Chicago Sun-Times

Ailing cornerbacks still sidelined

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Looks like CB's Charles Tillman (shoulders) and Nathan Vasher (right wrist) will get a few more days to heal up. Neither was armed with a helmet when the Bears began practice this morning at Halas Hall. It's believed the team will be at full strength or close to it when winless Detroit (0-7) visits Soldier Field Sunday.

DT Tommie Harris, WR Marty Booker and SLB Hunter Hillenmeyer also appeared to be missing from action.

The good news is nickel corner Danieal Manning was taking part in at least a portion of the workout. Manning had been sidelined with a pulled hamstring. Also, WR Brandon Lloyd had a helmet and looked to be taking part in the action.

Monday's practice amounts to an extra day to get ready for the Lions as teams do not typically practice during the week until Wednesday. The first injury report will not be released until Wednesday.

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I wonder if Harris missed practice because of spiritual issues?

I am very interested to see how they work Chris Williams into the mix. It is obvious to anyone that watches the games that the only reason Orton is still upright is his footwork and decision-making. While the line has been better than I thought it would be, it is a far cry from effective across the board. The interior is getting manhandled, reducing the running lanes, and causing Forte to drop to Ced Benson-like numbers over the last 5 games. THe tackles are getting abused regularly, and if not for Orton's ability to slide and step up, there would be anywhere from 4-8 sacks per game against us. We need upgrades all across the line, and getting Williams into the game might allow for us to move St.Clair inside to Guard to replace Garza, who has been absolutely terrible. Then you get Buenning in there in place of Beekman, who has been ok, but still gets pushed around. Then we can start running the ball with some beef up front, and let Orton keep picking apart secondaries along with it. Say what you will about continuity, but when the performance is bad, all the continuity in the world still makes it bad, just bad as as unit, not just an individual...

Brad, good to see you back! It seems you have a more important role with the Sun-Times writing articles on the Bears rather than updating the blog. I'm happy to see your continued success but at the same time, miss the daily updates.

Anyway, it's good to see the team healing up, especially with the DBs. But the obvious problem with the defense is the coaching. The question however is where does Babich end and Lovie begin? Is Lovie demanding the Tampa Cover-2 while Babich simply nods his head up and down? Hmm.

Speaking of coaching, I'm officially on the Bring Singletary to Chicago Bandwagon. Samurai Mike benched his bumbling QB and threw Vernon Davis out of the game after he slapped an opposing player and drew a penalty. He's no wet noodle like Smith who did absolutely NOTHING after Tillman blew the Buc's game in OT.

Man oh man, we need Mike back where he belongs! Who's with me?

If they have to sit out 2 more weeks, they should be OK. Detroit only has 1 receiver now, and Tennessee has never been strong at wide receiver.

But they will be needed for GB. I don't really know what the heck is wrong with Vasher, but Tillman's injury is a concern according to what I know. Tillman has had 2 "stingers" that radiate to his shoulder (this purely from what I have seen on replays). It just looks like he is exhibiting symptoms now from a long standing, and slow growing, problem. Because he has always hit the same way and never been injured like this. Could be nerve interference causing mis-use of the joint. Then it degenerates, and more bone grows that can impinge more nerves (and cause more interference). They will probably recommend neck surgery in the off-season.

The bigger question right now is what are they going to do with Chris Williams? Will they give him a shot against Detroit? If waiting, then what are you waiting for? Are you waiting for a certain opponent? Are you waiting for more evidence of progress? Do they plan to play him this year? Do they have any idea what they are going to do in the next 2 weeks?

I say if he knows the plays, let him play. He was obviously picked in the first round because the Bears believe he has a lot of talent. They should play him, because St. Claire, although he has been OK, will break down eventually. He has never played well the whole season, and that is why he is not a starter usually. He could get a good warm-up against Detroit, and then get tested for real against Tennessee.

Go Bears!

It doesnt matter about our injured secondary.Its starts up front on both sides of the ball.when the D-Line gets pressure it doesnt matter whos back there in the secondary.when the O-line opens holes it doesnt matter whos running the ball.You see this with teams like broncos,jags,redskins and rams for years dont matter whos running the ball.

I agree - It doesn't really matter if we pressure the QB. Alex Brown has been doing that lately, maybe Harris has been helping out more than we know in that regard, but the bottom line is we have to get in the QB's face fast

The problem with Chris is - the Oline takes time to grow together, I feel we should not mess with the chemistry that the Oline has gotten. They are playing well together right now, don't fix what ain't broke. Heck, the Oline has been a pleasant surprise, lets concentrate on fixing that D.
Now to work Williams in a little at a time late in games that are decided would be fine.

Joe is right, though I wouldn't replace Garza, I'd replace Beekman. St. Clair played at a Pro Bowl level at guard at the end of last season and is obviously a much better guard than a tackle. So long as Williams is the quality player the Bears have told us he is, starting him at tackle and St. Clair at left guard would be a huge improvement. Another factor is that Kreutz does not play well when flanked by two small guards, as he is now. The line needs St. Clair's bulk at guard.

