Chicago Sun-Times

Briggs fires on decision to trade Thomas Jones

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Nothing has changed in the Bears' philosophy. They are still a running team, you know the one that gets off the bus running.

Rookie Matt Forte, the second-round pick from Tulane, will lead that rushing attack Sunday night at Indianapolis and by all accounts he's looked good so far. Forte is the second high draft pick the Bears have used in effort to replace Thomas Jones, the bargain pickup who was dealt away to the New York Jets after carrying the offense to Super Bowl XLI.

Cedric Benson
, the man who had been blocked from playing time by Jones, remains out of the league while he winds his way through the Texas judicial system.

"[Forte] is an instant upgrade from what we had here last year," Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs said Wednesday in an appearance on the Score, 670-AM.

Briggs' appearance revealed a story that doesn't always come out, that the players were incensed when Jones was traded to the Jets, not for a draft pick but simply for an opportunity for the Bears to move up in the second round.

"Honestly, more than I am frustrated that Cedric Benson didn't pan out here, I am more frustrated that a guy like Thomas Jones, who was our best offensive weapon for the years that he was here, was traded and let go,'' Briggs said. "Because the guy, Thomas Jones, he was a great, great leader for the Bears. He was a fiery leader. He was a guy that when he got out on the field there were no biases to who he went to and told, `Hey, we need to get this done.'

"He went out and he played hard every day and even when we didn't win our league, the guy gave his whole heart and soul. He was our best offensive player every year that he was here. That was more frustrating, that he's not with us today."

Briggs' interview lasts two hours and these comments regarding Jones and Benson can be found in the second hour.

Briggs also confirmed what the Sun-Times reported last week, that Brandon McGowan is the new nickel back in place of Danieal Manning, who has lost his job.

"[McGowan] serves as our best nickel at the time," Briggs said.

Not a bad debut for Briggs on the Top Draft show with Doug Buffone and Matt Abbatacola. He came out with opinions.

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43 Comments

That was a great interview with Briggs and Buffone. My opinion Matt Abbatacola is the Brad Biggs of Radio. He is simply hands down the best producer in Chicago Sports radio! As Brad Biggs is the best beat writer for Chicago Bears news!

Did you know Briggs most fears bugs. Growing up with all women in his family the only man could even kill a bug he let his mommy do it lol.

In another site Larry Mayer was ask who will have the Breakout year for the Bears, his responce was Rasheed Davis. Respectable answer. My Breakout player for the Chicago Bears offense and defense will be:

Kyle Orton. I see him having a David Garrard kinda season.

Alex Brown: NFLs Most Improved defensive player of the year if healthy as with all players.

Thank you Lance Briggs for saying what every Bear fan knew, but Bear management though fans were too stupid to comprehend, the Thomas Jones trade was one of the most idiotic business decisions the Bears have made recently. He was liked and respected by the team, and Bear opponents and best of all he got stronger in the second half. He knew when the defense was tired and where the weak spots were. Angelo and Co. let go of a sure thing for a future optional, you just don’t do that in business or in sports if you want to be a winner.

Cedric Benson was given the position, Thomas Jones proved again and again he was a workhorse who was focused, a fighter, and the best offensive weapon the Bears possessed. I am so happy someone in the Bears organization finally voiced their frustration, the same frustration the Bear fans have been experiencing. Watching one bad decision after another, we finally had a running-back. Heck the Bears haven’t drafted a decent quarterback since Jim McMahon in 1982.

What is more entertaining than watching Angelo & Co. defend decisions like “Why did you use a number one draft pick to get someone with a bad back?” Is the indignant look whenever the phrase “Offensive Consultant” in mentioned. Once again the Chicago Bears front office has shown their knowledge and wisdom are superior. I only ask that on the next draft day the Bear pull a George Costanza, do the oppose of everything you usually do or know!

yeah well it may be good for the media that Briggs is being opionated on the radio, he probably should try to remember that the Bears have a clause where they can cut him before the end of his contract. Knowing the Bear, they'd probably do it over something stupid like being too chummy with the media. Remember Muhsin Muhammad. Or even if we want to go back in the day I can think of Steve McMichael and Bryan Cox as being other guys who faired well with the media while angering their employer simultaneously. Tread carefully Lance. Virginia and Jerry are listening.

I'm telling you, Briggs' comments add fuel to the fire that the Bears players lost a lot of respect for Lovie and the "brain trust" last year over their very questionable personnel moves, including:

Shipping off Chris Harris
Adding Adam Archuleta and handing him the job
Handing the starting defensive end position to Mark Anderson with no competition

If Jones was as fiery of a leader as Briggs describes, they lost a very valuable leader on the field and in the locker room.

Lovie's "I'm so cool, calm and confident" know-it-all attitude rubbed off on too many players last year and led to an embarrassingly mediocre performance all season long.

Lovie best wake up. He is on the clock and it's three minutes to midnight. The Bears crap all over themselves again this year and I would clean house.

Btw, do you think there will be another press conference to clear the air following Briggs' comments?

Thank you Lance...

