Chicago Sun-Times

Bears find fullback

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Less than 24 hours after losing FB Jason Davis from their practice squad to the Oakland Raiders, a league source says the Bears will sign Jed Collins. Collins is in town and will take a physical today.

Collins, 6-2, 254 pounds, was released from the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad last week. That's the same place Davis came from. Collins, a rookie from Washington State, is a converted tight end. He's not a natural ball carrier, but has receiving skills and will fill in behind Jason McKie on the practice field.

Stay tuned for more information.

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22 Comments

Do we really need a practice squad fullback? Seems like McKie is not on the field all that often, and surely we could put Kellen Davis in there when we want the lead blocker if something were to happen to McKie. I would rather have OL on the practice squad instead. We need all the help we can get there....

Speaking of Davis, am I the only one who thinks Desmond Clark is the softest tight end in the league? I have never seen him take a hit and keep moving forward, regardless of the size of the defender. I was at a game in Detroit where Dre Bly hit him and knocked him out of the game, with what I thought was not that big of a hit. He outweighs Bly by 50 pounds, and has a similar size advantage to most safeties, but is consistently knocked silly and has to come out of the game, or fumbles the ball on the 1 like he did last week.

If you can't handle the contact from little DBs, you should not be playing TE in the NFL. I know he is more of a receiver, but he has to be able to handle the hits he will be taking, or Orton will start looking elsewhere. Olsen is more of a finesse player by reputation, but he handles the contact better. Davis is a flat-out monster, and not only can handle the contact, but would be a punishing open field runner after the catch.

Joe,

You wrote:
"Do we really need a practice squad fullback?"

Answer: Absolutely. To not have at least one backup to each position -- short of punter and placekicker -- is to tempt fate.

You are correct that having Olsen or Davis, K be the backup FB is what happens on game day. With four RB on the squad (Forte, Jones, Peterson and Wolfe) we can't afford having too many backups in the backfield hence the lone FB on the squad.

As for OL on the practice squad we have two -- Perry and Balogh. With only eight slots for practice squad I think that three is too much.

"Speaking of Davis, am I the only one who thinks Desmond Clark is the softest tight end in the league?"

Yes, you are.

Joe, I'm not sure how long you've been watching the Bears but last year Dez took a short pass in Week 3 vs. the Cryboys and turned it into a 50+ yarder after defenders bounced off him. I recall he trucked an Eagles defender for a first as well on that comeback drive.

Personally, I think Clark is still the best TE on the Bears. He blocks, catches...he does it all. I don't think he's been used as extensively as the years before, but he's a necessary and solid contributor to this team.

Joe- you are trashing a TE that has produced in this league, and is producing this year as well in Clark, and wanting more playing time for an untested TE in Davis. He's got size, he could very well be a monster someday. But please, lets not kill our own players that are producing. Why are "fans" always so negative...?

I think it is a good call to keep a practice squad full back on the roster. The schemes and techniques for fullback blocking are different than standard tight end blocking schemes, and I'd rather the Bears focus on developing Davis to be a monster blocker at the line so he can fulfill his third tight end roll until we are ready to move Olsen up and Clark out. Clark has been a little softer of late, but he makes some good catches, I don't think he is done yet.

Anyway, the real point here is its great to keep a fullback on the practice squad so you can have a backup ready to go without using a roster spot or overly mismanaging the training routines of your tight ends.
It doesnt seem like a big idea to say "you be the backup" but there is only so much training and practice time in a week, and we are busy getting Davis ready to be the future next to Olsen. Let him worry about that, and the practice squad store our fullback replacement. Just me opinion, though.

Joe,

To answer your question......Yep, it would not surprise me if you really are the only one that thinks that about Des Clark. He is a solid TE in all facits of the game.

Wow Joe...you got schooled.

I'm sorry but Clark plays much stronger than Olsen. Olsen is a serious liability in the run game. I can't remember how many times a busted running play ended with him standing up over the runner and he got man handled and his man made the tackle. I can't remember how many times a little DB goes up and pull the ball away from Olsen or just keeps him from getting it. He doesn't play big and his mismatches don't go as well as fans like to give him credit for. I think he will get better but right now he isn't the best TE we have on the team. Sure, Clark fumbled after he got sandwiched but we have to put that behind it like we put those fumbles away from Olsen.

If by schooled you mean someone else who posts on a fan blog has a different opinion, then I guess I did.

