Chicago Sun-Times

Dent calls into question Bears' draft record

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RIchard Dent is one of the Bears' all-time draft finds, selected in the eighth round out of Tennessee State in 1983. The franchise's all-time sacks leader with 124 1/2, and the MVP of Super Bowl XX, doesn't think highly of the drafting that is going on these days at Halas Hall however.

Appearing on The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio, Dent criticized the drafting that has been done by the Bears in recent years, particularly the double first-round flops of Michael Haynes and Rex Grossman from 2003, the year Dent was an assistant on Dick Jauron's staff.

"The judging of talent is not great,'' Dent said. "When I look at, you know you bring in a quarterback and you give him 1,000 shots and now you say you want to compete and you've got a kid [Kyle Orton] that's playing well but you want someone to compete against him. Obviously, you know Rex came in, you got him in the first round with Michael Haynes and you lose two first rounders and we're not doing anything without draft picks.

"It just doesn't look well, you know [Devin] Hester, to me he should have been the lead receiver the first eight games, but you didn't see him get the ball till the latter part of the season. I don't know if the coaches know how to take advantage of what they have, I think we're trying to make players [fit] into a system [instead of saying], 'Let me think out of the box, let me create a system.' You're down one game to get into the playoffs and you lose the game with [11] seconds [remaining at Atlanta]. I don't know if they mentally weren't strong enough, they weren't tackling, they weren't in shape, they couldn't finish games. The city is all about defense. Offensively, we may struggle, but defensively we're gonna kick tail all the time.''

Dent was also asked about his chances for the Hall of Fame. He is one of 17 finalists and voting will take place Jan. 31 in Tampa, the day before Super Bowl XLIII.

"It's like the lottery,'' Dent said. ``At some point in this lottery I keep my name in it, I don't get kicked out. I look forward to the opportunity. What means most to me are the people that have helped me. There's a couple of people who are getting old, I would love to give them their due. Hopefully they can hold on.''

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24 Comments

Cant argue with him, he's on it.
Why even talk about bringing someone in now after they had the thing between Rex and Kyle last year? And talk as if Kyle is the loser not the winner? especially with the way the D played.
There have been way too many draft busts, and the Bears do not bring in Free Agents like other teams do, so w/o the draft picks - we have nothing.
Fans have gotten so used to losing they actually don't even consider winning the Super Bowl, they just hope every winter/summer for next year over and over and over...next year.

"I don't know if the coaches know how to take advantage of what they have, I think we're trying to make players [fit] into a system [instead of saying], 'Let me think out of the box, let me create a system.' You're down one game to get into the playoffs and you lose the game with [11] seconds [remaining at Atlanta]."

YES!!! RIGHT ON DENT, BABY!

Hey, where are all the members of Lovie's Junior Fan Club? You know, guys like GSH, JustIncredible and my personal favorite, Hypocrite Hadj' (who thinks REAL fans should NEVAH criticize the Bears. Unless it's him of course. Then it's ok.)

I guess it's not just some of us fans who can clearly see the ineptness of Lovie and Co. and how they are systematically destroying a very talented team from the inside out.

We get the talent, then we give the talent away/cut them loose/don't resign them and "miraculously" they are stars on their new teams. Guys like Chris Harris, Gage, Jones, Benson, Bradley, Rivera, Ayanbadejo, Polite, LeVoir etc.

Or, the talent just sits on the sidelines and rots for whatever reason: Wolfe, K. Jones, Rideau, Bennett, Jamar Williams...

Or in special cases, we take a guy who is outstanding at what he does (Hester) and make him do something else where he is ok at best.

I'm glad a guy like Dent is voicing his discontent with the lousy leadership and decision making the Bears have because the League's charter franchise deserves better than this circus. Hopefully Angelo is listening because with the abundance of capable coaches on the market (Gruden just got released! He would be awesome!), the Bears could do much better.

Dent is 1000% correct. The judging of talent sucks, the coaching is lackluster, and what little talent we DO have on offense, we usually give away! Thomas Jones, anyone?

Besides, Angelo needs to realize the HE is the one who created this mess to begin with. Year after year, he focused primarily on the defense in the Draft. I'm not complaining about the talent he has found for us in the Draft. But I DO have a problem with him completely neglecting the offense for so long. You cannot win games with just defense alone anymore. You need SOME semblance of an offense. And to be blunt, our offense is just plain offensive. We finished 27th in the league in time of possession, holding the ball for only 28:36. When you can't even hold onto the ball for half of the game, eventually your defense will get tired. Couple that with undisciplined, sloppy, and sometimes even lazy play, and you have a recipe for disaster. I blame our coaching staff for being so lax in drilling the players, Angelo for failing to address the offense, and the players themselves for acting like an undisciplined group. We lacked cohesion, and it showed on the field. That is intolerable! There is a lot to be changed, and little time to do it. But we have to start right now, before the situation gets even worse.