We knew that when we were being forced fed this FRAUD we knew he wasn't a team player. Thomas Jones was PRODUCTIVE, worked hard, and made plays. And he WANTED to play for the Bears. Instead we were given this FRAUD, who we paid multi million dollars to, who really didn't care about this team. You gave away the only heart and soul of the offense. Great move "oh great" GM.......

Mark my words, we will soon about about players true feelings when it comes to wrecks once he is gone....


BEARS

Lance is 100% right on this situation. Thomas should have never left, and you sort of have to believe that the same bravado that Lance was describing in Thomas was part of the reason he was let go. The staff knew damn well that Cedric on his best day couldn't beat out Thomas and that with him in the way they would never get a true look at Benson. Thanks to crappy politics on this team we did lose our best player and I am a guy that likes most all of Jerry Angelo's decision making. The move to let Thomas go doesn't shine to well on Lovie either since I find it hard to believe he just had no ability to stand up for his star offensive player while they threw him away. All this being said I do like Matt Forte. In terms on high character and his ability to make people miss are atleast some of the traits we lost in Thomas! GO BEARS!!

I think what Lance Briggs needs to worry about is why he was a step slow to the ball all through the preseason, and why he is missing tackles. The front office decisions do not need to be questioned by players, especially ones who just got a fat new contract after bashing the organization and being a crappy citizen for the better part of a year.

The bottom line is that Jones was a better player at the time he was traded, but the same way as Favre was not welcomed back in favor of Rodgers, they invested the money in Benson, so they had to see what he could do. Jones had been hurt in both seasons he was in Chicago, so if Benson was the workhorse he was in college, they would have looked like geniuses...Didn't pan out, so they look foolish. But that doesn't make it the wrong choice to make. Teams make these investments, and they have to get something for them. Giving Jones an extension would have wrapped up a lot of money in a running back position that has a very short shelf life, and there was no guarantee that he would have beaten Benson out if he was the player they thought he was, leading them to give him $16 million after he was drafted.

Any casual observer could have gleaned the reaction to Jones being traded from the initial comments made when the deal happened. The players were upset, and so was anyone who watched the team play. But the call had to be made, and they made it. Bringing it up now is just a waste of time. Lance got a lot of money for a guy who doesn't rush the QB, and if I were the Bears, I would be watching very closely to see if his play declines at all, and he might find himself out of a job next season.

I like Lance, and think he has the potential to be a great linebacker, but certainly not the way he played in the preseason. He needs to step it up, and then he can talk all he wants...

The Bears made so many bone head decisions last year and continue to do the same this year. Not only did we let go of our best offensive weapon in Thomas Jones , they let go of a catalyst on defense in Chris Harris. How did the bears not see it coming with Cedric Benson after the SuperBowl, the guy couldn't take a hit. HOW MANY TIMES WAS HE CARTED OFF THE FIELD? This year we let go of Bernard Berrian and while Devin Hester is our best play maker, Berrian was a proven wide reciever. Trust me, he would have had a better year had he had a quarterback that could actually throw the ball to one of our players. We were told that Bradley would step into the number one position but, wasn't he on the brinks of being cut during the preseason. We let go of MOOSE and what did we get in return? Both our number 1 and 2 recievers are gone and we did nothing to sure up our quarterback situation. Yeah... go Orton. Can we get Culdpepper to unretire, I think they might need the help this year. How long before we scream for Hannie? Also, why exactly did we let go of Ron Rivera, because the defense sucks now.Or should I say the play calling. In a division with no Brett Farve, this was the year the Bears could have planted themselves as the team to beat in the NFC NORTH but instead this season I believe the Bears will be champs of going south. "And with their first round draft pick the Chicago Bears pick...a place kicker". Thanks Jerry

I'm firing on the decision to not suspend Lance a game last year for filing a false police report after crashing on the Edens.

Well it's a little after the fact but ok Briggs.

Joe F common man when was Benson ever better than Jones, I promis you Jones would have beaten him out this year, cause I believe you know were Benson is right now. Not to mention nobody is touching him, I bet if Jones became a free agent today teams would be all over him, at worst he is an outstanding 3rd down back and at best he is a guy who will give you a 1000 yards+, tough blocking, and clutch receptions.

Steve we let go of Ron R because him and Lovie did not get along, and Lovie did not like the way Ron called games, Lovie is much happier with Babbich who sticks to Lovie's game plan and does do crazy things like disguise coverage or blitz.

Two Huge mistakes from this regime right there.

Lance; It's nice you have an opinion Man, but don't stick your foot in your mouth before you get the first game check; man its not smart..Piling on your GM when he is already eating Crow...He knows he screwed up on some key decisions and he's thrown out the trash from 2007 before it started to smell also...You have a job to do, and that's play DEFENSE...You all have stunk it up this summer, and as a lifetime BEARS fan I'm highly pissed off..this is one side of the ball we should never have any problems on....Take your rah rah speech into the lockeroom and come out against the Colts and show us something this week. If you guys come around the team can surprise some people....WOW, that in itself is a surprise, a team 2 yrs from the Super Bowl surprising teams in the NFL....Lance I love ya man and glad to have you back, but do what your getting paid to do and that's make tackle's and play solid BEAR DEFENSE....Go Bears...