Clark is an adequate blocker, and a good receiver. He runs good routes. But he can't take a hit. Try watching him when contact is made in the open field. Sure, safeties know how to hit, but when you are 50 pounds heavier than they are, you should not consistently move backwards. I was 8th row at the 45 yard line in Detroit and watched him limp off the field after a Dre Bly hit! Dre Bly is certainly not Troy Polamalu...He's barely Helen of Troy when it comes to hitting. And it's not like Olsen, where defenders go for his legs. They hit Dez up high, because that is obviously the book on him. What other tight end gets hit high by little DBs?He has left two games this year after marginal hits, but in fairness to him he came back into one of them. Not saying he isn't an effective player, but he is soft. With his size, he should be tough to bring down in the open field, and he flat out is not. He has made big plays by breaking tackles, but compare the number of those to the number where he is in traffic, and goes down as soon as contact is made, and not moving forward. And let's face it, Ced Benson broke tackles too, and would anybody argue that he was soft?

As usual, the interpretation of a statement is extended to "he sucks" as opposed to there is a problem with his game. Dez has made some of the most clutch plays of the last 3 years with this team, and we would not have beaten Green Bay twice if not for a big play when we needed it from him. But he does not appear
With as poor as the tackling fundamentals are in this league today, and with every DB in the league trying to make Sportscenter or Jacked Up or some other ridiculous highlight reel, there should be tons of yards after contact for someone with the physical attributes of Clark.

So yes, people disagree with me, and that's fine. But since they changed the argument to talent/production, maybe I'm not the one who needed schooling...

Say it ain't so Joe but I agree with most of your point except the Davis issue. With his physical attributes he should be a monster but he's not he's still learning and making mistakes and has flat out whiffed a few times. But I believe given a little more time and he will be a monster but not right now Joe.

Hey Joe with that kind of speed and agility going backwards you would have made a great cornerback.

Why are we talking about this? This has zero relevance on this season. And who cares if Clark can't take a hit. That will not have any bearing on this season. And whether or not they have a FB on their practice squad will make no difference this season. Forte could play FB. He can block. Period.

The issues that will decide the rest of the season are:
1. Orton's continued success.
2. Increased production from the running game (135 yards per game).
3. Defensive strategy changed to get more pressure!!

The Bears need 2 of these 3 things to continue to make the playoffs. If all 3 happen, then they make it to the NFC Championship game. If only 1 happens (like the last 2 games), then they will not make the playoffs.

And the production of one can offset the production of the other. Meaning, if the D-line all of a sudden becomes freakish, and gets 5 sacks per game with 3 turnovers, and holding teams to 14 points per game, then the other 2 don't need to be so high up there.

So I think if the D-line can become like the D-line from 05 and 06, then the Bears should be set. And they should put Grahgm at nickel, and Jamar Williams at Strong side LB. More speed regardless, and young and hungry talent.

GO BEARS!!

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=yEAT3UneRNE

check it around 19seconds

one of many examples where clark can push smaller guys around. guy's been in the league for a few years now making plays and hasn't missed much time at all to injury comparatively speaking. little joey if you paid a bit of attention to the league you may notice smaller guys (even the dre blys of the world) can knock even the big boys the f out of the game at any given point. my lovely son william r. donald illustrates the point quite nicely. try and find any TE who isn't hall of fame caliber who doesn't fumble and/or get knocked backwards sometimes by little flying missiles called safeties. go on, i dare you.


so yes, in fact joe, YOU DID GET SCHOOLED. o snap.

I agree with Joe, to an extent.
I think Clark has done an excellent job while with the Bears period. I also have seen him go down at times where i would think he'd hit the truck stick (lol). But i'd have to admit that when he showed up in Chicago he wouldn't be as good as a blocker that he is. I think he is a better blocker then the 'experts' give him credit for. I've expressed this many times and on different forums. The media outlets covering the Bears are very hard on them. "The Defense isnt playing good" but we're stopping the run and for goodness sakes, TWO teams who prided themselves in running the ball got shut down. Griese had to throw for 10 billion yards and Matt Ryan had to beat us.. NOT GRAHAM, NOT TURNER..
Sometimes it seems that the media looks for things to talk about and seeing how the O-Line, a Rookie RB or Orton cant be discussed... i guess we can talk about the secondary..
barring more injuries...
good luck doing this the entire year!

By the way... before Tom Brady got a jem in Randy Moss... he didnt have a true #1 probowl wideout really. He made them better and i think Orton is doing a better then average job.

Actually "i KNOW" he is.. because the media isnt talking about him as they do our defensive line. As if they arent stopping the run.

