Chicago Sun-Times

Camp notes: A best effort to "capture Devin Hester"

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Following a whirlwind negotiation to get a deal done for Devin Hester, agent Eugene Parker thinks both parties did the best they could in what proved to be a unique situation. There was no comparable contract to work off of so the Bears and Parker were navigating uncharted waters in working to come to a resolution and that respected Hester's ability as the game's best return man and his potential as a wide receiver.

"This was the best attempt to try to capture Devin Hester,'' Parker said. "Cliff Stein and Bobby DePaul really did an excellent job. You can say what's his position? His position is playmaker. He makes plays. To try to fit him in within the traditional standard of a position, it was a challenge. It really was."

Look for Hester to be wearing plenty of Under Armour during press conferences from now on. The $40 million, four-year extension he inked isn't the only contract he did this month. Two weeks ago he signed a deal with the shoe and apparel maker.

*** Marty Booker made a solid effort for an errant pass that was easily defended by cornerback Nathan Vasher along the sideline in practice Sunday afternoon. He turned around after getting some good-natured ribbing about trying a little harder to make a play from the sideline where media was standing. Booker wanted to know who in the press would be harassing him. It was ex-Bears quarterback Jim Miller, who helped Booker make 197 receptions from 2001-02. Booker got a kick out of that. Miller is in town to do Sirius NFL Radio with Howard Balzer.

*** Fullback Jason McKie has been getting his share of handoffs. Many of them have been straight draws from single-back formations.

*** Telling quote from Mike Mulligan's Sunday column from defensive coordinator Bob Babich.

"'Our tackling was horrendous last year. It was very discouraging. Leverage and angles were a big part of it. And those are things you can practice. We try to make sure the running back runs through, and everybody finishes by touching off in the proper football position. It is an issue, and it has been addressed. ... On every play, our coaches will talk to them about angles if they have a bad angle. It's something our guys have a focus on that this needs to be fixed."

The Bears don't do any live tackling in practice and few teams in the NFL ever engage in that.

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Someone should tell Babich that part of having a good angle to make a tackle is to be in position to make a play. And that boils down to play calling, which Babich cannot accomplish successfully. I saw at least one play last season where the play call had Tommie Harris dropping into coverage. On one good leg. Even on two good legs, you don't drop even your most talented DT into coverage. That is not a DT's job, it was just Babich trying to be tricky and outsmart the opponent so he would look like a football genius. (Sorry, shouldn't use 'Babich' and 'genius' in the same sentence.)So I would like to know how a DT can get leverage and a proper angle when he's chasing down a TE or RB from behind?
Players, 9 of which just went to the Superbowl, don't suddenly forget how to tackle in the offseason. It's the coaching. Rivera was able to coach guys into position to make plays more often than not and Babich, well, at least after this season he won't be the Bears' problem anymore.

Hey Mr.Breed, I wonder what your comments on Babich going to be when the defense rebounds. 1 the defense didn't have as many key injuries,so early in none of the seasons with Rivera coordinating the the Defense. They just weren't healthy enough defensivly as Rivera Units were. The running game and offensive lines didn't produce as good as units during Rivera's time, meaning our smallish defense stayed on the field for more time and plays. Why have full contact practices when you could possibly lose a Tommie Harris, Dusty,or Mike Brown or even a Forte. If that happened what would you say then? How many games were these pro bowlers on the field for Babich Vasher,Brown,Harris,Tillman,and even Briggs. Now hopefully you get the picture Judge him when has all his guns!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on July 28, 2008 6:06 AM.

Hester deal nearly finalized was the previous entry in this blog.

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