Im with Joe Felicelli on this one. Who would of known Benson was going to be a bust? When the Bears drafted Benson, Jones was coming off a 948 yd season, and going on his 6th year in the league, most running backs have a short shelf life, 6 years is a long time, especially for all the abuse a running back takes during a regular season. And with Jones injury history, the Bears had to plan for the future. Jones like Benson, was a top 5 draft pick who never panned out, he was a bust in Arizona. Going into the draft, Cedric Benson was one of the most consistent runners coming out, four straight 1000 yd seasons, only a hand full of college runners have ever accomplished this feat. The guy was a work horse at Texas. Again, who would of known Benson was going to be a bust, nobody, unless someone had a crystal ball, and could see into the future.
If you compare Benson and Jones when they both ran behind a good to decent o-line, in 2006, they were both pretty well even. Jones and Benson both had a 4.1 yd avg, and both had 6 touchdowns that season. Now, take the very next season, 2007, when they both ran behind poor o-lines, Jones had 1119 yards, but a 3.6 yd avg, Jones had 310 carries, with only ONE touchdown [are you kidding me!!]. Benson had a 3.4 yd avg, but had 4 touchdowns inside of just 196 carries. If you compare the two, they are pretty well even, the only advantage Jones had, is he was more durable, if Benson would have stayed healthy, he probably would have cracked the 1000 yd mark also.
Bottom line here is, if the Bears would have kept Jones, it would not have helped them any, especially with our bad line play last season. And the Bears would have had to pay Jones to keep him, also not a good idea, Jones is getting to be on the wrong side of 30. In the end, the draft is like the lottery, you are either going to win or lose. I don't blame the Bears for what they did, and the heck with dwelling on past mistakes that you had no control over [Benson being a bust]. We got Matt Forte now, the slate is clean, and I think this kid is gonna be special.
As far as Briggs comments go, its like the legendary Kevin Bumstead onec said, "don't mess with the hand that feeds you" GO BEARS!!

but Jones asked for more money...................

All this stuff notwithstanding, the Bears went off a cliff defensively when Ron Rivera was let go. The Chargers ascended and the Bears descended. Case closed. It's one thing to have a weak offense when the defense is dominant, but the defense is anything but dominant.

Ron, are you sure on that buddy ??

In 2006 Sandiego ranked 10'th in the league in total defense.
In 2007 the fell to 20'th... Seems they descended as well !!

After losing Mike Brown vs Arizona in 2006 the Bears fell from #1 to #5 in total defense. They allowed an average of 360 yards and 20 points per game from that point on all the way to the SB where Ron allowed Manning to throttle his Defense for 430 yards, 24 first downs and over 38 minutes in time of possession.

If you think allowing AP to run for 220 yards was emBEARassing how about the 280 he ran for against the Chargers last season ???

I wonder how Ron caoached his linebackers up before that rcord setting game ???

Angelo has done a fair job with the draft. I think he built a Super Bowl team using both free agency and the draft but it has peaked in one, glorious year. In the next year it has crashed and burned. While the O line crumbled due to old age, Nero Angelo fiddled with the draft. He drafted with the idea of tweaking the roster. He took Dan Bazuine and Micheal Okwo instead of Tony Ugoh and another O lineman that would put this offense a whole year ahead of the rebuild it is going through now. Really, what would you consider the long term building blocks of this offense? Chris Williams, Greg Olson, Matt Forte, and Devon Hester? Only Olson has proven that he is able to play his position. The rest is speculation. Kruetz is getting old and shouldn't be considered a long term building block. Same for Tait. Orton would have to do a really great job this year to give this offense a ray of hope for the future. We'll know so much more at the end of the season and how much foundation is in place. I'm of the feeling that there isn't a foundation. I fear that Angelo has only dug a hole.

we are talking about the same Thomas Jones who looked worse the Cedric Benson last year with the J.E.T.S. jets jets jets right ??

The same Thomas Jones who demanded a trade the day after Benson was drafted ??

The same Thomas Jones who busted out in Arizona and Tampa before the Bears ressurected his career ??

The same Thomas Jones who held out of team OTA's and mysteriously pulled his hammy while stretching before his precamp physical ???

The same Thomas Jones who met privately with Angelo prior to the start of the 2006 season and came away with an agreement that Angelo would work out a trade for him after the season so he could get a long term deal he so desperately wanted ???

Thw same Lance Briggs who brought his blood thirsty agent with him to the NFL owners meetings to shop himself around ???

The same Lance Briggs who smashed his sports car and left it first claiming it was stolen and smartly went to the Police station after all the alcohol was out of his system ?? I wonder if Urlacher picked him up on the tollway that night ??

The same Lance Briggs who threw his entire team under the bus and whinned like a baby to the medis swearing he would never play for the Bears again only to turn tail and sign a long term deal only after NO other team in the league offered him diddly this past offseason.

