Chicago Sun-Times

Initial thoughts: Bears live to fight another day because of special teams

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It must have warmed up since the game started. The temperature posed outside a nearby bank on the way home was 5 degrees. Some quick reactions to the Bears' 20-17 overtime victory that keeps them alive in the playoff hunt heading to Houston on Sunday. This one had shades of 2001 and some of the improbable victories the team pulled out this season. This one had some crazy to it, too, with the coin toss by referee Ron Winter at the start of overtime going off the head of Brian Urlacher.

"I looked at the ground the whole time,'' Urlacher said. "I didn't even see it coming. Shoot, I need to get that guy to throw it at my head every time.''

It looked for 3 1/2 quarters like Bobby Wade was on the money. The ex-Bears wide receiver said Sunday the Bears would blow it and hand his current team, Minnesota, the NFC North crown in the process. That didn't happen. Now, the Vikings must defeat the New York Giants Sunday to ensure they make the playoffs, or hope the Bears don't take care of their business in Houston. To the observations:

1. Matt Forte's hard running in the fourth quarter led to the Bears forcing overtime, but this game wouldn't have come close to overtime had it not been for more standout play by the special teams unit. The three biggest plays of the game came on special teams:

A) The offense produced just 48 yards in the first half but the Bears got 70 yards from shot-out-of-a-cannon return man Danieal Manning on his first kickoff return. Trailing 7-0, Manning blasted up the middle, carrying would-be tacklers for the final 25 yards. That put the offense in position for the only points of the first half--Robbie Gould's 31-yard field goal.

B) Down 14-3 at the start of the third quarter, the offense went three-and-punt but Brad Maynard's kick was short and Rashied Davis managed to block Jarrett Bush into the bouncing ball. Jason Davis covered the muff, setting the offense up on Green Bay's 27-yard line and leading to Kyle Orton's three-yard touchdown toss to Greg Olsen.

C) Alex Brown's block of Mason Crosby's potential game-winning kick with 18 seconds left forced overtime. Brown typically lines up on the left side of the formation but saw a weakness he felt he could exploit on the other side vs, the left guard. He made a swim move, broke through and easily blocked what was a low kick.

Find a way the Bears get through this game without their most consistent phase carrying them through. You can't. And Gould becomes the first kicker to win consecutive games in overtime since 2000.

2. A change in the starting lineup at wide receiver--Brandon Lloyd started for the first time since Week 4 as Rashied Davis was sent to the bench--didn't provide any spark in the offense. Wide receivers combined to make three receptions. The Bears are going to need more offense at Houston in their first regular-season game at Reliant Stadium. The Texans are 5-2 at home and are averaging 25 points in those games. The Texans beat Tennessee at home two weeks ago.

3. How does Green Bay do it? That is the eighth loss this season for the Packers that quarterback Aaron Rodgers has had the ball on a drive with five minutes to play or less and not delivered a victory. Rodgers moved the Packers pretty efficiently most of the game. They get a boneheaded 15-yard penalty on Adrian Peterson to set them up on the Bears' 35-yard line with three minutes to play and do nothing and go nowhere. Coach Mike McCarthy could have been a little more aggressive there. A mid-range field goal in treacherous weather is no sure thing. This is a team that has to address finishing and develop some kind of knockout punch for next season.

4. We didn't mention it above with the special teams, but the Bears' game-tying drive was set up by a 24-yard Devin Hester punt return, his longest of the season. He looked more sure catching the ball and running and more aggressive. Toub remains convinced he will get a touchdown this season. He's down to one game to get it done.

5. More and more Manning is fitting nicely into his role as the nickel cornerback. He's getting better at timing his blitzes and that was evident on a number of occasions, including the time he deflected a Rodgers' pass to Brown for an interception. It was the fifth career pick for Brown, second-most in franchise history as he moved one ahead of legendary tough man Ed Sprinkle. Richard Dent holds the record with eight.

But getting back to Manning ... that individual work he gets on a daily basis with head coach Lovie Smith is paying dividends. Manning is playing with more confidence, he's playing faster and he's making plays all over the field.

Brown's pick gives the Bears a takeaway in 24 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the league.

