Chicago Sun-Times

Ranking the top three draft needs

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We're planning to get back to more of the compelling Warren Sapp interview later, but the good folks over at Pro Football Weekly have compiled a list of the top three draft needs for all 32 franchises.

It's worth a look and certainly a good conversation starter.

PFW ranks the Bears needs as follows:

Wide receiver
Defensive end
Offensive line

All three are valid areas of need. The struggles at wide receiver have been well documented here but Jerry Angelo has used only three picks in the first three rounds on receivers in seven drafts. That's more than a trend, that's a state of mind when it comes to the draft.

The Bears need a pass-rushing threat but will they hope Rod Marinelli can reverse the fortunes of Tommie Harris and Mark Anderson? Will they look to strike in free agency for an impact lineman?

Right tackle John Tait is entering the final year of his contract. The jury is still out on last year's first-round pick, Chris Williams. It's going to be another very strong draft for tackles, scouts say. This certainly makes sense. They could use an infusion of youth on the interior of the line as well.

But what about quarterback? There's no question safety is a serious need. Strong-side linebacker? A complementary running back? There are a lot of ways you can stack the Bears' needs right now. Not knowing what lies ahead in free agency, we'd rank the top three needs as follows:

Defensive end
Offensive tackle

Yes, that ranking is subject to change. How do you stack it up?

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Wide Receiver
Defensive end


I am glad you posted this. It will start a large conversation on where we draft. Excellent point about Angelo. He has not drafted a WR high is more a sign of philosophy. Remember Angelo stated when he was made GM that football is won along the line of scrimmage. I concur. Sure, a deep threat would be nice. So would a ball hawking FS such as Ed Reed of the Ravens. But if you fail to control the line of scrimmage nothing else matters.

Look at the OL over the past few years -- in 2005 & 2006 we had a relatively injury free OL. They had worked well together and it showed. In 2007, we had R. Brown playing with one arm and Miller who was also injured and we had no reliable backups and it showed. In 2008, we had no injuries along the OL and as such the O played better than anyone expected.

Still our OL is old and at best average. Again I think the OL in '08 played the best of any of the individual units vs. their expectation. But you are right Williams is unproven. And Tait is along in age. This draft is deep in OT as it was in 2008. Go for it.

I live in the land of Redskins and their OL is about a year behind the Bear's OL is age and experience. For the past several years, they played well as a unit. The heart of that line are 2 former #1 picks at OT (Samuels and Jansen). But they are old and have been injured more often. The aging of the Skins line in the past 2 seasons was a major factor in their O struggles. It was not QB Campbell.

Again using the Redskins as a reference point, they have drafted two ball hawking safeties with top 10 #1 picks (Landry and the late Sean Taylor). They have spent money and high picks on WRs. Go ahead and name them.

Their OL and DL lines are old and has been put together from a combination of high #1 picks of 10+ years ago, rookie FAs, and veteran FAs. Guess what? It shows. The Skins fans here are talking playmakers this and playmakers that. Their fans are ignoring the obvious -- improved line play. I am concerned that our fans are doing the same thing: focusing on WRs, a FS, a QB and backups to Urlacher and Forte when we should be looking inside at the line play on both sides of the ball.

The 80's Bears had two former #1 picks as OTs (Van Horne, 81 and Covert, 83). We need to upgrade the OL. Those same Bear teams had high picks along the DL (Hartenstein --sp?--, #2 in '75; Hampton and Harris as top 10 #1s in '79; and Perry, #1 in '85).

So my suggestion? Draft for the line, esp. the OL. We are one injury away on the OL from reverting back to the 2007 Bears O. That is not a positive.

Number 1 is definitely wide receiver. All year long I watched Orton throwing passes to a receiver who had a defender tightly covering him while watching the opponents throw to guys who had 2 or more steps separtion from our defensive backs. Without taking a shot at the quality of our db's (easy as that shot may be) I'd say the inability of our receivers to get separation from the defensive backs is the weak link in our offense.