The same Lance Briggs who spends more time getting girls pregnant then studying film, staying in shape and perfecting the art of tackling ???? Is it me or does Lance look a step slower and wee bit fat this year ???

Twitter update: Jamar Williams has just been placed atop the depth chart at weakside linebacker.

While you are mentioning Angelo's chicken hearted give away of Thomas Jones to prop up his second busted #4 draft pick, also remember his chicken hearted split down of the 2003 #4 pick, which became an out of the NFL Michael Haynes and a clipboard carrying Grossman.

So essentially, the Bears have 0 starters to show for picking #4 in the draft twice since 2003!

Are 10 million Chicagoans going to let Angelo and Lovie run the team into the ground cause Granny McCaskey patted them on the head with 6 year extensions after the Super Flop?

Chicagoans need to rise up and throw the bums out after this upcoming catastrophe of a season!

Way to go Angelo!!!

If you read VERY, VERY, Very hard between the lines you MAY think that he slammed Management. But I don't see it. If anything he just slammed Benson for not being up to snuff. If anything it lets mangement off because if you look at all the intangibles Benson should've been the one who got better. It is no severe secret that players get mad that players are traded. Just because people don't go out and complain right off the bat doesn't mean that a trade was OK. Everyone wants to down the line for getting old at the same time for what went down last year but WHY would a whole team get old like that when really you only changed one component. And in all honesty the component that was missing was that heart that people always want to discount. I was saying all along that we had no heart in the back field last year. Angelo if anything felt that a guy going into his 3rd year should be ready to make a great leap into starting. Did it blow back into his face? Yeah. But not because he was only his pick but because we expect these guys to man up and Benson didn't. Yeah, Angelo gets some blame but a guy who went 4th and was paved an open road to the starting position was the one who laid an egg. Benson just gave excuses for every shortcoming. Sometimes when you want someone to do well you try to believe them. The guy needed tough love but he crumpled either way you were going to go. The guy was a workhouse in college but the law of averages said that he may break down earlier after all that contact. Saying that Jones being gone and Benson failing is what ruined a big part of the season isn't saying that Angelo failed. You can get divorced and people can say that your ex is a good person do you think that they are saying that you are wrong for letting that person go? It just means that regardless of what you feel we see things another way. And I'm sure that Briggs will man up when the games matter. No one is allowed an opinion or else people say that you are throwing somebody under the bus. You guys get angry with Lovie for not being so forthcoming but that's the reason he is so vague about things. Saying too much leads to people reading between the lines and saying you are talking bad about someone. And come on people, Ron Rivera was let go because he had a belief that he was ready to be a head coach and went out every chance he had trying to win that job. Besides the appearance of chasing every opening he thought more about himself than the league believed. All those opening and all those interviews and not even an assistant coach position. Even Singletary got a coordinator/ assistant head coach position out of the less than Rivera interviews. Plain and simple Rivera is not that highly thought of except for the Bears fans who corrolate him with the 85 Bears and can't get enough of them. And as an inside LB coach how did he make the Chargers better? They had a better record the year before he got there. He is not the reason or should be blamed for them being better or worse. Do you guys realize that the man interviewed for the head coach position with a team and got the position that he got FROM that interview? With all that he brought to that interview all they saw was a guy who could take a secondary, not primary position with a team. Do you think that they were telling him that he wasn't even coordinator material because he didn't rate well. He had to wake up and smell the coffee because after the season was over he didn't interview not one time for any vacancies. Maybe after watching the Super bowl in 2006 owners and GMs saw that his defense caved in. Everyone knows that Lovie lets his coaches do their jobs and let them make decisions about what should go down. After that game he fired a line coach who he felt was wrong for the job and let Rivera go because of the same reasons. Bully for him. Took him longer to see what the rest of the league already saw. Rivera was a decent coach with a different philosophy on what they wanted. Why apologize for that? Ditka didn't and had to live with that decision after Ryan got a job that he proved was over his head.

It just goes to show how stoopid Bears' management is. And even thought there continue to be great advances in medical science, there currently is no cure for STOOPID.

Get rid of the cardboard cut-out GM and the entire coaching staff.

I am so sick and tired of looking toward next year before THIS YEAR even gets started.

I'll check in with you in 2011. The Bears should be on an upward trajectory by then.

may i remind people that the only reason benson was drafted was 1. because he was the best avaliable and 2. thomas jones had been a certified bust on the 2 previous teams he had been on...

the bears needed to protect themselves...

and let us not forget that it was thomas jones who couldnt see the business savvy in their decision..

it was also mr jones who instead of dealing with the fact that he had to split carries with benson requested to be traded knowing the bears favored him more but couldnt eat up the remaining $ left in benson's contract that season.

he WANTED the trade...he specifically asked to be traded and jerry angelo said i can see what i will do if you dont become a distraction...and they both kept their end of the bargain. you can argue that they didnt get enuff value for him but considering jones' play in NY you could make the arguement that they did...

im all about truth and fairness and this was not a decision the bears made independent of any other outside influences...


thomas jones and his vanity are just as responsible for the trade as jerry angelo and his "stupidity"

At the time, trading Jones wasn't a bad idea. Jones wanted a long term deal that the Bears couldn't give him with what they invested in Benson. The stupid thing was trading him for practically nothing. If they would have swapped second round spots and also gotten a 3rd or 4th round pick then make the trade. But trading one of your best players so you can move up like 10 spots in the second round was pathetic. If that was the best deal they were offered, the Bears should have told Jones that he was staying and splitting time with Benson, and if you don't like it, tough cr*p.

