Chicago Sun-Times

Baldwin to jump start dormant pass rush?

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Perhaps it is with an eye toward jump-starting a lethargic pass rush that the Bears promoted rookie seventh-round pick Ervin Baldwin to the active roster today from the practice squad.

The defensive end joins the mix after veteran safety Terrence Holt was released, ending a three-week stay on the roster for him.

Baldwin joins a veteran group at defensive end that already has starters Alex Brown and Adewale Ogunleye and reserve Mark Anderson. Holt was expendable with Danieal Manning returning from a hamstring pull.

It will be interesting to see if Baldwin gets thrown into the mix right away. Anderson has more or less disappeared. It's not just that he is yet to record a sack, he's rarely showing up when he's on the field. He has 10 tackles (three solos) to go with two tackles for loss and four quarterback hurries in what has been steady playing time in a rotation behind the starters. After notching 16 sacks in his first 20 NFL games, Anderson has just one in the last 21. He did miss the final two games last season with an ankle injury.

Baldwin, the first pick of the seventh round, is a raw project though. He played almost exclusively in garbage time in preseason and was credited with six tackles and one sack of Seattle's Charlie Frye.

He was drafted on potential after turning in his best games as a senior at Michigan State against Michigan's Jake Long and then Boston College's Gosder Cherilus, a pair of first-round picks. Long, of course, was the top pick in the draft.

We'll get a better feel for what the plan is with Baldwin on Wednesday. It would be a surprise if the defense would stand pat after making the move to elevate him.

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23 Comments

How about trying someone else at MLB and pulling Brian back to saftey
I don't know about the rest of you but I haven't seen or heard Urlachers number called in months.

Perhaps they are going to try and take Anderson or Idonije off return teams to keep them fresher for defense to jump-start the pass rush. If they are counting on this kid to boost our pressure, we are in very big trouble...

Holt never got any time, so no big loss there. I think we need something on the DL, but a seventh round project is not the answer. I would rather see more stunts, blitzes, and juggling of where guys line up than adding a new body to the mix. Imagine putting Izzy and Tommie outside, and Alex and Wale on the inside, and then moving Izzy and Tommie to the same side, and keep bouncing them around. Especially if the offense has a tendency to run to one side predominantly, like Tennessee did on Sunday to their left. We need to get outside the box, not outside the reaches of reality. Ervin Baldwin could benefit from some special teams experience, but now is not the time to make sure everyone gets to play....

I know how to fix the D.....Harrison for Harris....Graham for Vasher....Jamar Williams for Urlacher....Izzy for Wale....Anyone for Babich....

Damien, Urlacher can't help what Babich is having him do on the field. Put the blame where it is deserved - on the coaches.

Come on guys. I wish someone would start pointing fingers at the secondary and not at the defensive line. They do alot as far as stopping the run and putting pressure on the QB at times, but they cant do everything. I think that the secondary needs to step up and take charge or at least check WR tight so they wont be sitting in the open areas wide open all the time. Cover 2 or not the secondary needs to put some pep in there step. Run D, rank 6th, and pass D rank 30th. Big difference. Tillman, Vasher, and Brown I love ya but NFL is about young fresh guys with speed. Either check or check out. And I almost forgot, MR. Babich, do you think that you can line 8-9 guys in the box just about every play and expect them to drop back and not be tired. Switch the scheme sometimes so linebackers can cover/chase not chase after. Your wearing the guys down with alot of fake blitzs thats not working for the pass.

Babich is the real problem here.

He has largely the same defensive personnel the Bears had in 06 under Ron Turner. Turner's D gave up a league low in points.

I do think the players have to take some blame too.

HOWEVER, if the defensive coordinator doesn't have good personnel fit with his schematic, the schematic has to change. It hasn't. While watching the game, I noticed Tim Ryan almost "went off" on the defensive playcalling and even made a couple of comments about excessive, ineffictive blitzing playcalls that were wearing out the Bears.

I agree.