Randy is also correct: an offensive line needs to play together in order to play well. But the Bears are going nowhere this season with the line they are currently starting, because they can't open holes for running backs. With St. Clair at guard, there's at least a chance of that improving.

While I do agree that chemistry is important, let's be realistic in our assessment of our offensive line. They get pushed around in short yardage, they get zero push off the ball on running plays, and the only thing keeping our sack numbers down is the quick feet and decision-making of Orton. The results have been pleasant, but the actual play has been far less impressive. How many times have both defensive ends gotten around Tait and St. Clair? How many times on our running plays is Garza 3-5 yards behind the line of scrimmage by the end of the play? A bad line is still a bad line, no matter what the end result is. We can use an upgrade at LT, LG, RG, and RT. Least needed right now is RT, and Kreutz has been his usual solid self, but Garza is downright awful in every phase of the game. St. Clair could be an upgrade at RG, and Buenning should be a run game improvement if he were to play at LG.

I'm not saying throw him in now, but he needs to be the full time LT by the end of November, to get some momentum going in to the offseason program (or who knows, maybe the playoffs?). St. Clair is going to be a free agent after this year, and Tait is likely not going to be back next year. Fred Miller shouldn't be on the team now, let alone next year. We are going to need some replacements, and we need to see if St. Clair is capable of playing a few different positions (RT, LG, RG) to make it worth bringing him back. And we need to see if Buenning can re-capture his rookie form, when he was one of the most promising young guards in the league.

I agree that we need to focus on winning now, but part of that is improving the run game so Forte and Jones can start eating up clock and getting real yardage. That means replacing the weak links on the line, chemistry or not. Garza needs to come out, and the rest of the line needs to be put on notice. Ced Benson-like production out of the run game is not good enough. We need to try other combos and see if we get better results. Lovie is always reluctant to tinker with what works, but if you look beyond the W-L column, you see the run game is not working, and the passing game is working because of Orton, not the line.

Joe F. Have you been watching the games? Opposing teams have been sending 8-9 players on running downs. 6 blockers 8 defenders= No running lanes. Once teams start backing off the run and start to play the pass things will get better.

Mike I enjoyed the rants and raves of Singletary but there is no way that I would want to see a coach calling out players to the media. On top of that there is a Ver Davis on every team and every coach has to deal with players like that. If Mike cant handle coaching players with bad attitudes then he shouldnt be a coach at all. Times have changed since Singletary has been in the league. There is a reason why teams havnt look at Mike as a head coach or a cordinator. Same with Chico short comming Rivara.

What we have are opposing philosophies to this issue so I won't even try to persuade you to see things my way. But seeing Lovie's methods of trying to befriend his players and use "six inch voices around them" makes the sound of "Bears Head Coach Mike Singletary" all the more appealing. When Briggs totalled his vehicle last year in the wee hours of the night and then fled the scene of the accident, questions of DUI were raised.

"Now how did we get there?" Smith fired back at reporters, trying to counter a perfectly valid question by acting dumbfounded.

Let's not forget Harris' ONE game suspension after a lengthy history of missing/showing up late to meetings, rehab, and/or practices.

Or doing/saying absolutely nothing after Tillman threw a punch and blew the Bucs game.

I think Singletary handled the situation as best he could and this type of attitude is what a lot of me-first millionaire morons need to experience. Check the link, I think Mike did good:;_ylt=An2xyRY_Nxx6XuGAl4Em1oxDubYF?urn=nfl,117803

Mike I read your post and it was a waiste of time. When trying to defend Singletary you are now posting a link that defends Davis himself.
Trying not to persaude me...... Well I think you were.

Oline, I still feel Chemistry is most important at this point, I feel we are playing good, so I am not wanting to mess that up, and stats say we are playing decent offense. Anyone will tell you Chemistry is so important on the oline, We can still get reps for Williams and Buening w/o/ starting them. We are ahead of the game no doubt with these 2 players in the wings though for sure! Williams doesn't have to be thrown to the Wolves like Stan was. (Thomas right?)
Stan says today that he screwed that up big time on his own though acting the big man.
I am wondering what happened to Beuning though, is he getting in games at all?
As far as Singletary, I wanted the Bears to draft Davis - he needs called out, that high of a pick and not done jack! but I feel Mike did it to set an example for the entire team by utilizing 1 player, We will see what happens, of Course Ditka is all over Mike as the greatest Coach of all time, lol, thats kool I guess. Standing up for the Bear. Heck, the niners need some players, and it's easier to fire the Coach for sure. Hope Mike makes it though.

Tsk, tsk Brando. There is no need to be so rude. I only offered my side of the issue and why I felt that way. Perhaps my post did turn into a persuasive argument, but my intentions were utterly unpersuasive. My apologies to you and your psyche if my comments seemed in any way persuasive, suggestive, luring or inducing.

Further apologies that my prose may confront a conundrum of sorts to one most insensate such as yourself since I do not write like Larry the Cable Guy talks. I am quite sure I have disappointed you on two fronts old friend and once again, am deeply compunctious in every sense of the word.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on October 27, 2008 11:33 AM.

Vasher takes another step toward returning was the previous entry in this blog.

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