The funny thing is Angelo thought by honoring Jones' demands for a trade, and "rewarding" players with long term contracts he would have a happy locker room. Instead, the Bears have turned into a bunch of soft, cry baby whiners, that only want more even though their play doesn't deserve it.

Hindsight is 20-20

Everyone seems to forget the reality of the salary cap. Take the good with the bad.

Berrian for 42 mil? No way.

Jones/Benson were dead even, Benson was the investment, Jones goes. Jones gets hurt in NY, its a wash.

I'd rather have Lovie and Turner fired than Angelo...Anderson over Brown, no competition? Babich for Rivera? Benson's one good game in Seattle and they don't give him the ball in the second half? Playing Archuleta? Lack of any halftime adjustments? Boooooo!

Briggs should keep quite and just play football. I noticed he only had one sack last year. Durning the exhibition season he had a habit of letting ronning backs run right by him, he didn't evan bother to wave.

Why are you guys downing Jones for wanting to be resepcted by his current team? At least he showed enough to warrant another contract with another team after he "failed" at those other places. Where is Benson's new contract? Who wants him now? The Jets actually invested money in improving their line for Jones because they knew what they needed for improvement. The Bears got rid of Benson because he wasn't improving. On image or in play. Who got the better end of the deal? You can say all you want about Jones and it could all be negative if you look for it, but don't discount that he WAS the best offensive threat that this team had from 2004-2006. Do you not see that our team's demise along with Rex's free fall came with Jones going to the JETs? Even Orton in 2005 had a tremendous amount of help with Jones in his backfield. The Bears made the actual mistake of assuming that they were set at every position but RB and that was the biggest mistake. Look who was the future in each position on offense 3 years ago and who do you have to show for it? You say that Olson is the only one who knows how to plays his position? Did you forget that he is supposed to know how to block? Fine choice for 2007 but we needed someone like him way before last year. And that position was overlooked for a quarter of a century. Not Angelo's fault but it's an overlying situation that we never address needs until the house is burned down. Or we waste when the opportunity present itself. Someone mentioned trading away a valid pick for what turned into garbage. It's not Angelo's rationale. It's not Lovies' fault. Ownership ties their hands and mandates what happens. Cry to them . But at least appreciate that we have a good team more times than not as of late.

Kevin Benson and Jones are nothing alike as for who would have known Benson would be a bust, I told you he would be a bust and he was.

Kevin your also missing a couple of huge diffrences between Jones and Benson.

Benson was not a three down back, he couldn't block and he couldn't catch. Right there you tip your hand on offense as too what you are capable of. It made it easier for teams to stack against the run when Benson was in there. Then you have the injury issues with Benson, you have the fact that last year he was fat, you had the fact that he was not a leader but an emmbarrassment to the team.

Jones on the other hand was a leader, kept himself in top condition and worked hard every day and was an exaple of what a pro athlete should be.

Nobody is saying Jones is an elite running back, but he came in like a pro and did his job.

Benson on the other hand acted like a child and worked hard at nothing, Benson should have been an elite player but he refused to work at. All you have to do to understand Benson is look at pictures of his build in college and his build as a Bear, he was in shape in college as bear he didn't even try. Thats why he is a bust and he did it to himself, his attitude was the number one question about him comming out of college, lots of teams said he was a risk, so Benson cut his hair to show everyone he would not be like R Williams his idle, then he got paid and he got lazy. It was a bad pick, If anything we should have taken Jammal Brown at a need position, we did not need a RB we already had a solid guy. It was a wasted pick there can be no argument there, he's not even on the team. Instead we brought in drive killer Miller another stop gap for the oline. Kevin you seem to really be into the oline, so who would you rather have, Jammal Brown or Benson and Miller? I would take Brown. Cause right now you would have Brown, Buenning, Olin, Garza and Tait, and sombody other than an injured Williams like Gosder Cherilus to be Taits under study or Otah the Mamoth in a power O offense or Albert to replace Garza or Metcalf or maybe even Flacco. Lets see Jammal Brown (Young All Pro left tackle) Maybe Buenning, Olin and Garza with Beekman as a backup, Tait at RT with Gosder and St. Clair as backups oh and Barton. My god look at that a healthy Anchor on the left side, young talent in the middle and depth. But we got Benson and Williams, yippie. Remind me what happened to that pick we traded for Jones oh we have zero to show for it thats right.

So basically by the Devil Angelo going against Thomas Jones, getting clever and drafting Benson instead of a need at oline the bears basically shot themselves in the foot for several years to come.

All for the want of a nail.

Thats just Karma getting nasty.

