyone forget him having the chance to stop long plays and not even being able to force guys out of bounds? So he's fast; he still gets badly beat in coverage and can't tackle. That equals a poor safety
2. The Bears D is still outstanding provided they upgrade this weak safety play that was even existent the latter half of the super bowl year. But the key to staying healthy is they simply can't be on the field 35-40 minutes EVERY GAME. You're going to have injuries and/or run out of gas in 4th Q with that kind of time out there. Can anyone forget the great play in the San Diego game but seeing our warriors out there for 40 minutes while Rex/Ced's/O line incompetence destroyed our D's health.

So takeaway? You live with what you can get in late rounds on skill positions but commit once and for all to fixing the Offensive trench by drafting line with first 3 picks. Even Jerry should be able to get 2 quality guys out of that. Hope you get lucky with some late round skill picks but go into the year with a great D and vastly improved O line and see what happens.

Creighton,
Most of the time, I agree with what you say, but I would like to qualify your statements on Benson. One of the things that hurt him in his first 2 years is he was given bad advice when he was a rookie, and held out for more money. That put him way behind a solid locker room presence who had the support of the team in Thomas Jones. Vets never like it when rookies ask for more money before stepping on the field either, so they were not thrilled about seeing him. He got some pretty rough initiations in camp both years. Second thing that hurt him is having Mack Brown as a coach. There was pretty much no pass blocking in Benson's career at Texas (not to mention no imagination on offense), so he never had to learn how to diagnose blitzes or define his responsibilities in pass protection. Not being able to make the defense guess run vs. pass was another huge reason Thomas Jones stayed on the field, and Benson was only brought in to soften the defense up late in games.
You are 100% right in that he cannot turn the corner. He is too patient (read: slow) when running to the outside. If you look at the backs who are successful at running to the outside, they get to the edge fast, and then hit a seam at full speed, which either prevents the defense from getting an angle, or only allows them to get an arm on him as opposed to squaring up in the hole. Benson seems to wait for the hole to materialize, and by then the pursuit is there. Having slow offensive linemen exaggerates the flaw, but it is a flaw nonetheless.

His patience is also what causes him to miss holes as you mention. He waits for an opening instead of trusting his offensive linemen to get the hole open when he gets there. With the way the group played in 2007, and the way they treated him the prior two years, I would have a hard time trusting them too, but that is another fault that he needs to improve.

His hands are marginal, but this, along with pass blocking, running style, and approach to the running game, is something that Tim Spencer is supposed to be teaching him. Benson is not a dumb young man, and is very capable of being coached, so where is Spencer throughout all of this? Benson has more physical talent than a lot of backs in the league, and is capable of being our #1 RB, and rushing for 1,500 yards in a season. But like most young backs, he has holes in his game because he was a star in college who the offense was built around, and he wasn't asked to do the little things. You improve the offensive line, you coach him on pass protection (I say you put him in the backfield and have him call out the protections in practice, and keep refining his recognition skills), and you make him catch 25-50 balls a day in offseason workouts, and that will help make him a better football player. It is detail work, practice repitition, and tweaks to his style, not an overhaul that will make Benson a better football player, and not doing that should get Ron Turner, Tim Spencer, and Lovie Smith fired.

While I am on that subject, where has our player development been for the last 10 years? Outside of Briggs/Hillenmeyer/Urlacher, has any position group gotten better because of our staff working with them? Tillman and Vasher still make too many mistakes, Manning/Archuleta/Payne/McGowan are out of position way too often, our offensive line has no home grown talent outside of Kreutz, who was great when he got here. Alex Brown was developed so well, he got benched last year for a second year player who got by on physical skills alone the year before. Berrian was still a 1-route wonder even last year, Bradley was relegated to the bench when he had the best physical skills of any receiver on the roster, Hester still looked lost late in the year, and don't even get me started on how bad our QBs have been.

When does the coaching staff get the responsibility of maximizing the talent that the front office brings in? Therein lies the biggest problem for the Bears. Is the McCaskey family cheap? Absolutely, but when we can't even develop the talent we draft, why pay big money to bring in free agents that will wallow in our lack of player development? Until we fix that, we will constantly be talking about our busts in the first round. Outside of Tommie Harris, and Urlacher, we have missed on every first rounder for how many years? Did we miss, or did we fail to get anything out of them because our player development is terrible? There were obvious cases that we failed in evaluation, but every team misses on players early. Olson is a TBD, but looks solid. And the only reason Harris and Urlacher have been successful is that they are freaks of nature, and have physical skills and instincts that few players possess. Our scouting department hits on late round and small school prospects all the time, so are they blind to early round talent? Most likely not, but then why do very few of our first round picks pan out? Bad player development, that's why.