Richard Dent is right on the mark. At what point will Jerry Angelo be held responsible for the situation the Bears are in?

At what point will all the players on the Def side of the ball how have recently gotten big contracts start playing up to their contracts.

They are all worthless.

Exactly, Orton earned the right to start. period. This team is a black and blue team that poonds the ball, and plays hard hitting defense. So, with that where the hell is our fullback that can blast holes open for Forte? Since colleges have decided to go to the pro style offenses. Why not find a linebacker that has 4.7 speed or less, they love the physical aspect and they normally have decent hands. Put some meat on him and make him another Alstott or Muster. Bring back a power I and slam that freaking rock down a defenses throat.

Creativity and Chicago Bear football have not been synonymous since the 83 to 86 Bears.

The judging of talent well how many #1 picks have actually been truly successful over the last decade? Not many and certainly none of the QB's drafted or traded for succeeded to any level. RB's also have had poor to limited success with Cedric Benson (CB) a complete bust as his initials indicate.

Hopefully a new era has now arrived and Chicago Bear football will make the right move and maybe spend the money needed to make a difference above the mediocrity of the last two years.

Good luck Bears, your fans have been long suffering!!

I loved Richard Dent the player, I hate Richard Dent the rehasher.

If Dent would have brought some insight into his analysis that would have been great, but, instead he's said things which have been said over and over about the Bears 1st round draft picks.

When Dent played with the Bears, he was like Colonel Sanders and did one thing right and that was rush the passer. (Though, this may be the thing holding him back from the HOF as he 'so-so' against the run.)

Now, he only does one thing right and that's rehash what others have said before.

I love you Richard, but, please leave the real analysis to all us Bears fans on Biggs' Blog (LOL)

Let me guess Dent can bring better talent to the bears or is this just talk.

On draft day...can someone...very quietly unplug angelo's alarm clock!!!

Thank You Butch. True,true, true. What does he do for a living? Does anyone pay him to critique anything? Another 85 Bear trying to be relevant in 09

Butch and William : Yes , Dent is stating the obvious, but there's a difference between people like you bitching about the Bears and a former Pro-bowler stepping out and getting the attention of the organization. Do you think Jerry Angelo really cares what YOU think ?For Dent to get on national radio and speak up has to raise a red flag at Halas Hall !! I hope they FINALLY start listening.

Basically Dent is right. Lovie should be modifying his system to fit his talent ,not the opposite. The players are are undisiplined, unmotivated and out of shape and that is all on Lovie's shoulders. Also the failing to realize the potential of solid NFL players is on Lovies shoulders also. As long as he's the head coach the Bears will be mediocre at best, and I don't care who Angelo drafts. If he can't coach the players on this defense, he can't coach.

He actually played for the Bears and was actually on the staff.

What did you guys do to be so great at `rehashing' what others say? He only played for the Bears (how could he possibly know more than you?
Yeah, I can see the difference now....

But I am excited about Sapp/Rod working with Harris, just wonder how we got to this point in the first place.

Speaking of Insight-
Insight 1:
"The judging of talent is not great,'' Dent said. "When I look at, you know you bring in a quarterback and you give him 1,000 shots and now you say you want to compete and you've got a kid [Kyle Orton] that's playing well but you want someone to compete against him. Obviously, you know Rex came in, you got him in the first round with Michael Haynes and you lose two first rounders and we're not doing anything without draft picks.

Insight 2:
"It just doesn't look well, you know [Devin] Hester, to me he should have been the lead receiver the first eight games, but you didn't see him get the ball till the latter part of the season. I don't know if the coaches know how to take advantage of what they have, I think we're trying to make players [fit] into a system [instead of saying], 'Let me think out of the box, let me create a system.' You're down one game to get into the playoffs and you lose the game with [11] seconds [remaining at Atlanta]. I don't know if they mentally weren't strong enough, they weren't tackling, they weren't in shape, they couldn't finish games. The city is all about defense. Offensively, we may struggle, but defensively we're gonna kick tail all the time.''

Where were your stats/insights disclaiming what Mr. Dent stated? (MVP Super Bowl) who's job was to sack the QB, please excuse him for not doing Hamptons/McMichaels/Fridge's jobs as well. Your going to bash the man for not doing another mans job? While performing his own job so great he was named MVP Super Bowl?