Creighton, are you kidding me?? Its pretty easy to sit here, three years later since the 2005 draft, and say "Chicago should of took Brown," and "I knew Benson was going to be a bust" because, BOOM [a cloud of smoke] here we are three years later and we all know how Benson & Brown turned out. Creighton, Im sorry, but Its hard for me to believe you would of took Brown over Benson, especially after all the arguments me and you had leading up to this aprils draft. You were all for the Bears to select RUNNING BACK Rashard Mendenhall this april, even though OFFENSIVE LINE was our number one need. Now all of the sudden you would go tackle, even though you were all for the Bears to take a running back just 5 months ago when o-line was clearly the Bears number one need???? Sorry, but I aint buying that one. Im all for the Bears to build an offensive line through the draft, again, just go back to last april when me and you were arguing about this very subject, I was for an offensive lineman, you a running back. If we could go back in time still not knowing what we know today, and the Bears had Fred Miller, yes, I would have took Cedric Benson also. Angelo used a 1st round draft pick on an offensive tackle this season. Yes, he is injured, but then again, who would of known. I still like the pick, again, give Williams a chance to get on the field before saying, "he was a bad pick." Also, don't forget Kirk Barton, who Angelo drafted, he is currently the Bears swing tackle, and right now, it doesn't look like the Bears are gonna sign anyone else. I think once he gets in, he will be there for awhile. The Bears must think highly of Barton to go with him, and the fact he made the final 53 man roster shows how far along Barton is as a rookie. Creighton, you are now all of the sudden screaming the Bears need to draft o-linemen, well, they did. Chris Williams, Kirk Barton, and Josh Beekman. I know, you don't like any of them because they couldn't come right in and play at an all-pro level, I hate to be the one to tell you Creighton, but not many young o-linemen do. Give these young linemen a chance, I think they will surprise.
After all, its like the amazing Kevin Bumstead once said, "when I play the lottery, man oh man if I could only use Doc Emmitt Browns DeLorean!!" I'll see you in the future Creighton!! GO BEARS!!

Justincredible the only reason Jones asked for the trade was because they were handing Benson the job, they tried for two years but Benson could not beat out Jones. Your right though Jones wanted and earned a new deal but the Bears messed up and gave the money to Benson. As for protection if you want to cover yourself draft a RB in the 2nd or 3rd round and as for Jones being a bust with the Bucs, he happened to be very well liked by the staff, he was a back up and averaged 4.6 yards per carry, as a 3rd down back. For the Bears about 4.2 yards per carry and close too 1200 yards per season over 700 yards recieving and 22 TD's. Not amazing numbers but they are solid.

As for drafting Benson, the greater need that year was offensive line and the Bears blew it. When your biggest need is oline and you have a stud LT sitting there why on earth would you draft a RB who you do not need and had question marks all around him. You never ever take flash over substance in football.

You can trace all the current problems with the Bears to there drafting.

Sense 2002
Metcalf(a bad backup, injury issues)
Alex Brown(Solid player)
A Peterson(solid player on special teams)

2003
Grossman(a bad QB who just got cut to second string)
Tillman (A very good corner, is underrated, but should be a saftie)
Briggs (A excellent system LB)

2004
Vasher(an Excellent system CB)
T Harris(best player on the team, injury issues)

2005
Orton(game manager has a lifetime passer rating of 62, will probably be around 70 this year)
Bradley (just barley made the team this year was almost cut and is the number 6 reciever)

2006
D Manning (is now the nickle corner after not cutting it at saftie)
Hester (star kick returner, I'm waiting and seeing for him to become a reciever, did not have a good preseason)
Dusty (backup DT, Major injury issues, played half a game in 2 years)
J Williams (Solid backup LB)
M Anderson (Pass rush specialist, but not an every down player)

2007
Olsen(Starter but still needs to prove himself)
Wolfe(Special team player)
Beekman(is the starter but has a lot to prove, notable only starting olineman that Angelo has drafted in 7 drafts)
Payne(Starter?????)
McBride(Special team player)

I am leaving the 2008 draft picks off because none of them have played.

Do you notice a huge problem with these drafts. Now these are guys who are still on the team, I could care less about BB or C Harris or even Columbo.

By next year there is a good chance that Manning, and Dusty may be gone, along with Metcalf and Bradley, Williams may also wind up on another team.

The Bears have drafted 10 starters that are on the team over that time and I can name 3 that should not be starting. But 10 starters over 7 years is not how you build a team. Thats down right awful, I am sure you can notice one huge flaw in this drafting. Only 1 starting offensive linemen in 7 years and thats Beekman. How do you build a line drafting 1 starter every seven years?

Rounds 1-3 have been just dismal for the bears claiming just 2 starters in the first round, 1 in the second round and 1 in the third round. Thats 4 players out of over 20 top picks picks, you just can't build a team this way.

If you wait 3 years to rate these drafts you could consider 02 through 05 as faliures for lack of depth alone. If you take into consideration that the Bears spen most of there picks on defense then the Bears are spending twice as many picks on defense as most teams and comming up with similar results over this period of time 6 starters and 4 pro bowl players, but most teams do it using fewer picks on defense. 4 Pro bowlers is good but six starters is bad.