Babich has got to change things up or pack his bags.

Estevenj,
Turner's D gave up a league low in points? Well Boob Babich has his own record to boast about: a league low in IQ!

As for Baldwin helping out. Hey, why not? If something's not working implement a change. Couldn't be any worse than what's been going on.

Does this mean that there is an open spot on the practice roster.....Kirk Barton was released this week....any chance of putting him back on our practice roster?

anything can help i dont think it can get much worst then this

This proves the Bears realize they need more production [as in QB pressure] from their defensive end position. I agree, a move had to be made, maybe this will motivate Mark Anderson if nothing else. Although Mark Anderson might want to pick up his game anyways, not only for looking over his shoulder at Baldwin, but because he might be joining one Mr. Bazuin this off-season if he continues to fail to produce. Ervin Baldwin is an intriguing prospect in his own right. I read that Angelo was actually checking out Jake Long when he discovered Baldwin, so maybe, just maybe Angelo found another late round defensive player that can help out. The scouting report on Baldwin says: moves well for 270-pounder and can find the quaterback. Has several good moves on pass rush that helped him to 12.5 sacks for Spartans. I've also read that Baldwin can be disruptive behind the line os scrimmage, this is an attribute the Bears desperately need right now, so maybe, hopefully, oh well GO BEARS!!

Thanks for the quick response Brad, its much appreciated!!

Hey Da Church/Da coach:

I really love the dora the explorer and her talking map comment, good analogy on the past blog.

The facts:

Babich so far has been a failure. No half time adjustments, the attitude of the D seems less than enthusiastic, the D used to seem like they loved to go out and totally dominate the other teams offense.

The Corners are playing soft, you watch other teams and we are letting guys get open by 3-5 yards often and many times on third down. Other teams corners seem to be within a couple of feet of the receivers they cover.

No pressure on the receivers at the line of scrimmage interupting their pass routes and timing.

Yes the pass rush is pathetic and non existant in many instances. Harris should sit on the bench for awhile, maybe he is pouting again, Ogunleye has been poor as well, he was great last year, too many pop tarts or cheetos? Anderson was replaced by an alien imposter, as how can you go from 15 sacks in 20 games to next to nothing in creating havoc and causing pressure. Alex seems to give it his all every game on every play as does Dvorcek, Harrison (great rookie) and Indonje. Big money for these guys and they have not earned it, yet.

The other no shows so far this year is Vasher and Urlacher, they are not playing at all to the level of talent they have.

How many times when we need to burn the clock are we letting the other team catch out patterns and stop the clock? Atlanta obviously, but it has happened all year.

The D really needs to step up and take command, because you win championships with great D and so far this D is anything but great.

The D in my opinion is directly accountable for 4 out of 5 losses and you could make an argument they were responible for all 5 losses.

Do they really expect to be cheered and not booed for their play, why on earth would Urlacher be encouraging the fans to boo, I do not gget it? Is the D and Urlacher angry that they have been getting some boos this year, they seemed to have earned boos but certainly not their salaries in more than a few instances.

Come on Bears D go out and be who you are the most dominant D in the NFL, a D that is ferocious and strikes terror in the heart of the other teams. The other teams used to know when they played the Bears, they were going to leave the stadium in plenty of pain. It does not seem that way any longer.


dahlillama,

The Bears are 5-4, the D couldn't be responsible for all five losses this year since, well, you know, we only lost four so far !!

Brad, you aren't defending the Fred Miller signing, are you? Remember last year?

Brad: Why does it bother you that Kirk Barton has such a big fan base. He was a very popular and successful Captain at Ohio State. It is likely that the three teams that "have taken a look at him" did and do see him as a "viable prospect." It is also likely that one of those three teams will bring him back shortly.

Brian P. Zion:

OOPS, I knew that, I just screwed up. It sure feels like the Bears have lost 5. No wonder my check book does not balance.