6. Not sure what Smith was thinking when he challenged a play in the first quarter that a punt hit return man Will Blackmon and was recovered by the Bears inside the five-yard line. Replays clearly showed Blackmon did not touch the ball. The Bears need to get a better look at potential challenges before dropping the red flag.

7. Cornerback Corey Graham had a solid game. He was credited with nine tackles in press box statistics and was good in the open field.

8. The Bears will have to hold their breath with strong safety Mike Brown again. He left the game with a pulled calf muscle for the third time this season and did not return. They need him on the field Sunday at Houston. Rookie Craig Steltz doesn't look to be ready for the role.

9. Stadium cameras caught shots of a few shirtless fans at the game. Have a good time in the sick bay over the holidays.

10. Think the Bears don't know what's at stake and everything that needs to happen? Brown has a message for Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who publicly said he's not certain about what he is going to do with some key starters in his game against the Vikings.

"Please, please Eli [Manning] play four quarters,'' Alex Brown said. ``Please, beat Minnesota. You're going to get a week off [for a first-round bye], so just play the whole game.''

11. And finally, did anyone catch ex-Bears defensive coordinator Greg Blache, now running the defense in Washington? It's only related to the Bears in that the Redskins' 10-3 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday was one of the pieces the Bears needed to fall into place to keep their wild-card hopes alive. The Redskins have been scuffling of late and Blache wanted to get the troops fired up in a meeting the night before the game with a highlight video.

"Like I told them, I thought they needed some emotional and attitudinal Viagra," Blache said. "We needed to get a little spike out of them today."

Mission accomplished. We'd like to see the football video his players were raving about.

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16 Comments

I would love to review exactly what the offensive game plan was for the Packers. Was it written in crayon? There was no rhythm, no commitment to anything.

Orton clearly plays better and the offense seems to find its rhythm more quickly when running the no huddle offense. I don't know why Turner won't go to it for a few series early in the game.

What's up with our inability to run against the Packers? For 3 quarters it was Orton vs the Packers D. Everyone else can run on the Packers, why did it take us three quarters to find our run game? (quick answer -- bad play calling, lack of commitment, poor blocking by Greg Olsen)

Orton has gotten into two really bad habits -- locking onto receivers and not pushing off his back foot (especially on deep balls). I think the latter has to do with his sore right ankle, but the coaches should catch that and correct the problem. Orton has plenty of arm strength to throw the deep ball, I think it's his foot work that needs adjustment. With regards to locking onto receivers, the quick fix would be to look for his tight ends first and then shift to his receivers. Our offense should be running thru our tight ends. They create mismatches all day, but we don't involve them enough.

Forte -- for the first time this entire season -- did not look ready to play. He seemed tentative all game (until the 4th quarter).

Say what you will about Orton, but he somehow wins ballgames. Compared to Rodgers, who clearly has more skills, better receivers and a better offensive game plan, Orton is lacking... until you look at their respective records. Orton kicks his freaking butt there. And in the decisive 4th quarters of games, Orton's ability to drive his team and put points on the board that count, really differentiates him.

Last night's strange weather occurence has experts shaking their heads. Forecasters are scrambling to explain the mysterious blast of wind felt throughout the Midwest and even into the deep South.

A Mississippi native, who would indentify himself only as "Da transplant" related his experience: " I was just sitting watching the game, and all of a sudden there was this big "wooosh". It was loud enough it almost gave me a Katrina flashback. But it was gone before we could get good and scared."

Fortunately there were no injuries or damages reported.

Weather instruments have apparently recorded a short, but very intense, low pressure reading centered in the state of Minnesota. Scientists are gathering data for further analysis. "I don't know exactly what time it was," said Da Transplant, "but it was just right after Da Bears blocked that kick."

The NWS has named this anomaly "The Great Northern Pucker". We will report more information as is comes available.

WOW, another overtime thriller, if you missed this game, don't worry, I bet the NFL network will re-air it on their show re-play this week.

Matt Forte really came through for the Bears in the fourth, as he set thr Bears rookie rushing record. Another young star that is really starting to come on is second year tight end Greg Olsen, who hit the 50 catch mark during the game for the season.
How about the respect the Pack showed Olsen by putting cornerback Charles Woodson on him. I think Olsen will be a 60-70 catch tight end by next season, if Chicago could get a number one type receiver, Olsen could dominate from his tight end position.