O-line first round, then go RB, WR second and third round. Second and third in no particular order. Two names to keep in mind that might be available then...Ray Rice from Rutgers, solid running back with a good resume. Also Michigans Mario Manningham, he has deep ball capabilities and can work the underneath, just a good all around reciever. This offense has more holes than swiss cheese and Angelo needs to go Offense 1st, 2nd, and both third round picks to plug up this many holes.

Well that's nice to know about Mike Brown. I speak for everyone when I say hopefully he'll make it through the whole season and the playoffs. As for D. Manning, he'll have a place, right on special teams. Which is great b/c while he makes a ton of mental mistakes, Ithink he's naturally gifted with speed and strength and all he has to do is run and tackle the guy with the ball.

Some points on Benson here are pretty good. Benson's not a bad back. In 2006 he averaged 4.1 yds a carry just like Jones and Peterson did. He did a lot of good things in '06 and the post-season (- the SB). I think all our current RBs are good enough they just need a good line. Ad nauseam, we need a good O-line.

Also, in Archuleta's defense, the guy had been playing with a broken hand since the Cowboy's game. Before he got wrecked by a full-force block from their WR, Archuleta got an interception in that game off a tip and took a blocked FG some 40 something yards.

Daniel Manning moving to the bench backs up what I have said all along, that he is a bust. He can't tackle, takes bad angles, and is basically a bad football player. He was definitely an extremely overrated player the last two years. Although it doesn't matter, because the 2008 Bears are going to be historically bad. Just listen to the comical coach in today's story say the "core" on offense is back. What core?

D. Manning a bust after just 2 years. I swear that none of you believe in a players developement.Manning has started for the last 2 years.I not sure the coaches wanted that.Now he can have a little time to see how the game is played from a sideline prospective.

Brando and Joe, reguarding Benson, here are some exerpts from a Lovie interview done this week.

Asked if the Bears need a starter at halfback, Smith said in reference to Benson and Adrian Peterson, "We didn't get No. 1 running back-type production most of the year. Do I think the players we have there can do it? Yes, I think they can."

He said Benson continues to rehab from a broken leg and should be ready to participate in the off-season program at some point.

While being clear he was not laying all the blame on Benson, Smith said he does not want to see the same Benson he saw in 2007.

"We weren't pleased with … our running game last year," he said. "We haven't made that a secret. It's the off-season, so we're looking at ways to improve. … There are a lot of good running backs coming out of the draft."

Smith called Benson a "hard worker," but indicated he would like to see the former Texas star lose weight in an effort to gain quickness

He said he believes Benson is very motivated in part because of the way last season went for him but he also said it's time for him to live up to expectations.

"There comes a time when you need to produce," Smith said. "That's where he is. It's as simple as that."

What seems certain is the Bears will bring in competition for Benson—probably from the draft. But …

"It's probably better getting linemen earlier [in the draft]," Smith said. "More running backs have turned out later in the draft than have offensive linemen or even defensive linemen."

Now this is what I get from this interview.

1st. I would like to know when Benson will be healthy or be given a time table or window.

2nd. Lovie Believes Benson is motivated this year because of how last year went. This sounds like Benson wasn't motivated before.

3rd. Lovie says they did not play like they had a starting #1 back last year. That is not what I would call a compliment.

4th.Lovie says Benson is a hard worker but needs to loose weight. Isn't that a contradiction? If he is a hard worker shouldn't he be in shape. He is a football player after all.

5th. If the team has faith in Benson why does Lovie say they will bring in compitition for him? It can't be to motivate him cause Lovie says this year he is motivated, so why do it? We already have 4 backs.

Joe you are right Benson did hold out and that always hurts a rookie. That was 4 years ago he should have got over it.

Brando you say you are ok with Benson, but look at how many things you listed that you see wrong with his game.

Also not everyone said Manning is a bust. I said he showed improvemet last year after playing for a bit but looked rusty to start. I also said I believe Brown should have to compete for the job. And here is why.

