Chicago Sun-Times

Vasher takes another step toward returning

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CB Nathan Vasher had pins removed from his right wrist Wednesday, three weeks after surgery to insert them to stabilize his hand. Vasher did not practice Thursday, but this is about the final step in his return to the playing field.

The veteran has practiced some in the last three weeks but has missed three consecutive games.

It will be interesting to see how things shake out in the secondary at this time next week. Corey Graham has played so well it's going to be tough to take him off the field.

The Bears are off until practice Monday morning.

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I think Nate Vasher is a better cover guy, but he had better get his mind around tackling if he wants to keep his starting job. He's shown he can tackle when he wants to, so he better start wanting to. If not, the Bears could do a lot worse than Corey Graham, though I don't expect the interceptions from him that Vasher once provided.

We are back to what I was thinking earlier in the season. Put Vasher in the slot in nickel situations, and let Tillman and Graham be physical with the receivers on the outside. Vasher is much more of a ballhawk that reads the QB, while Tillman reads the receiver and tries to meet the ball at the receiver and make the strip. That way, especially when we play the Packers in a few weeks, we can rough them up off the line, and allow more time for the pass rush to get after Rodgers. That leaves Manning out, who has been one of our more effective blitzers, but I say you put your most physical combo of cover men on the field, and that means Payne, Brown, Tillman, Graham, and Vasher (I think Manning is more physical than Vasher, but I don't know if you want to take him off the field in passing situations).

But glad to see that he might actually play a few games after getting that big contract. He has been hurt almost the entire time since he signed it.

As far as Vasher is concerned, I hope the best for him and that he doesnt turn into the next Mike Brown where you can bet with your friends WHEN and not if he'll be injured. That having been said, I also hope the Bears will smarten up in the very near future to sign Orton to a long term deal. I also respect Orton on the fact that he doesn't have Drew Rosenheus as an agent because they can create a respectable and reasonable contract rather than one that is rediculous and the player doesn't produce (ex: T. Harris). As a staunch supporter of Orton from the beginning, I hope the Bears org. goes the next step and signs him to a long term deal. PLEASE SIGN ORTON!!! GO BEARS!!!!

I hope they don't bring Manning back too soon. After what Urlacher went through a couple years ago, I get scared whenever anybody says "hamstring".

I felt a little better after watching the game again on NFL Replay this week. The defense played decent in the second half. The only really bad play was the brain lock on 4th and 16 and I think that might have been a back-foot prayer by Ferotte. Somebody knocks down that pass and the game is over. The whole game it was like the defense was being punished for success. Every time they did something right and stopped the Yikes....they wound up right back on the field.

They gave up a long touchdown drive in the second half, but it took 7 or 8 minutes. If you are up by 17 and the other team wants to chew up that much clock in the 4th quarter....that may have been more clock than the Bears offense would have used.

I agree fellows signing Orton if he keeps performing will be a priority after the season is over, but so will looking at Payne and Graham if they keep putting up the numbers they put up so far this season. This is a good problem to have as long as the organization doesn't go back to throwing nickels around like they are manhole cover days of the past... It's going to be a rough week with no BEAR hitting to watch..... Let me throw out a question to all of you evaluate our defense where do you think we need the most help to shore up the unit?....My take believe it or not is at linebacker, although we might already have the solutions on the roster, but all three of our LB's are solid players and been All-pro, my concern is they all seem to be aging together, and we seem to really be lacking in pass coverage with this unit...Yes, we need a better pass rush, and most of you are unreasonably hard on Tommy Harris right now (side issue), but I see teams using their TE's to exploit our LB's in coverage.. I think in this years draft we look to bring someone in in the 1st three rounds with a reputation as a hitter to establish fear in offensive players that have to line up against us going forward....just a thought, I'm sure we'll get some intersting replies......GO BEARS

chitownbear some good points but the o-line is still in need of a infusion of youth and size Garza is a weakness and Beekman is a future center we need some large strong guards for the future. And maybe time to start grooming a heir apparent for Urlacher. Just a few points in this our DB's are pretty well set, but maybe a good rush DE is in order.

The problem with the decision on who to start between Vasher and Graham, is actually a good problem, it shows this team has depth. I like either Vasher or Graham, Vasher is a playmaker and Graham is everywhere the ball is, either way Chicago is good to go. Obviously Graham and his team leading 33 tackles in the last three games are the hot hand right now, if Vasher is not fully recovered, I say stick with Graham, he is gonna be a good one.
Chitownbear, I agree, we need the linebackers to step up coverage vs the tight ends, but I think the answer is already on the roster in Nick Roach. I think he would have pushed Hillenmeyer if not for the injury, as a matter of fact he was already getting playing time in Hillenmeyer's place on passing downs, this will probably be a position battle in camp next pre-season. As far as putting fear in the opposition, this usually comes from the safety position, and with the emergence of Kevin Payne, Chicago is headed in the right direction. Id like to see the Bears draft Missouri free safety William Moore [if he is even available] with their first pick this april. Moore is a playmaker from his free safety position, he had 8 picks last season. If the Bears had a chance to team Payne and Moore...WOW, talk about putting fear in the opposition. GO BEARS!!