We all have one thing in common
We all LOVE the Bears here, it's just some of us are positive about losing and some of us are negative about losing.

I wonder if he got paid for that critique? (on the Radio)I know one thing for sure we all did not.

Not sure if this made it, so I am sending again as I was distracted by counting all the money I am making off my Bears comments (the same as you guys)

mrmick & Randy: Dan Hampton, Doug Buffone, Ed O'Bradovich, Gale Sayers, Troy Aikman, John Madden, and other HOFamers, other former Bears, and legendary players have all criticized the Bears 1st round picks befoe. So, you're wrong to say that Dent going on national radio and rehashing the same things is newsworthy. it's all been said before.

News would be if Dent gave insight into what the Bears should do defensively with their ends, who they would sign/trade/draft, who they should unload on defense, and if Ogunleye's $7M salary cap hit is worth his 3 1/2 tackles a game and 5 sacks this past year.

Mike Ditka has said before that Dent was 'ONE' of the best pass rushers he ever seen. But, Ditka also has called him one of the 'DUMBEST' players he ever coached as well.

Also, if Dent had any 'inside' scoops or any insight why isn't he ever interviewed for his thoughts on the Bears or why was he not asked back on the Comcast Post Game Live Show with Dan Jiggets, Azumah, Jim Miller, and Boyle? or, any other post game show or Monday morning QB show?

BTW: Angelo said last week "we do hear the Bears fans and there are going to be a few changes"

But, as a player, if Andre Tippett is in the HOF, Dent should be in. Dent should be in this year with only Buffalo's DE Bruce Smith appearing to draw votes from East Coast writers.

Though, if Smith gets their votes, KCs Derrick Thomas may beat out Dent with only Minne/TB OG Randall MacDaniel, Miami's Bob Kuechenberg, and Minne/Phila WR Cris Carter being strong competition in the Modern Era vote for Dent

Here are Dent's stats vs. Tippett's:

Sacks............................Dent.137...Tippett 100
Takeaways.....................Dent.21....Tippett 18
ForcedFumbles...............Dent.37....Tippett 14
PassDefensed.................Dent.58....Tippett 17
Super Bowl MVP's/Wins...Dent..1....Tippett 0

Well duh, of course anyone can evaluate busts 5 years after they were drafted. Why not talk about Wolfe or other guys drafted with no real plan on how to use them? That's the real concern here with JA, not misses in the draft. It happens to every team, and it's virtually impossible to determine the outcome of highly touted player. Benson sure looks to have found some sort of success in Cincy after showing no desire in Chicago. Is this coaching? Probably a little of that, his immaturity and selfishness. Maybe that's not exactly all of JA's fault, because it's the responsibility of the coaching staff to develop these players. Don't worry about Bradley, he'll be hurt the rest of his career. Jones, Harris, and Gage were probably all mistakes made in evaluating their worth to the team. Especially Jones, but Harris is the same type of safety as Brown and Payne. Gage was just another WR drafted by the Bears that didn't pan out after his rookie year.

I agree with Dent and some of the others like Mike. I have long offered opinions to make the system fit the talent not the other way around. Anderson, Williams, Rideau, Bennett and Wolfe. But the failure to replenish the line of scrimmage with size and strength has made for a physical beating every week. I don't fault Urlacher that much he had no protection, I don't fault Orton and Forte they had no protection. It starts from Angelo's poor evaluation skills to Lovie's poor implementation skills. We don't need to draft another RB to complement Forte Jones would be ok given to opportunity and a block here and there and the OC not being afraid the production would drop so low if Forte wasn't in the game. Every team going to the playoffs has a run stuffer and pass rusher. Anyone ever think Aderson would be better if he didn't have his hand on the ground, or Hester would be harder to defend if he were the slot or in motion but that would make sense to highlight their strengths instead of forcing their weaknesses. Rideau the last two pre-seasons was clearly the best WR on the team but Booker played. This is why Angelo was booted out of Tampa. He and Lovie are either too hard-headed or arrogant.

Everyone knows that drafting and talent evaluation has been bad. All you have to do is look at the draft history over the last 5-7 years. The Bears have not drafted a Pro Bowl position player in five years. I believe that may be worst in the NFL.

Look at all the effort they are putting into trying to get Harris right. The knock on Harris comming out of school was will he hold up phisically. He fell to the Bears and the usually conservative Angelo grabbed him. Angelo took a similar risk in the 2008 draft when he knowingly drafted a LT with a bad back. Now the question about Williams after he missed theentire firstseason are will his back hold up to the rigors of his position. Like Harris he may get 1-2 good seasons but be injured often slowing his play.