Press coverage is what really killed the Bears offense last night, the receivers inability to get off jams simply took away everything. With Green Bays ability to shut down the Bears receivers with only their corners, allowed Green Bay to concentrate on the Bears running game...ouch!!

Not to defend the horrendous Qb play, ever since the ankle injury, Orton simply hasn't been the same QB, he needs to fix this and fast, if the Bears are to have any chance at beating the Texans!!

Another bright spot last night was the play of defensive tackle Tommie Harris, he was really disruptive last night. Also, another great outing by second year corner Corey Graham, I like his ability to play the ball.

Overall, it was ugly, but at least the Bears came through in the end, when it really counts GO BEARS!!

Incredible game last night!! I gave up several times, but happily the Bears did not. Being fantastically lucky also helped.I still think everything hinges on the Giants, unless of course the Bears decide to tank it in at Houston. I think Dallas will lose, but Oakland beating Tampa Bay seems to me an unlikely scenario. I thought Oakland would lose Sunday and that Tampa would win, so who knows? Maybe the Bears really are "fated" or "destined" to make the play-offs.

Brad I got a couple of questions for you.

1. Do you still fell Peterson is the Bears answer as the number 2 RB? The guy is a Moron and committed arguably one of the dumbest penalties I have seen all year. Plus he's not very good at running the ball. If Forte was hurt I do not think this guy would fill in all that well.

2. I noticed you didn't say much about Orton, why? It was another brilliant game by the QB. You could just repeat what Ron Jaworski said about him cause it was dead on. So I will fill in the blanks you left out. Lets see Jaworski pointed out that Orton spies his recievers, has bad machanics, no touch, does not know how to throw a post or a fade, has bad hip motion, bad feet, and he could have easily had 3 more interceptions if the GB defense could hold on to a pick. Almost forgot he throws behind everyone and does not have the arm for a deep ball. It seems now that film has gotten out on Orton he is just as bad as the other QB's that have played for the Bears.

3. Did Hester show more improvment this week? It's hard for me to tell with Orton throwing the ball at the ground or behind him all game.

4. You should have given the defense some props, granted they didn't play great, or even good but they did play hard for 4 quarters. It's a good thing GB has a habit of collapsing in the 4th quarter cause the Bears got it taken to them for 3 quarters.

5. Brad do you think this is a good team or do you think it's a great special teams surrounded by a really bad offense and an aging defense?

6. How do you think Orton would look at QB if Miller and Brown were back on the line and Benson was his RB?

Kevin A this question is for you. Just want an opinion on the draft. The Bears have a great RB in Forte, yet they rank 20th in the run even though he gets as many attempts as if not more than most of the elite backs. The problem is the interior line does not give him much push and his best runs are to the outside. What do you think is the Bears greatest need in the upcoming draft. Put them in order and maybe give an example if you want.

7. Yes I did catch Blache this week it's the third time I have seen him this season and it's never enough. The guy kills me, "Just need a little salt and pepper, can't taste good if you don't have a little salt and pepper."

QB
DE
WR
C
G
RB
RT
S

Final thought, you cannot keep playing this bad and hope to win. But it's nice while it lasts.

Another "WOW" game by the Bears. I was numb on my couch last night when Gould hit that FG.

Well, the NFL works both ways, thank god. The Bears gave away 3 games earlier in the year (Car, TB, and ATL), but have gotten 3 games handed to them as well (Philly, NO, and GB). That being said, I am still a little peaved about the last 6 seconds in Atlanta. I had a feeling at the time that that would keep us out of the playoffs, and it still might.

And Creighton, if you want the Bears to be bad again at QB next year, they will do your idea and draft a QB in the 1st round (at least that is what I assumed you were saying with your "priority list"). Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco does not happen 2 years in a row. Period.

There is no clear cut number 1 need right now. The real need is for better lines on both sides of the ball. They are also weak at strong side LB.