If the Panthers don't put the franchise tag (will cost 17 million) on Peppers, I think the bears should go after him. Still relatively young (turns 29 next week) and could possibly get 5 seasons out of him. Then the bears can concentrate on a receiver with the first pick, since the draft is deep in O Lineman, go OT 2nd pick and Free safety 3rd.

Defensive end Cornerback (make Peanut a safety) Wide Receiver Linebacker

Receiver, Safety, End. The team needs do not at all reflect what order these positions should be chosen in the draft. In fact, based on the talent available, the draft order should go end, receiver safety. I've heard many arguments pertaining to Mr. Peanut moving to safety, but in my humble opinion he is still far and away the best coverage man on the bears defense, and good man to man coverage is much tougher to find than good safety play. I personally like Everette Brown(FSU), Hakeem Nicks(NC), and Rashad Johnson(AL) in rounds 1,2,and 3 respectively.

I think safety defensive end offensive line . You can usually get a receiver in free agency ,and i think with J A history in the draft it is better to draft defensive and sign offense. If they are still in the win now mode because it usually takes a couple years to develope young offensive tallent. It looks like that is the case with the dc duties Lovie added to himself. I mean besides Forte who was the last impact offensive rookie the Bears drafted . and remember I said impact player . olsen contributed but didn't make a big impact and hester was drafted as a D B .

Here's my stand:

Trade 1st round and 6th round picks for Ocho Cinco or Boldin. Trading the picks for an established wideout would be a great move.

2nd Round: O Line
3rd Round: Safety
4th Round: O Line
5th Round: DE
7th Round: Safety

You cannot have too many good players. Draft 2 lineman and let them compete. Garza should hit the bench.

Safeties all need to compete so throw 2 more into the mix. What can it hurt?

Last year we had 11 Draft picks and 6 made the team. Who cares how many we have if they all get wasted on players like Bazuin and Okwo.


S - We need someone with blue chip talent for Mike Brown to mentor before he's gone. Secondary is not the same without his presence.
OG - We need a Steve Hutchinson type. We need to improve our rushing from 21st. We have Forte, let's give him some help.
WR/DE - Whichever one we don't get help from in Free Agency, draft that position. If it's one or the other, I'm leaning towards WR. Hopefully Marinelli can help the D-line produce better next year. Don't think Drake can improve what we already have.

Also would like some competition for Orton and a better option for #2 RB, but we were only supposed to list 3 options. Hopefully Angelo and company can find some hidden gems.

Brain ... Heart ... Courage

Brad I have no prblem with listing defensive end and safety at the top of the list. But what about a true nose tackle? The ability to stop the run without 8-9 guys in the box is so important, plus a great nose tackle makes everyone else around him better, especially the defensive end position that EVERYONE is so focused on. If we do not add some bulk to either Harrison or Adams to play at the nose, and we certainly don't know this will be attempted, than you have to look at this position as being the most vital. I think if Albert Haynesworth does not get franchise tagged than he should be our TOP offseason focus, then you can add another pass rusher and sefety through the draft. The best way to go about this I believe at this point is to try and sign Haynesworth and Houshmanzadah, then go defensive end and safety in the first 2 rounds (no particular order). Why does it seem that people don't realize that if you can't stop the run it doesn't add up to a hill of beans if you have pass rusher's. Just look at some games that Indy played where teams stayed focused on pounding their tiny defensive tackles into submission and racked up 200-300 rushing yards, did it make a difference that they had Freeney and Mathis on the field, NO!! Now not all teams exploit this since some either get away from the run early since the defense like ours starts hot, or maybe they get down on the scoreboard and abandon the run that way. But either way this is our top offseason need, and the Bears fan's with true knowledge of what this entails NEED to start talking about it now!!