The KC Chiefs were looking to sign Baldwin form our PS to there active roster so that could be one of the main reasons why he was promoted by the Bears.

Baldwin had a fine senior season for Michigan State and although he is a raw rookie, he does have great size and speed and I would imagine him being an instant upgrade over Anderson. Lets face reallity, Anderson was a one hit wonder, you don't break out with a monster rookie season like he did and then completely dissappear afterwards.

He is not injured, he is just not very good and is completely useless in run support so Baldwin can't logicaly do any worse, right ?????

Besides, Baldwin has been with the Bears practicing every week so the coaches should know what he does and does not do well.

I think the kid will get some playing time and he will surprise us !!


Go Bears !!

This team needs a major attitude change, not personnel changes. Lovie Smith's conservative attitude of playing not to lose instead of to win has ruined the aggressiveness needed in order to be a good defense. There is no lack of talent out there, even though Tommie Harris, Brian Urlacher, and Mike Brown are no longer as good as they used to be. But they still have enough talent to be a top ten defense, which would have put them at 8-1 or 7-2. Unfortunately, unless Smith has an epiphany or revelation, I don't see anything getting better here until we get a better head coach. I'd personally love to see Bill Cowher!

In looking at the pass defense from last game I saw two things that jumped out at me, the Bears are still having a tough time matching up with the Tight-end, Roach played okay last week but on the third down play to end the game for the Titans got beat on an influence play with Scaife faking a block and peeling out into the flat for the last 1st down to end the game. Too early to say Roach can't get the job done, but this area is too often over looked as the bloggers discuss the pass defense, this has been their all season. Secondly, we have both corners playing off their man, in order to help the defense one has to come up and challenge at the line of scrimmage, it seems as if the Bears want to give up the 7-9 yard pattern to allow for the deep safety not to have to expose himself and give the QB a side of the field to exploit, this plus lack of pass rush has allowed teams to take advantage of this coverage, Graham may be physical enough to play this role, Vasher has gotten comfortable playing of the receiver, and with the groin issue last season might not be up to running all over the field in man-2-man coverage anymore. just one view.

Baldwin would be a boost if he can rush the passer, I would put Idonge back outside with Baldwin and play Harrison and Dvorcek inside. Let the others sit a game and watch maybe get a better perception. Can someone tell me why the corners are playing so far off the recievers? especially the Titan recievers. This entire scheme looks bad its chicken crap. Babich seems lost no adjustments no clue.

Baldwin? Sure, why not. He can't do any worse in passing situations than the starting ends. Noone gets pressure these days. Put him in and see what happens.

Bears have a 3 game stretch that will determine the season. At GB, at St. Louis, and at Minnesota. If they go 3-0, they clinch by game 15. If they go 2-1 they go to the playoffs. If they go 1-2, they will finish 8-8 and out of the playoffs. If they go 0-3, they will finish 7-9 and get the 12th pick.

So think how fragile that situation is right now.

Also, think about how close the Bears are to 9-0. If they could solve one small but critical piece of the puzzle.

3rd DOWN DEFENSE on 3rd and long (8 yards or longer). I don't know what the exact stats are, but they sure seem to get beat a lot on 3rd and long.

I agree, get the linebackers away from the line of scrimmage. Especially for the packers. They are passing like crazy.

Go Bears

Time will tell, but I like the Baldwin move. In the first place, his draft position is meaningless at this point. Since Angelo loves drafing DEs, he has already beaten out much higher picks. We know that. Dent was a sixth rounder, Anderson was 5th round.

The main thing I like is bringing in some mid-season youth and hungry competition to the D line. They did that last year and it worked. Matt Toeaina came in fighting and it seemed to elevate the whole group. It is possible the current "rotation" has gotten a little comfortable. Competing with someone who was one phone call from unemployment may jack things up a little.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on November 11, 2008 1:22 PM.

Anatomy of a bad day of pass defense was the previous entry in this blog.

Lloyd: Made no sense to return before he was 100 percent is the next entry in this blog.

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