If the Bears want to make the superbowl nest year:
1. Cut Tait, Garza, Hillenmeyer, M. Brown, and one of the DE's (probably Anderson).
2. Sign Peppers or Haynesworth (not both, but preferably Peppers)
3. Sign Nnamdi Asomugha (CB Raiders), and move Tillman to Free Safety, start Graham opposite Asomugha, and have Vasher as Nickel. All of a sudden you made the secondary super athletic and fast.
4. Sign a GUARD. Period. Someone good, not too expensive and will get the job done. Must be a road grater.
5. Draft James Laurenitis to hold the strong side over. He should be available when the Bears pick around pick 20. Maualuga would be awesome, but he will be gone by pick 15. If neither LB is available there are 4 lineman worth a look at that are big time space eaters or power run blockers (Raji-NT B.C. / Cody-NT ALA / Oher-OT Miss / Jackson-DE LSU)

An offensive line with a better Left tackle, Right tackle, and a better guard. That would be nice. Then the run game would be even more feared (trust me it is feared because overplay the heck out of it). Now a defense with another stud on the D-line, a 3rd great LB, and a crazy athletic ball hawking secondary. That would be fun to watch next year.

That is fun to speculate, but the Bears still could make it this year. So go Bears!!!

Creighton has got to be Rex's agent he did everything but name him directly lol

Anyone who quotes them fools from Monday night is losing it.

I noticed the Packers receivers were always open and had 2-3 steps on the defender on almost every throw .

I also noticed the bears receivers are never actually open and always have a defender on them or are always falling down OR better yet just plain dropping balls .Like the Booker drop the very play before Ortons second INT.

Orton is playing on a team that has 3 guys with the ability to catch the ball(Clark,Olsen,Forte) this is crippling us because its obvious he doesnt have much confidence in anyone outside of those guys.

He was fine pre-injury there is no reason he cat regain that but our receiver core ws never fine and thats where teams have attacked us .

Jam our receivers freeing up the safeties to clog the mid range passing game where our 3 best receivers Olsen,Clark,Forte operate.

Orton made some bad plays but he still is nothing like Rex because at the end of the day hes able to do just enough to recover from his mistakes whether thats a audible out of a bad play or picking up a key first down.

If we can upgrade the QB spot then we should this offseason but I dont see any obvious upgrades at good money. Now if we upgrade the receivers would it really be the QB position being improved or improving the weapons around him ?

Lets solidify the line and get some receiver help and learn how to get off the field on 3rd down. Orton has a chance at a second 10-6 record as a fulltime starter. We shouldnt goo goo to keep him but we should grade him on his overall performance this year.

Creighton, here is my mock draft, remember, this is pre-senior bowl and combine, a lot can change from now till april, as far as certain players that might fall or rise, so don't hold me to any players. Also, free agency might change what the Bears do draft wise. You can see what I think the Bears needs are by my mock draft, again, this is before free agency as far as needs. Also, Creighton, the Bears are actually ranked 15th in rushing, alright, heres my mock.

1st rd William Moore FS Missouri
2nd rd Brandon LaFell WR LSU
3rd rd CJ Spiller RB Clemson
4th rd Travis McCall FB Alabama
5th rd Augustus Parrish T Kent st
6th rd Deon Butler WR Penn st
7th rd Mike Reilly QB Cen Washington

In the first I took safety William Moore of Missouri, nice size at 6-1 227lbs, and has the coverage ability the Bears need from the position, Moore has 5 pass breakups to go along with 85 tackles. Also, Mike Brown will be a 10 yr vet next season, and with the injury last night, who knows if Angelo will keep him now. The Bears have Kevin Payne at free safety, but he is better suited at strong safety, the Bears actually don't have a true free safety on the roster, this might be their biggest need, and Moore & Payne would give the Bears an elite combo at safety. Moore would also help out the Bears coverage wise, a huge weakness on defense right now. Another possibility in the first is Duke Robinson, the guard out of Oklahoma, at 6-5 330lbs, Robinson could give the Bears the push you talked about, also this move in the first would allow the Bears to move Beekman to center. Beekman flanked by Robinson and Dan Buenning would give the Bears a powerful inside push to help the Bears running game. But with that being said, Buenning is the reason I don't see the Bears taking a guard on the first day, but it would be a great move, I just don't see it happening with the Bears trading for Buenning earlier in the season, and Beekman and Buenning could give the Bears a nice combo inside anyways. I won't explain anymore of my picks because this blog would go on forever, you can look them up. I will explain my 4th & 5th rounder although. Creighton, you mention above about the Bears having problems running inside, I agree. This is why I would bring in my fourth rounder Travis McCall, the 6-2 260lb fullback out of Alabama. McCall is a tremendous lead blocker, and scouts say the biggest reason Alabama has avg 200 rushing a game this season. Also, McCall has soft hands and can play tight end or h-back, with all the two tight end formations the Bears run, McCall could be very valueable. My 5th rounder Augustus Parrish out of Kent st, 6-6 308lbs, is an athletic lineman and an effective run blocker who could sit a season and develope behind John Tait as the Bears eventual right tackle. As of right now, this is what I would do draft wise if I were the Bears. Creighton, I would like to see your mock draft as of right now GO BEARS!!