Personnaly I would rather have Olsen and thats it, maybe Davis to come in for blocking, relief. I feel Olsen can be another Gonzalez or Witten given the time and opp. Yes, Clark can make that catch too but why have 2? I feel it's a distraction and hurts Olsen's improvement as a top TE.

BEARS DEFENSE? 41 POINTS GIVEN UP. I THINK THE PLAYERS ARE CAPABLE. I HAVEN'T SEEN THAT THE DEFENSIVE COACHING STAFF IS UP TO THE CHALLENGE. THIS DEFENSIVE UNIT HAS A LOT OF TALENTED PLAYERS. THEY NEED TO BE BETTER PREPARED. PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

Mom,
I think you need to go back on your meds, and stick to soap operas....Or maybe go to Football 101 and learn a little something about physics. If you watch that exact same play, you will see a defender not delivering a hit, but standing still and letting himself get run over. And if you ever would have played the game, you would know the difference between delivering a blow, and taking one. When you deliver the blow, you get what happened when Walter used to run, or Earl Campbell, or that over-hyped highlight of Jeremy Shockey where he steamrolls two defenders on a pass play early in his career. When you stand still or stop your momentum, you go down or backwards. So one play where a defender freezes like a statue does not make your point correct any more than it makes my point incorrect. Watch him play this weekend, and see how often Dez delivers a blow rather than receives one in the open field. If he plays tough, I will come back and admit I had him figured all wrong. If he continues to get knocked around, then I expect you would do the same.

And MS, at no point in my first post did I attack anything about Clark other than his inability to take a hit. So I did not backpedal at all, merely had to clarify my argument to those who do not comprehend what is written, and pull things out between the lines that isn't there.

Nice Joe. I got your point.

I don't really have an opinion of it because I cannot recall taking a hit. Well, maybe the Minn game where he fumbled into the end zone, but he didn't get injured. I know he sprained his ankle in the pre-season, but I think he returned for the Colts game.

But the Bears need to be better on defense while in their base alignment. They need to stop the crowding the line, as other teams seem to have it figured out.

This is a high risk defense that is run right now. And the execution must be perfect for the defense to work. Ther is less room for error when you play everyone on the line pre-snap. And it opens you up to the quick slant because the strong side LB is not fast enough to go from line to the pass lane in time for a strong armed QB.

Here is the good part of a high risk defense. Bears are 3rd in NFC in give away / take away with a +5. They are behind the Eagles ( +7 ), the Packers ( +6 ), and tied with the Giants.

But the bad part is they are 30th in pass defense. They give up big plays every game sans Colts or Detroit. I lost count of the amount of plays over 15 yards they allowed to Minnesota, Atlanta, and TB.

They need to play better and be coached better. Not more aggressive, but more exotic/creative defensive schemes need to be applied. Go with some crazy looks, and maybe change up personel. Put Graham in for Mike Brown for a few plays a game at safety, and then make sure Graham plays every nickel situation. He is a good tackler. So are Vasher and Tillman when healthy. Put in a D-line package of Dvoracek and Harrison at DT and NT, and put Harris at strong DE and Ogunleye at weak DE. Try putting the freakish athletic Mark Anderson at Strong side LB.

I am not saying this will work, but what I am saying is they have to change up something because the scheme is not working.

Go Bears!

Depth is very important in any sport, especially in a violent sport such as football, so yes, this was a good move to bring in another fullback. Chicago might not use a fullback on every single play, but they still use one, so it would not be very smart to go throughout the season with one lone fullback.
As far as Jed Collins goes, the guy can block & catch I assume, being a former tight end. I highly doubt the Eagles would have converted Collins to fullback if he could not block, and having a 250 lb frame doesn't hurt a player as a lead blocker. Also, Collins is a former tight end, so you know the guy must be at least an average receiver. Chicago likes their fullbacks to catch out of the backfield and block, so again, not a bad move by the Bears. GO BEARS!!

Brando,
They do make you say hmm,
They consistently rank my Fantasy Football WR near the top and they never do anything, Don't trust these rankings is all I'm saying.
Also I have the Bears Defense on my FF team, and they are first in our league! But we all know here that they have major problems.Especially in the 4th Quarter, yes the scheme needs changed - when was tha last time URL tipped/int a ball? How many times this season as compared to 2 years ago? How many sacks do we have compared to 2-3 years ago?

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This page contains a single entry by Admin published on October 28, 2008 8:34 AM.

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