The only place they have excelled is at CB, however the Tampa 2 is a very corner friendly system, just look at the Bucs who are also usually coming up with lots of decent corners for there system.

Dent is not stretching or slamming the Bears, he is not the one doing the drafting. Why do you think defensive play has fallen off? We have a whole on the line amd we struggle to patch it. Were are our DE's, I like Alex Brown but I would not term him special, Goon is gone and we could not replace him. Good teams like Pitt and Baltimore are constantlly churning out good players. They loose guys they fill a gap. The only thing the Bears seem to be good at drafting are special team players, which may be more system and coaching than anything. Most people think Angelo and the Bears have been bad at the draft, even before Angelo got here. How long have we been looking for a QB or a stud WR. How long did it take to find a RB and how many number 1 picks did that take. How come Angelo ignored the offensive line for so long in the draft? The Bears have done it to themselves, through bad drafting and a bad philosophy.

The Bears are a defensive team and have the second most expensive defense in the NFL. Who are there up and comming players? Graham who may be decent in a corner friendly system. Who really sticks out from the young guys. Harris looks like he is going the wrong direction, Mike Brown is ending his career and we can't find a replacment, Goon is done and we have no one to replace him, what about Urlacher he is ending his run and we have nobody at LB except Briggs now, Tillamn is ok, Vasher is cashing a check, Dusty is nothing special, Aadams is a journeyman back up, Harrison looks decent but not special the way Harris at his best looked. This reeally does not look like it should be the second most expensive Defense in football. We pay more for our defense than Pitt. Have you seen Pit play defense?

What about offense we still have a question mark at QB, half a season is half a season. Who is going to replace Tait or Olin, why can't we upgrade RG, Garza stinks. Our recievers are a joke, we may have ruined Hester, Olsen is more Reciever than TE, sure he can catch ok, but he can't block on a team that runs a power O. Forte is the only thing we may have on both sides of the Ball. Poor Earl Bennett. Do you know why he didn't play? Cause he is Hesters and Davis's Backup.

You have a conservative ownership
Conservative Coach
Conservative GM
You have a conservative offense
You have a conservative Defense (as in it's not flashy or attacking like Baltimore or Pitt, but rather bend don't break)that really says it all. They want to get after the QB more but they have a bend don't break defense. I saw Baltimore play that once, because there players were exausted and it was an emergency use.
You have conservative Attitude

What did Brendon say about this team? They are too laid back or they think they are too cool. Wrong attitude for football.

Peppers has told the media he wants to play in a 3-4. That means he won't be coming to the Bears anytime soon. How much you want to bet he ends up on the Pats?

Oh I'm sure they removed all the mirrors at Halas hall because Dent made them "ascared" to look at themselves anymore. The Bears don't care what YOU say either. And since Dent isn't on salary anymore they don't care what he says either so I guess we're all in good company. Rehashed media statements. And the Bears don't have the players the caliber of the Ravens or the Steelers to even compete at that level. The top teams have that top talent, we don't. Just cause they got paid like it doesn't mean it is so. All those former Bears are too busy trying to hit Singletary up for a job including Dent and he ain't budging. So I guess Dent is no better than I am in the Bear's and in Singletary's eyes.

Creighton wrote:
"Everyone knows that drafting and talent evaluation has been bad. All you have to do is look at the draft history over the last 5-7 years. The Bears have not drafted a Pro Bowl position player in five years. I believe that may be worst in the NFL."

Creighton,

You had two or three posts that were spot on, esp. the comments on Benson's style of running vs. Forte and how the OL worked with these two backs.

And then you write this....

No, not "Everyone" agrees with your first sentence. Because the criteria you use in the rest of the paragraph has more exceptions carved into it than a flood insurance policy.

Yes, the Bears have not drafted a Pro Bowl position player in five years. But then you have to ignore that #23 has done well for us in years 2006 and 2007. Or that Lance Briggs who was drafted by the same Angelo who drafted Bauzin and Okwo has been a Pro Bowler in 2007 and 2008. Ooops that would ruin the thesis.

Have the Bears missed on picks. Absolutely. News flash all teams have missed picks. Do you think if we did re-did the 2000 NFL draft that Tom Brady would have been drafted in the sixth round? Hindsight is cheap, esp. if you want to make an argument that does not hold water.

But your final sentence is complete falsehood. All 31 teams have NOT drafted a Pro Bowler position player in the past five years.