MS Bears fan:

I thought I heard the pucker from deep within Minnesota. Quite a rumbling sound with a whoose that knocked me off of my chair.

Creighton, you are absolutely right about Orton last night, but just remember one thing is that he seems to get it done late in the games, is a winner and leader. He has the ability despite all of the above to just win games and is clutch when he needs to be. Is Orton the long term answer maybe not maybe yes, lets let it play out.

Go Bears and Orton please how about 5 more games without adversity this football season.

Go Bears

I consider myself blessed to have grown up in Chicago and to be a fan of the Chicago Bears. Last night's game was better than any Hollywood action flick or roller coaster I'm right with you Kevin and Ryan, the game was insane.

"Final thought, you cannot keep playing this bad and hope to win. But it's nice while it lasts." -Creighton

And what happened then? Well, on Christmas they say, the Creighton's heart grew three sizes that day.

Two words about safety: Josh Barrett.

I was mad when Chicago didn't draft him and said so. I don't know why Chicago could not have used at least a 7th rounder on this guy. He was the prototype cover-2 safety from Arizona State.

After being on the practice squad most of the season, Denver finally activated him due to injuries in the secondary. He then quickly moved into the starting lineup. Despite a down game against Buffalo, here is Barrett over the last 4 games:

2 starts, 16 tackles, 1 INT (34 yard ret), 5 passes defended

Not exactly earth shattering but compare that with our safeties.

Creighton, I'll explain the rest of my mock draft, above, yesterday, I was running out of time, had to be somewhere, so I wasn't able to explain all of my picks. First, back to Travis McCall, I realize he played tight end at Alabama, at the senior bowl he will be a fullback, I think this is because of his height 6-2, and he may be better suited at fullback in the pros. McCall was a tremendous blocker, scouts say he was the best blocking tight end in the nation, I just think he will make a great blocker as a fullback, and the Bears need a great blocking fullback, especially one with McCall's size, 260lbs.

In the 2nd & 6th round I took two receivers. Brandon LaFell WR out of LSU, nice size at 6-3. LaFell is a physical receiver, the Bears need this at receiver, someone who can get of jams. LaFell is only a junior, he might not even come out, if he does, I'd take him. Deon Butler in the 6th, Butler is actually leading Penn st in receiving, he might slip in the draft because of his size, 170lbs, I say the heck with his size, if he can play, take him. Also, Butler would be great value in the 6th.

In the third I took CJ Spiller, runningback out of Clemson, fast with 4.3 speed, and great receiver out of the backfield, also might drop because of size. I just think he would be a great change of pace runner to spell Forte, and with 4.3 speed, he would be a threat to break one. My 7th rounder was for depth purposes only, I think Rex will be gone and the Bears will need a third string QB. Reilly put up good numbers with 3700 plus yds in the air and 37 tds to 6 ints, he is worth a look. I still think Kyle Orton is the Bears QB of the future, he is just going through a slump, it happens to every QB. Also, the Bears need help at receiver to open things up for Orton, I realize the receivers I took might not help in 2009, but they will put the Bears on the right path to developing a receiving core. Anyways, I look for receiver help to come from the 2008 draft, as in Earl Bennett. Happy Holidays and GO BEARS!!

Armstead....

You are ambitious with your draft thoughts. Good.
However, I see no lineman in the first 4 rounds. This team is weak in the trenches. There is no doubt that the reason the Bears won in 2005 and 2006 was they could run the ball better, and were dominant on defense. the only way they do that now is to improve the O-line and defense as a whole.

Think of the free agents they could sign. They will have 20 million in cap room. They have no excuses, and according to some recent poll of players (I forget from where), Lovie Smith is the coach players want to play for the most. he can attract free agents.