William R.Donald: I agree with your point about Rivera and have stated it before in the blog. We need to stop saying they got rid of Rivera because its just not true, rivera was supposed to be and should have become by now an NFL Head coach. something has happened to his resume that he has not gotten a job, there were at least three coaching changes last season and I do not believe he was a top candidate for any of them. thanks for stating this point to the blog again, Rivera is not the problem, the players have to do there job, and Babich in his second year should (better) show improvement, the talent is obviously there and SIGNED!!!!!
Creighton: in 2007 draft you left out Graham who I think will be a solid corner in the league and for the Bears from this draft. As I said earlier Angelo at least deal with mistakes quickly, Benson played (drank) himself off the roster, we already discussed the Bazuin, Okwo cuts, but I will give you a little on his drafts in rounds 1-3, where he is suspect currently. But GM's don't always hit in the early round where they take players everyone else likes also, look at teams like Arizona, Cinci, ATL, etc, they get high draft piakc every year ans see where they are. A GM has to manage a good scouting dept, and build his depth in the later rounds, all these guys you have on the list are producing for the team. Angelo while not great is better than you think and what we have had in a long time.

Sorry about the typo's fellows, Brad add a spellcheck man....we are not secretaries in here, most of us have fingers too crooked for the keys....LOL

I agree that Angelo isn't the worst GM out there. We constantly set our sights on perfection and no one is. The thing about Angelo is that he has a good job that a lot of people would want. To keep his job he has to go about it dealing with ownership who would never cut a big check for unproven talent. You can't blame them in some cases. Guys get that money and don't want to work for it anymore. That is human nature. How many of us say that we will quit our jobs if we won the lottery? Get a 10 million dollar signing bonus and chances are you may not work as hard as you did. Take a 22 year old kid and what do you expect? Even if you do work hard look at the expectations of fans in this city. They are constantly weighing who you are with what we've had. With this team having a rich history spanning almost a century these players have to live with bloated expectations and comparisons to great players and who wants that? Would you like to go to work and someone repeatedly remind you that the've had better workers? Would you work harder for disapproving coworkers? You'd do what you have to do and say screw them. That's what these players say to you fans who talk about them sucking at their jobs. If you read a bulletin at your job and customers said you suck would you change or dig in your heels? You would say that they didn't know what you had to do day in and day out so they can't say what it is that you do. Put yourselves in their cleats.

Briggs has a job to do. He needs to shut up and do it. His blather about last year in this regard is just annoying. Worry about your defense...or wait..was that the Jets in the SB last year -led by Jones?

I am actually with Creighton on this. I have done the same list you have just done before in blogs, I have said the same thing before.

First off, the draft is a chance thing anyways. You need to do research to make your chances better.

Angelo continually picks players with injury histories. Look at Creighton's list. Most of those have had severe or nagging injuries. Some of you will say every player in the NFL has the same issue. But not coming out of college when they are 23 years old tops. He is killing his chances if he keeps doing this. In the first 3 rounds the last 2 years, Bazuin, Okwo, Harrison, and Williams have all had injury issues in college, and only Harrison will contribute this season. The top 3 picks in any draft should be considered starting talent. Also, the "character" issues give his picks even less chance to succeed (see Benson, Johnson, and Harrison,and Clemens).

I give him a break on the "bad choices" such as Benson, Grossman, and Haynes. All first rounders, but around the average for the league. That is just players that didn't end up working out because their talent was misjudged. I think Angelo can spot talent based on what that player did in college.

Bottom line is if Angelo doesn't start picking players with NO/ZERO injury histories or bad character flaws in the first 3 rounds, he will be fired after the 09 season.

You guys play with yourselves,....Bears 16 Colts 10. Orton 150 no picks, Forte 100, Defense shows up. Go Bears!

What Briggs says is true, except, can we just play the first game and play a good game BEFORE you mouth off Lance? C'mon Lance that is really old stuff to be bringing up before the first game.
It was said that we don't have good blitzing LB's - well I feel if they are fast enough to cover then they are fast enough to get in the backfield and create havoc if Babich lets them.
Now does anyone else see why I wanted to trade Lance for a good OLineman? Hey he spoke the truth and I appreciatte the truth finally spoken but PLAY THE F!@ FIRST GAME GOOD BEFORE YOU MOUTH OFF! Then you can mouth it up all you want.

I have always thought it was a smart move for JA to pick players with previous injuries/problems cuz the player will drop down other teams lists and JA gets them first. By the time most of them get to Halas Hall they are usually injury/problem free and we got them and the other teams didn't. (see M. harrison this year as example) I like Williams chances of being a great LT, and waiting awile on him does not bother me, - the fact we didn't pick up a waiver/FA Tackle to cover that spot in the meantime does bother me.
Ja/Lovie have done a much better job than anyone previous since 1985, so I am not griping on fireing them, I see a few things that should have been diff. (Jones/Benson Oline) but they got us to the big one after all so I would leave them be for another 2 years.
For Briggs to mouth off BEFORE we play the first game really only hurts the team attitude before we play, I would fine him or trade his dumbbut, no matter he said the truth - doesn't matter, as he deflated the team attitude when the Team needs to the focused on the game not Briggs.

