Chicago Sun-Times

Thursday night tidbits: Dolphins only team to make claim for Barton

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Judging by some of the posts on here earlier, there hasn't been this much fan reaction to the departure of a seventh-round pick in a long time.

No one reacted like this when safety Mike Green was sent packing a few years ago and he actually started 45 games in a Bears uniform over five seasons.

Kirk Barton was waived Wednesday because the Bears deemed it necessary to bring in an offensive tackle with experience and it cannot be disputed Fred Miller has a better working knowledge of the offense. The Dolphins were the only team to submit a claim for Barton, meaning 30 other teams didn't see enough on his game tape to make a play for him.

Barton was the sixth-to-final selection of the draft, putting him in the same zip code as Green, who wore the title of Mr. Irrelevant. Green was the exception to the rule. It's not often you find seventh-round picks who pan out as steady offensive tackles. Remember, offensive tackle is one of the most sure-fire positions when it comes to first-round picks. That's got to be somewhat comforting when considering Chris Williams, who is working his way back from back surgery.

*** Agent Drew Rosenhaus is in town to schmooze with some clients. He currently represents six players on the roster. It doesn't look like there is any big business on the horizon for him here unless he adds to his stable, which is always possible.

He's recently done deals for linebacker Lance Briggs and defensive tackle Tommie Harris. Defensive end Adewale Ogunleye is signed through 2009. Tight end Greg Olsen is in the second year of a five-year contract and fellow tight end Kellen Davis is a rookie. Linebacker Darrell McClover is in the final year of his contract but will have to be a standout on special teams to warrant attention.

*** Interesting nugget courtesy of Darin Gantt of the Rock Hill (S.C.) Herald. Of the 32 offensive play callers in the league, Ron Turner is in the minority. Twenty-three of the play callers do their work from the sideline, a list that obviously includes the head coaches who control that duty for their teams.

A look at the list, broken down by conference:

On the sidelines (23)

AFC: Baltimore OC Cam Cameron, Buffalo OC Turk Schonert, Denver HC Mike Shanahan, Houston HC Gary Kubiak, Indianapolis OC Tom Moore, Jacksonville OC Dirk Koetter, New England OC Josh McDaniels, Pittsburgh OC Bruce Arians, San Diego HC Norv Turner, Tennessee OC Mike Heimerdinger.

NFC: Arizona OC Todd Haley, Atlanta OC Mike Mularkey, Carolina OC Jeff Davidson, Dallas OC Jason Garrett, Green Bay HC Mike McCarthy, Minnesota OC Darrell Bevell, New Orleans HC Sean Payton, N.Y. Giants OC Kevin Gilbride, Philadelphia HC Andy Reid, San Francisco OC Mike Martz, Seattle HC Mike Holmgren, Tampa Bay HC Jon Gruden, Washington HC Jim Zorn.

In the press box (9)

AFC: Cincinnati OC Bob Bratkowski, Cleveland OC Rob Chudzinski, Kansas City OC Chan Gailey, Miami OC Dan Henning, N.Y. Jets OC Brian Schottenheimer, Oakland OC Greg Knapp.

NFC: BEARS OC Ron Turner, Detroit OC Jim Colletto, St. Louis OC Al Saunders.

Thanks to Darin for passing along the information.

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Brad, I don't think fans got too worked up over Barton's dismissal, it was more so the fact that 36 year old "Drive Killer" Miller was brought back and took his place after he was cut. Trust me.


First, you didn't have a blog when Mike Green was released so let's keep apples-to-apples comparisons.

Second, fans are smart enough to know when you bring back a BAD has-been while giving up a young prospect.

Third, bad teams look for potential prospects. So when you have 32 teams in the league, and 16 are below average, you tend to find teams looking for talent that is released. Play FFL some time and see how it works with us amateurs.

Please don't assume that because a player is drafted low - or left undrafted - he doesn't matter. I think the Colts had something like 15 undrafted players on the team they fielded Sunday. And they are still generally conceded to be a superior team to the Bears and rated higher in all the power polls.

Holding on to aging, low impact, or often injured veterans over draft picks with potential makes no sense.