If you are going to ignore Briggs because he was drafted a year earlier than Harris and then exclude Hester because it was for Kick Returner. Then look at the NFL drafts here is the link. They highlight the players who have made a Pro Bowl and then come back and rewrite your thesis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nfl_draft_2008

What can and should be said is that many (not all) of the players drafted have not fit the scheme the coaches have been teaching. So either the scouts are not drafting for the Bears' scheme or the coaches can't coach. Or something in the middle. Me? I believe there is a disconnect between the players that are being drafted and the coaches who are in charge of coaching them.

But this is not the worst organization in football. I can think of 10 that are worse. I will save that for another post.

Be upset if you want but make sure to use facts to back up your opinions it makes for a more compelling argument.

Just by arguing this point we are all agreeing the Bears have major problems.
Is it the players drafted
Is it the Coaches Scheme
Is it the Coaches Development
Is it the GM evaluation process
Well d... it has to be something as we are losing again. And just by saying `rehashing' we are all agreeing that it is probably several of the above.
-Lovie said as much it was the Scheme
-JA said as much it was his drafting
-That would imply it is the players as well
So all of the above, which does not bode well for the Chicago Bears Fans as we have to depend on those same `all of the aboves' to fix the Team we all get our hopes up for so high on Sundays. (remember that Super Bowl feeling when the Colts started taking over and all we could do was watch while URL and company played soft?) We all thought for sure the Bears would make half time adjustments (I KNEW they would) but then they didn't, it is still to this day and forever will be hard to believe but they didn't make any half time adjustments,
now I would rather have Riviera than Babich any day, but I do feel Riviera plays a soft D as well.
and I agree with MD Kevin that there is a disconnect as the players do not seem to want to play this scheme, they don't seem to try very hard to play this scheme.
Remember Singletary having to tell the defense that Ryan was gone and they had to play Tobins scheme so get used to it?

btw Thanks for the stats/insight Butch
I tend to agree with Richard's `rehash' but I did like your comments.

Dent's comments do have some merit. There just may a problem evaluating talent on this team. Although, I don't think you can blame it all on the draft. The draft is just a big turkey shoot. Some, you hit on, and others you miss on. There has been plenty of players that were complete beasts in college, but went bust in the pros. Just the nature of the business. We do have talent on the team. And to some degree maybe some haven't been used properly or developed properly. Or maybe some just haven't been giving the opportunity. For the life of me, I don't understand why players like Rideau or Bennett wasn't given more of an opportunity to play. With the poor play of our WR's, I feel they should've been given more of a shot. It seems to me that we give all of the wrong players the most opportunity to produce and let the others fall by the waistside. So a new outlook is needed on this team.

As far as Hester goes, they have him in the right position. He can produce there. He has shown that he can get behind the defenses from time to time. And "NO", Hester playing WR has absolutely nothing to do with him as a KR. The problem has been with Orton hitting him. We all know that throwing the deep ball is a weak point for Orton. And that may be the reason for JA's comments. Not being able to connect on plays of 20-30 yards on a regular basis hurts the team. Yes Orton played well at times. But improvements are needed. And better overall play at that position will better the team.

coaching and evaluation sucks.

gage, harris,columbo, bradley etc. could not play, could have fooled me. they eventually could have taken over for current starters.
as for orton according to coaches, as a rookie, wasn't good enough to start his 2nd year so he was demoted to 3rd string. yet he won 10 games "managing the game". i would think coaches would be ecstatic winning 10 games with a rookie. how good would he be going into his 4th year as a starter.
if you ask me they are responsible for his digression if you want to call it that, i don't.
then , correct me if i am wrong, couldn't the bears have drafted pro bowler terrell suggs?
i believe they traded out of their pick so they could get 2 picks in the 1st rd. where they selected rex and haynes, then the ravens of all teams took him with the 10th pick. i was disgusted then and even more now.
their management and coaching evaluation is a joke and ultimately as the GM, it falls in angelo's lap.thanks

forgot to comment about the draft.
yeas, the draft is a turkey shoot but it seems that either they are staying put and picking , more often than not, the wrong guy or trading out for more picks as in the rex, haynes deal and passing on a stud.
i don't know how many times they have passed on a number of players that have went on to become very good NFL players and the bears have either cut their picks or they are only avg.
i have went back and looked at the last 10 years.
especially this draft 2 years ago i think it was.
sure they have hit on some but have missed on many more.
it's almost like they try to be to smart and outsmart everyone. kind of like jerry krause used to be after jordan fell in his lap.
again, he had some good picks, pippen, grant,armstrong but many more bad ones.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 16, 2009 5:49 PM.

Angelo calls quarterback "Achilles' heel under my watch" was the previous entry in this blog.

Four Down Territory, Jan. 17: Will Bears address needs on offensive line? is the next entry in this blog.

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