Take a look at the Patriots in comparrisson to the Bears roster in regars to draft classes from 2002 and 2007...

Listed in order of selection.

2002: Dan Graham, Deon Branch, Rohan Davey, Jarvis Green, Antwoine Womak, David Givens

2003: Ty Warren, Eugene Wilson, Bethel Johnson, Dan Klecko, Asante Samuel, Dan Koppen, Kliff Klingsbury, Spencer Nead, Tully Banta-Cain, Ethan Kelly

2004: Vince Wolfork, Ben Watson, Marquise Hill, Guss Scott, Dexter Reid, Cedric Cobbs, P.K. Sam, Christian Mortenson

2005: Logan Mankins, Ellis Hobbs, Nick Kaczur, James Sanders, Ryan Clairidge, Matt cassell, Andy STokes

2006: Laurance Morony, Chad jackson, Dave Thomas, Garrette Mills, Stephan Gastowski, Ryan O'Callaghan, Jeremy Mincy, Dan Stevens, Le Kevin Smith, Willie Andrews

2007: Brandon Meriweather, Kareem Brown, Clint Oldengurg, Justin Rogers, Mike Richardson, Justce Hairston, Corey Hillard, Oscar Lua, Mike Elgin.

The only remaining players on the 2008 roster drafted in: 2002, Jarvis Green. 2003, Ty Warren and Dan Koppen. 2004, Vince Wilfork and Ben Watson. 2005(really good year) Logan Mankins, Ellis Hobbs, Nick Kaczur, James Sanders and Matt Cassell. 2006, Laurance Morony, Dave Thomas, Stephen Gostowski, Le Kevin Smith and (IR) player/back up OT Ryan O'Callagahan. 2007, Brandon Meriaweather and PS player Mike Richardson.

Overall they drafted much better in the 1'st round then the Bears but after that the only year that stands out is 2005 where the first (4) picks became starters. Other then that New England will feature a roster that had (50) players drafted from 2002 to 2007 which fields only (17) players. Of those, only (10) players are current startes , (2) of those (10)players are a kicker and a back up QB.....

The Bears on the other hand feature (22) players on the 2008 roster that were drafted in the same span. (10) of those players are current positional starters. The most notable issue or flaw is that (7) of those (10) startes belong to the Defensive unit.

Appreciatte the info B.P.
now I wonder at what the records have been of both teams in that span, W/L and how many playoff appearances? Super Bowls? It is not just drafted players anymore it's also Free Agent/Waiver/trade pickups.
What have both teams dopne with those players as well.
You know I am in JA Lovie corner as far as drafting but I would like more Free Agent aquisitions, and of course the bottom line is the Super Bowl.

I’m with Briggs. The Jones trade was a bad decision. Sure, Jones wasn’t young, but he was still great, and the team’s window of opportunity was limited, and the Bears had just gotten so close to winning the super bowl with Jones. Probably would have won if they had stayed with the run in the super bowl 2nd half instead of going to the pass in the rain with Rex. Also, the Bears had all the opportunity to know what Benson was capable of prior to Jones trade. Benson’s numbers (yds per rush) were comparable to Jones’ only because Benson usually got his carries in the second halves after Jones got the tough yards in the first halves. Last year when Benson had to run during the first halves (with same line, & just months after the super bowl – offensive lines don’t degrade that quickly), he suddenly looked very ineffective. If Benson’s superbowl performance did not alert the coaches to his true lack of potential, I don’t see what could have. No, the coaches had their minds made up. This is why Jones wanted traded…he was underappreciated no matter how well he had performed. And he was the only offense that first year or so with the Bears, yet he still managed to be among league leaders in rushing.

lets get something straight about chico, he didn't want to be in chicago. lets see in 2005 and 2006 he was off looking for other jobs when he should have been game planning for the playoffs

does anybody remember what the pathers did to us in the playoffs in 05? the defense was totally out coached and while chico should have been game planning he was off looking for a job.

he did the same during the super bowl year too.

would you want somebody like that around? he didn't seem very commited to the bears when somebody was dangling a over his head?

one more thing about chico, if he is such a great coach why is he only the linebacker coach with the chargers? sounds like a demotion to me.

Well, this is ArchieFan or AwMan I am not trying to decieve anyone I just forget what name I use and that's all. You should see me try and remember my passwords. Well my fellow NFL fans and to you Bears fans, what did I tell ya about Matt Forte. You lucky sons of guns, Ya'll got yourselfes a boneified Running Back like I mentioned months ago. Dern, why was I not born a general Manager. I could be making the big bucks. :-)) 123 yds huh? Well, What ya'll think?
I am gonna have to talk to Mr. and Mrs. Forte and see what kind of deal we can cut later in the season when ya'll play my Saints. You just can't have a hommey run all over his home town team can ya?..shoot..I guess ya can. Dern!

Later All
Mike in Slidell, La.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on September 5, 2008 12:01 PM.

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