Smith did not want to declare any player a starter this early in the off-season.

But when the Bears line up for their off-season team workouts, Smith indicated John St. Clair would take the first rep at right tackle and Terrence Metcalf would take the first rep at right guard. He also said Josh Beekman would be in the mix for playing time.

Here we see he also says Brown is a starter. Now I get not having to say Harris, Olin, Urlacher and guys like that as starters cause you know they are. But Brown needs to earn his job back in my opinon, not because he is bad or anything but because he has not played a lot in 4 years do to his injuries. He should not be relied upon to be a starter. Funny thing is I have another intervew with Lovie in which he says he is not Relying on Brown to start. If he isn't why declare him the starter. You also see a quote above where Lovie says he does not want to name starters. But here he is naming starters. Which is it?

Whenever I see a team doing a lot of douoble talking in the offseason I always get worried.

Why don't the bears put Olsen at WR? Leave Des a TE and Olsen can play like Matt Jones. He's got the speed and strength to get off the corners...

You know Angelo Jr. My dad said the same thing about Benson/Brown and I told him like I will tell you:please do not put those two in the same sentence again. Aside for breaking a guy over 30's arm Benson hasn't broken much since then. His own coach said that he needed to lose weigh. Saying he needs to come in lighter 2nds that opinion. If you don't think so tell you wife or girl friend that her dress is a little snug and then expect to spoon later on. I don't care about your demeanor. I still refuse to believe that the whole offense turned sucky at the same time, Age or no age. At least Brown got up slow and the guy that tackled him did too. Other than Junior sayin OWW I haven't seen Ceddy put a hurting on no one. Fumbling is usually an indication of someone putting a good lick on you. How many times has the cyclone done that in the open field?

i don no y da bearz stil thinks dat bensin cin plae n da nfl, hee iz reel badd an i don wan 2 c hem nex yeer.

Im a little confused.I have posted 2 blogs.I had said things abot Mike Brown and Manning.I dont care what anyone has to say about Benson.When the season comes and he flops again the I will have something to say about Benson.Right now I can care less about what he has done, I care what he is going to do in 2008.
Creighton, if Im goin to say some regarding what your post is about, I will address your name.
You want to say something about double talking, try reading and making sence out of some of your post.

One thing that scares me a bit: Metcalf will get first shot at Right Guard. Does that mean Garza is moving to the left side? It concerns me more than a little to move another guy around, considering we will probably shift Tait to the right side, and have a new right guard, left tackle, left guard, and right tackle. If they are planning on moving Garza to the bench and starting Beekman and Metcalf, then that is one thing, but I am hoping Lovie just mis-spoke and meant left guard, not right guard.

I am also concerned that Lovie is asking Benson to lose weight. I don't think he is ever going to be the shifty back that Thomas Jones was. He is a physical runner that needs his size to wear on opponents late in the game. Granted, he hasn't done that much since he got to Chicago, but that is his style. We did the same stupid thing with Enis, who was a bust, but every year we were changing what he did. Gain weight this offseason, lose weight the next offseason. Again, I question our player development skills. If they are wanting to take pressure off his knees and ankle by having him drop 5-10 pounds, that is one thing, but to get quicker? It seems like we increase the chances of failure with our younger players by screwing with the reasons we drafted them. Brian Urlacher gained 15 pounds from when he got into the league, and got faster while doing it. So why not get Benson into a program like that, where he can get quicker/faster without losing weight, and see what happens?

My kingdom for an offensive position coach who can actually develop a player!

I noticed quite a few of you in your posts mention Metcalf. This man has no upper body power. He started a game against the Packers two years ago and was beat constantly.

William Donald, besides breaking Seau's forearm, Benson did steam roll Texans' safety Glenn Earl in the preseason, putting him on IR.

Jerry and Lovie have already given up on Benson. They just are giving him kind of a hail mary of support seeking some luck. But they know they have no other options right now but to spin in support of him.

He's lazy, fat, lacks heart, is clubhouse poison, will now have lost 0.3 off his already so-so 40 time, and negative. Add to it that he's got his money and he'd just as soon go back to Texas and live near momma. Other than that he's got alot to offer.