I think the commotion just indicates how disturbed the decisions coming from Halas Hall have left the fans. The trust is not there not there anymore to the level it used to be, the Bears will have to prove themselves every week to rebuild it.


I think this is troubling to Bears fans because

1)Barton was a midwest product We saw a lot of him at OSU
2)showed potential in the preseason
3 the weakest part of the team(arguably), not to mention oldest, is O line
4)Bringing in a has been veteran is what has the Bears faithful so upset.

Fred Miller is a hack regardless if he knows the offense or not. We all saw what his performance was last year. Repeatedly. I think a lot of Bears fans would rather see a YOUNG prospect struggle and learn the position than waste another year on an old player on an already aged line.

Brad -
I thought I might have missed it so I re-read the posts. I still do not see the "can't miss" label. I thought you were the professional journalist on this board .... leave the hyperbole to the fans.


You are right on about Miller. Grasping at straws when you have the potential to win it all now is the question. Miller is a proven pro that was hurt last year, Barton is a young inexperienced lineman that may or may not make it as a starter. Enough said!!

Go Bears!!!

I won't lie, I didn't like the move to cut Barton either at first, to me, it would have made more sense to unload one of their receivers or one of the running backs, to make room for Miller. Maybe your right Biggs, Kirk Barton might not have been what I, and a lot of other fans thought he was. One of the red flags on Barton coming out of college was his knees, and I noticed back during camp Barton missed some times because of his knees. So Barton might not have been durable i.e. Terrence Metcalf to ever be an effective offensive lineman.
Ultimately, the future success of the Bears offensive line falls on Chris Williams. If Williams can return and play like a first round tackle is suppose to play, this line is heading in the right direction.
I think the fan base [which includes me] getting in an uproar over a 7th round tackle being cut, stems back to the total collapse of the o-line last season. I like Jerry Angelo, but Angelo made his own bed building an offensive line with a bunch of stop gaps. Angelo is currenly correcting the problem, yes the injury to Williams set back the progress of the o-line. If Chris Williams can make a healthy return along with Josh Beekman making strides at left guard, and Angelo will have rebuilt half of the o-line through the draft. I say use one more 1st day pick on a tackle next april, and this line will continue to head in the right direction GO BEARS!!

You guys gotta be kidding me! Barton was a 7th round pick. The only reason he made the team is because Williams was hurt. Otherwise St Clair would be the swing tackle. Miller gives us insurance for 1 year. That's all we need. We can draft another tackle next year to succeed Tait. Miller played hurt last year. He sucked it up and stayed in to help his team and all he gets is fans telling him how bad he was. Where were you in 2006 saying how bad he was? If Tait or St Clair goes down for a game, I trust Miller a heck of a lot more than Barton.

The problem with cutting Barton isn't that we shouldn't want a veteran over a 7th round rookie. As much as I couldn't stand Fred Miller last year I'd much rather have him on the field this year than Barton.

The issue I see here is the decision to keep Chris Williams on the active roster. He's not going to be back for about half the season and even then the odds of him working himself into game shape or making a significant contribution is minimal. That decision means Barton had to go at a time when the o-line could use all the help it can get.

We over at celebrate the return of Fred "turnstile" Miller. And we pray for the continued health of John Tait and John St. Clair.

I did not think Miller was all that good in pass protection dating back to his time as a tackle for the Rams (pre-Titans), but he was always a solid run blocker. He struggled last year, but as noted, who didn't on that line.

If he was only going to be a depth pickup, why wait until the second week of the season? We need him to be in football shape, or his already suspect pass blocking skills will be even more exposed if he has to play. Given our track record of the last 3 years, we can't think for a second that all 5 of our OL will play 16 games. I would venture to say that we might not have a single one of them make it through the season.

I would have preferred getting rid of another position of dead weight, such as WR, where Bradley has some value because of his physical skills, but we still do not know for certain that Lloyd and Hester can handle the starting duties. But given that we have one of the best tandems at TE in the league, we can probably get by with 5 WRs (Hester, Lloyd, Booker, Davis, Bennett) on the roster for the rest of the season. In a pinch, Olsen can split out wide for mismatches. We could have kept Barton and found out what he can do through the offseason, and would have kept a guy with long term potential, instead of another stopgap. While we don't know whether Barton would have panned out, we already know Miller is pretty well clinging by a thread to his NFL career.