Let me clear something up about my above blog and comments about drafting a free safety. This is by no means an attack on Mike Brown. I just think the safety position is one the Bears should look to improve in the off-season for a couple of reasons. First off, Mike Brown is a ten year vet who will be a free agent at the end of the season, so it will be interesting to see how Angelo handles this in the off-season. I say if Brown can go the entire season injury free, extend him, if not, the Bears need to makes the safety position priority one. Another thing you need to ask yourself about the Bears safety position is, if Brown or Payne go down, who comes in...if it took you a couple of seconds to answer this, you get my point. Chicago should look to upgrade the safety position either way, even if Brown does return. So the fact Mike Brown is getting a little long in the tooth, and his injury past, and the Bears overall lack of depth at the position, are a couple reasons I would like to see the Bears take a safety on the first day of the draft. GO BEARS!!

Get a hitter!!! For sure. There has been a lack of big hits the past 2 seasons. Two of them were Todd Johnson and Chris Harris. Man could they hit. I think Payne can do the same thing, but M. Brown looks like he has lost a step so far this season (although that can change too). There is always a big hitting safety available in the first 3 rounds.

But right now, I have to say the hitter needs to come from Defensive End. They NEED a freak DE. No defender can be more dominant than a great DE. It solves so many problems:
1. Protection is slid more to the outside, and leaves the interior pocket prone to collapsing with decent DT's (which the Bears have).
2. More throws will be off the back foot with a collapsing pocket
3. This means more interceptions
4. More sacks (which means more fumbles)
5. Intimidation factor goes way up

This DE would be comparable to Richard Dent, Bruce Smith, Gaines Adams, James Harrison, younger Jason Taylor. He would be that good that they would have to slide coverage his way at all times run or pass. Having a freak DE just makes life for the rest of the D so much easier. Asking for a Deacon Jones or Reggie White or Joe Greene would be asking too much.

But the Bears D is missing that "freak" right now that just causes havoc on opposing teams every snap. The one guy that can't be handled.

A. Brown, Anderson, and Ogunleye are good (not great) DE's that do not command a double team. Unless they get the jump on the snap, they usually get dominated by the tackle one-on-one. This makes double teaming Harris easy to do.

They need to draft that one freak at DE that they need to become the next great Bears Defense!!

Go Bears!

OK Chitownbear, I'll bite.

You raise a good point about the linebackers, and I think the next couple games will tell a lot. Actually I think it's linebacker-singular. Briggs looks to me like he is playing as well as ever. Hillenmeyer is occasionally getting beat on pass coverage, but he is getting beat on plays when he should not be on the field. Because of the beat up secondary, they have been leaving him in when they really should be in nickel. The problem has been Urlacher.

We are just not seeing those explosive inside-out plays that he makes with his speed. Ditto for the tipped passes 20-25 yards deep in the middle where he gets deeper in coverage that the offense expects and makes a play. The question is why? Has he lost a step? Personally I don't think so. I think opposing teams are game planning for him and the Bears have not had the experience in the secondary to adjust. With Harris back getting a push in the middle(well maybe) and the starting corners back, I think they will start making teams pay for avoiding Urlacher. It also looks to me that Mike Brown is starting to hit harder and play faster. He was not playing like the Mike Brown I remember in the first month or so.

That's how I see it. I think the defense is going to start clicking in the second half of the season. Reading between the lines on a couple of his comments, I also think Lovie Smith is going to spend a little more time keeping an eye on Bullet Bob for the next several games.

It would be pure insanity to take Corey Graham out now. He is playing incredibly well. Don't stop the mojo he has got going now.
He is the find of the year!

Good stuff Guys, all solid takes Deputydawg, o-line is definetly on the radar next season, but we have already got a piece and a half (Williams still up in the air), and a few bodies on practice squad who are promising losing Barton hurt though!.....Ryan stud DEnd is very intriguiing, you usually need to be in the top 10 to get that, I sure hope we aren't picking there this season, but that would help, I think Tommy Harris will need another season to get back to full strength, two knee surgeries in two years is a lot, plus that was a nasty leg whip Columbo laid on him in the Dallas game last season, Kevin Arm, my man I've seen th eplayer from Missou you mentioned he could fit in, and I picked up on the Roach pt early also, but not sure he's big enough to be the hitter we are all looking for, MSBEARSFAN might have hit on something, the gameplan might be taking 54 away some, but he's been taking some bad angles this season and missing some tackle because of it, and new LB with that kind of size and speed of 54, with Payne, Graham and the vets at DB, and 55 could get us back in the top 5 on defense very quickly. One thing I think we can agree on is the intimdation factor is needed, something new and fresh, still I'll line up our D everyweek right now and take my chances....Tommy will heal and thing are looking up, more seasoning from the Offense and we can be competitive for a few years to come.....Go Bears

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on October 23, 2008 8:29 PM.

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