Mike Brown as the starting free safety does not surprise me because that is where he was before the injury back in week one. The coaching staff obviously like Mike Brown and feel when healthy he can be a special player. I agree and say give Brown one more shot at starting the season and hopefully lasting. Aside from a pro bowl season I did not see Manning holding the starting free safety job when Brown returns. But in the end do you really think Brown can go the entire season now that he is a year older and is it worth slowing down the development of Danieal Manning? I am a Danieal Manning fan and think he can be a good free safety for the Bears. I think like Kyle Orton Manning got thrown in the fire as a rookie and maybe wasn't ready to be a starter right out of tiny Abilene Christian. Then this season the coaching staff tried moving Manning to corner which also might have slowed his development. Everyone points out the mistakes Manning makes but I think he is doing a good job considering. I love Mike Brown and hope him all the best but I don't see him lastimg into Oct maybe even late sept. Manning should get the job back when Brown goes down again. When back in the starting lineup Manning needs to improve his tackling althought he had 79 which isn't bad and also make more plays from his centerfield position meaning make more plays on the ball. I think now that he is a three year player Manning should be more comfortable and ready to take the next step and be a big time safety. Oh ya William R Donald it is one thing to cut down Bear players that have played but cutting down Dan Bazuin when he hasn't even played and considering the fact Bazuin is only a 2nd year player is not very supportive of your team the Bears. I think Bazuin will have 6 sacks by Early november GO BEARS!!

See Kev, I was pointing out that you said he was coming back and in reality he was never really here. Right, this will be his 2nd season and he hasn't done diddly to sit anyone down. Please not another high motor college guy? He was supposed to make Alex Brown expendable and I don't see how that is going to happen. Even the BEARS see that now because they signed Alex to an extention. What other DE besides Anderson has gotten more than 6 sacks in his first year with the BEARS. Oh yeah, this isn't Dan's first year. He didn't even look good pre-season like the faithfuls seem to put so much stock into..Did he even make it past the first week? Fans always say that so and so is going to be a good replacement and the guy seldom live up to the expectation. Remember Jamar was so good in someone's eyes that he was going to replace Briggs. Briggs gets a new contract. Anderson/Bazuin was going to replace Alex he gets a contract extention. Kyle is ready to replace Rex- Rex gets a 1 year contract. I think fans need to get out of the expectation business. And if you were supportive of the BEARS and Mike Brown you would say "if" he goes down. You feel that from his past it's a foregone conclusion that he will be injured. Just like you see a pattern with him I see a pattern with these other guys.

William R. Donald, I never said anything about Dan Bazuin replaceing anyone especially Alex Brown, besides that would be kind of hard considering the fact that the Bears are going to use Bazuin on the left side and A Brown is a right end. I was just stateing that Bazuin will add good depth to the Bears rotation up front on the d-line. As far as Bazuin, yes he was injured for most of the pre season but when he did play in the pre season final on Aug 30 vs Cleveland he had a sack. I don't see whats so wrong with fans thinking that potential replacements are going to be good even if sometimes they are not, its called being optimistic. Say for example certain fans thought Jamar Williams would have been a good replacement for Lance Briggs, whats so bad about that? Who would of known that Briggs was going to resign, what are fans suppose to do just give up? Yeah Rex got a 1 year contract but remember Orton got a 2. I'll say one thing you got me on the Mike Brown statement althought, oh well at least the both of us agree on what football team to root for GO BEARS!!

I never said that you said he was his replacement. That was stated on draft day when he was drafted. Remember they were looking to trade him because they got Dan. Fans aren't always optimistic about anything. These same fans were dogging Briggs and saying that he wasn't this or that and that Jamar would be better than him. To me it's the same as saying that any one of the back ups we had in that glorious 85 could be better than whoever was starting at the time. When they can be optimistic about everyone then I will try harder to back a guy who hasn't taken the field yet. I get tired of guys pushing those guys on the practice squad like they will be better than whoever was starting strictly because of something they did in pre-season against third string talent. It happens every year and it's comical.

I think The defense is going to be very strong this year and we have a lot of depth at most of the positions. Have the Bears ever thought about Idonije at some sort of outside Linebacker/D end position? He could easily take out a quarter back or running back on a blitz from the corner as he is a beast! Long live Mike Brown, who has the heart and talent of a champion. he is the starter because he is the best player at the position every single year that he comes into camp. Hopefully Benson will get angry and started running hard like he can. The O line was rough last year and any running back that you put back there would have looked sub par. 11-5 this year, GO BEARS!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 2, 2008 4:18 PM.

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