And the running back with 4.3 speed but he is small? Bears already have Wolfe, and Forte has proven to be fast enough to out run Bob Sanders to the end-zone. That is plenty fast enough. I like your Full Back pick though. He is a bruiser. The reason there is no more need for a small back is the Bears talk a power running game. They need to get bigger and more physical.

Anyways... my free agents
1. Julius Peppers
2. Houshmanzadah
3. Goff - Guard from SD (big at 325 and physical)
4. Nnamdi Asomugha - CB from Oakland (true shut down corner)

My draft
1. The best of this group of whom is left at the Bear's pick. Maualuga (LB 260lbs USC), B.J. Raji (NT 334lbs BC),Tyson Jackson (DE 292lbs LSU), Terrence Cody (NT 375lbs Ala), Mike Oher (RT 6'5" 336lbs Miss, James Laurenitis (LB 240lbs OSU).
- The best for the Bears would be Maualuga mostly for the aggressive attitude he would bring to the linebacking core. No one would run strongside at all, and he would be hell to deal with coming off the edge on a blitz.

2a (trade Ogunleye to Jax for their 2nd rounder - Jax needs a good DE, and Ogunleye can still deliver top effort if he is single covered, which he would be in Jax)
- Ebon Britton (Tackle Arizona 6'4" 320lbs)

2b. Tim Tebow - he is simply an incredible athlete. You want a FB that is 260 lbs and fast? You want a possible freak talent at QB? Do you want a goal line runner that is 260 lbs and fast? An amazing athlete that truly could be a utility guy in the NFL?
- Tim Tebow could be one, two, or none of these, or he could be all of the above. Too much upside to pass on late in teh 2nd round.

3. Antonio Dixon (NT Miami 6'4" 325lbs) - and he is quick off the snap.

4. Chip Vaughn (S Wake Forest)

5. Richie Brockel (FB Boise St. 6'1" 255lbs) - a true lead FB for a power running offense

6. Ray Feinga (OG BYU 6'4" 340lbs)

7. Selvish Capers (OT W. Va)

Undrafted FA's- Brandon Peirce (OT S. Fla)

They will definitely be stronger in the trenches next year if this happened.

Staring O-line next year: LT- Williams, LG- Beekman, C- Kruetz, RG- Goff, RT- Ebon Britton

Starting Backfield (this may be too ambitious)- QB- Orton, FB- Tebow, HB- Forte

TE- Clark (cause he can block)
WR- Houshmanzadah and Hester

Starting D-line: Peppers, Dvoracek, Harris, and Brown
Starting LB's: Briggs, Urlacher, and Maualuga (this just sounds unfair)
Starting CB's: Asomugha and Graham
Starting safeties: Tillman and Payne

And the Bears win the Superbowl. HAHAHA

GO BEARS!!!

Ryan: It defintely must be x-mas time in Chicago, I saw your list of FA's and should have stopped there, this is Chicago my friend, we are talking BEARS payroll particularily McCaskey's Bears payroll, you list 4 quality FA's all probably going to command at least 4 yrs, and 25 million a piece, NOT going to happen, the BEARS are one the main reasons players went on strike years ago by not paying players and we just saw Briggs have to wait out his contract...The ideas are good but not realistic......The BEARS always will be a team built from the draft, and using players to get extra draft picks has been how Angelo has done it (smartly) I might say since he's been on board. Draft for depth, and potential and hope to coach it up to NFL caliber players.
I agree we need to shore up stongside LB and quick to help with the transition as Briggs, and lack get older, safety and wide receiver is a must as well. Spend the money on Housemanzadeh (sp) and then get defense in the draft, we have two O-line man on Practice squad, plus Buening and a healthy Williams to shore up the line next year as my boy Kevin A pointed out, also Tebow at FB.....I want some of what you got at home if that ever happens.....LOL....you are right on about Ashsomwa (sp) but he again we can't afford him.....
Go BEARS take care of business this week and to all the bloggers...Have a Merry Christmas

Ryan, first of all, Merry Christmas. As far as CJ Spiller goes, my third rounder in my mock draft, when I said, "he may slip in the draft because of his size," it wasn't because he was Garrett Wolfe small [5-7 186lbs], because he is not, CJ Spiller is actually 5-11 193lbs, some scouts say he might not be able to carry the full work load of an every down back with his 193lb frame being 5-11, this does not mean it is set in stone, its just how certain scouts feel about his size. So with scouts not thinking he has the ability to carry the ball 20-25 times a game being 193lbs, is why he might slip. I just like him as a change of pace runner with his 4.3 speed, yes, Forte is fast, but not 4.3 fast. Also, Spillers ability to catch the ball out of the backfield would be a big plus, it would be nice to have more than one three skill set back [Forte] on the roster.