Time will tell if this was a wise move by Angelo. The question is whether Williams, Balogh, Beekman, Buenning, Addams, and Reed are good enough to start the rebuilding process. Obviously, we won't get all 5 future starters out of this group, but I could see a Williams, Buenning, Kreutz, Beekman, and mystery guest as our line for next year. I think you put Buenning on the left to help Williams, and let Beekman move to the right side and duke it out with Addams until Kreutz hangs them up.

brad, here's a better question/topic to debate. why does terrence metcalf still have a job?

the way i see it, that guy gets paid $1M + to be on the FG protection team.

especially with the acquisition of buenning (granted he's still learning the offense) i really see no reason why metcalf is still on the roster. he has shown in every opportunity he's had to play that he is simply over matched in the nfl.

lets see barton is injury prone and his physical abilities are what they are, which is a nice way of saying they are non existant.

does anyone think that he could have actually played tackle in the nfl? he was a fill in at best.

now i know fred miller sucks. last year he took sucking to a new level but i guess he might make an ok back up

don't forget the bears still have cody balog on the practice squad too and i see more upside with him than barton

barton was polished but doesn't have the raw potential of balog.

getting miller was stupid but letting go of barton isn't a big deal

I feel the Oline was actually more than stop gaps, The Oline that JA put together took us to the Super Bowl, he made the mistake of not drafting enough Oline to back those FA aquisitons, and the age ultimately took it's toll, we agree on the outcome, maybe not the terminology, but he did make his own bed, and I do like the way he has addressed the situation with Williams/Buenning/ and making a bid for another Waiver, We will not know about Barton for some time, Fred is a short term `stop gap' (agree on that one lol)I would like to think we can go to the Super Bowl dependant on the play of our Oline, with our Awsome D this year, so I do not have a problem letting Barton go and selecting another Olineman next year to continue the rebuilding of the Oline. Someone :) was right (so far) about Beekman for awhile on this board huh?? He didn't look too bad in the first game, hope he keeps it up! If Beekman/Williams/Buenning pan out we are not looking too shabby all of a sudden.
Carolina will tell us alot now.

Bingo Kevin: Terrence Metcalf. That's the guy they should have cut to make room for Miller. I think most fans would then celebrate the move. Beekman's doing fine at LG and we got that oversized clown from Tampa to back him up.

Hey Angelo, how long will it be before Fred "The Drive Killer" Miller is starting again and the yellow hankies are flying for the false starts?

Come on Mike.

Why would you call Buenning an oversized clown from Tampa ??

This guy is a Wisconsin product that historicly churns out solid O-line prospects. He started (25) games for the Bucs before he tore his ACL. He also started as a true rookie and played very well for Tampa. He wasn't going to be ready for start of the 2007 season so Tampa invested a first round draft pick for his replacement and he became expendable because the (2) OG' ahead of him are studs and he couldn't unseat the starting Center this past pre-season.

The Bears got a solid OG that should push to a be a starter as soon as he learns the playbook. Garza and Beekman need to continue to play solid football or they may find themsleves on the sidelines once Buenning is ready.

The bigger problem about the Barton relaese is just as Kevin stated. Having Buennning on the roster, why not release Metcalf and keep an extra OT like Barton and still sign Fred Miller ??

It's not like Metcalf will do anything if given a 4'th opportunity to play, afterall, he did piss away his first (3) chances to be a starting OG by his retched play on the fottball field.

Also, Bradley could have garnerd some interest from Seattle, we could have moved him for say, a mid 2009 draft pick. How about Garrette Wolfe ?? to me he just isn't going to get an opportunity in the this offense because of Forte and Jones being the primary RB combo and with AP still much more valuable with his running, receiving, blocking and Special Teams ability.

I think and many others here beleive that Angelo released the wrong player to bring back Miller Brad. Barton may or may not have been an impact player for this Bears team but he certainly has more upside then Terrance Metcalf.

GO Bears !!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on September 11, 2008 8:44 PM.

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