Ryan, I like most of your personnel ideas, draft and free agent wise. I see we both would like to bring in a fullback that could push the pile for Forte, I think this has been missing in Chicago for quite some time. I wouldn't mind your 5th rounder Richie Brockel coming to Chicago either, he could really open things up for Forte as a lead blocker. I do however disagree with you on Mike Goff, the guard out of San Diego, he is not a bad player, but he will be a 12 year vet next season, we don't need another stop gap. I think Chicago already has the man to come in and give the Bears some push inside, that player being big Dan Buenning 6-4 320lbs, who will only be a 5 year vet, this is key in building a line, youth. Also, Buenning has already proved he can be a dominate run blocker in Tampa Bay, he helped pave the way for Carnell Williams back in 2005, Williams was rookie of the year behind the blocking of Dan Buenning. Chicago might have gotten a steal in trading for Buenning, Buenning fell out of favor in Tampa because of a knee injury in 2006, Buenning had to sit a year with the knee injury and watch the emergence of rookie Arron Sears. With Sears, Davin Joseph, and Dan Buenning, Tampa found themselves loaded at guard, so they traded Buenning. Buenning has rested his knee for the last couple of seasons, and past a physical [or the trade would not have went through], he is ready. I think he didn't see the field this season because he joined the Bears late, and the Bears line hasn't played that bad. The fact the Bears traded for Buenning shows they have plans for him, I think it is at right guard, this is where he is currently the backup. I think Buennig will be a steal because he is only a five year vet, he has already proved he can play, and Chicago got him for next to nothing. Beekman 315lbs and Buenning 320lbs will give Chicago some beef inside at guard, and their both young.

As far as my first rounder safety William Moore, if he is on the board when the Bears pick, they got to take him, to much value. But I agree with you Ryan, Chicago should upgrade their o-line & d-line within the first four rounds, I can see them taking Everettee Brown DE out of Florida st, or my personal favorite, George Selvie, DE out of South Florida. Maybe in the second take a young right tackle, someone like Phil Loadholt 6-5 355lbs, he could sit a season behind Tait, or maybe come in for Tait, who will be a 11 year vet next season, if he goes down with an injury, oh well, this is just an early mock draft, their will be many more til april roles around, sorry for going on forever, I just love talking Bear football, Merry Christmas and GO BEARS!!

Good thinking Armstead, and Merry Christmas. absolutely I think the Bears should get more sacks. I just think that another (Bears have 3 guys that are fast at DE, but undersized). If they sign Peppers, then they are no longer undersized at one End at least. Plus, Peppers is a beast, then they could draft a NT. Or they could sign Haynesworth and draft a DE. I just think that a DE is harder to find of Pepper's talent level. He is only 9th year. He is a beast, and so is Tommie Harris again. If the Bears get 2 studs on the D-line, they will instantly be taking up more blockers and freeing up line backers. Any blitz will be wide open.

And the Bears don;t need to draft this line player in the first round if Maualuga and Laurenitis are gone. The exception is B.J. Raji of Boston College. He is 6'2" 334lbs, and is a lot like Halati Ngata, NT on Baltimore (6'3" 343lbs).

But bottom line, the Bears must be able to match up physically with these big lines in the NFC North. Right now, it seems like they get pushed around a lot.

And I agree with you about the guard situation. I understand, if Goff is an A-hole about money, then screw him. There are only 2 real prizes this off-season. Peppers and Haynesworth. And you are right. There is Buenning, Beekman, and maybe St. Claire available. Garza needs to be gone. But Tait hasn't played well this year. they need an upgrade.

And to Chitownbear....

Yep. Unfortunately, I agree with you. McCaskey will probably not spend the money. But if I was GM than that is what I would do.

Go Bears, and Go Giants!!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on December 23, 2008 2:13 AM.

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