1) defensive end (should be addressed in the draft, as there will be solid prospects on the board at #18 with a much cheaper price tag than a julius peppers or terrell suggs).
2) wide receiver (bar none, the bears have the least talented group of wr's in the nfl. need to address this both in free agency and the draft).
3) free safety (the bears should have "mike brown proofed" this team in '04, but have been careless with the position and have been burned in the process).
4) offensive tackle (tait is showing his age, st. clair is better suited as a backup and the jury is out on chris williams).
5) running back (need a better complimentary back to forte. we saw what the offense looked like when forte got nicked up at the end of the season and it's clear adrian peterson is not the answer).
6) offensive guard (need to get more size and athleticism at this position. beekman played well, but looks more like a center. garza is an average/reliable guard, but that's not good enough considering the bears best run is the power lead with a pulling guard).
7) cornerback (nathan vasher should be cut, he's stealing from the bears. if the bears address free safety in the draft/fa, that allows them to keep peanut at CB, but they need more depth as mcbride is not ready to be a top 3 corner).

i didn't mention quarterback, as it's fairly obvious the bears need to upgrade this position.

this team literally has needs at every position with the exception of tight end and specialists (K, P, LS), so jerry angelo has created a fine mess for himself in lake forest.

Needs and where you try to fill them in the draft are 2 different things.
Bears needs:WR, DE, FS, OT
Where the Bears will try to fill these needs.
1st Rd. DE weak class the good ones will go quickly.
2nd Rd. OT tackles go in rds 1&2 because few players have the quick feet to stop the outside rush.
3rd Rd. WR, FS, or QB

I like the fact that they know our needs, problem is we addressed those needs last year?
1st round OT
3rd round WR
We need a DE more then I would think then OT/OG WR

Lineman, Lineman, Lineman, QB, CB, WR, LB..............You have to build the line on both sides of the ball first and foremost!!!!


I think unless Crabtree or Maclin falls to them, they should trade down and stockpile picks. If they can trade down and pick up another 2nd and 3rd, they should do it. There is a slew of 2nd and 3rd round talent this year, especially on the lines.


The nice thing about Garza, is if they draft another guard, is that he is a very serviceable backup at all three interior o-line positions.

Bill H- You want the Bears to sign Houshmanzadeh and Haynsworth, the top two free agents on the market... yeah, OK. Maybe we can trade for Peyton Manning and Ed Reed too. This aint fantasy football cowboy.

MD Kevin, nice post very true about the Tampa Bay Bears offensive and defensive lines. I am on the smae boat as you, fix the lines and you fix the team.

One problem though with fixing the lines is deciding what kind of line you want. The Bears run a WCO, and have tried to run two different styles of that offense over the last 4 years. You can tell they did this by looking at who they drafted at running back. Benson is not a Walsh style running back he is however a powerback you would look for in Gibbs version of the Air Coryell offense. While Forte fits the system run by Walsh or those great Rams teams ala Faulk. It's clear the Bears are not a running team and are focusing on the passing game by there draft picks. Olsen a recieving TE who is not a blocker and William a finnesse LT who was known to struggle in the Run game. A zone scheme as seen in Walsh's system would suit Forte and Orton best but the Bears do not seem to looking to do that given the main running play of the Bears is a Power O. Which means they are probably trying to establish a power running game but don't have the right Back or Linemen for that system as they are undersized and can't get too the second level.

If I was the Bears I would really sit down and think about what system they are trying to run and get the personel right for it. Also if you look at Rod M his track record for developing talent seems to be pretty poor, However he is said to have a great repore with vets. The Bears my want to address the D-Line spacifically DE in free agency. The big key for the Tampa two tends to be having at least one player who can takeover a game on the line ala Sapp or Freeney. A guy will apply constant pressure and force teams to double him. When you don't have that the system breaks down. Also given Angelo's history at finding DE(not good) and Rods at developing them(even worse) free agency would look like the best place.

Angelo could then focus on the interior of the offensive line in the first round and RT in the second or third. If there looking for a power Oline Mack out Cal at center and Loadholt or Young(needs work and coaching but could spot start for Tait next year).

Saftie and WR are secondary concerns when the lines are in as bad of need of fixing as the Bears are. If a WR or Saftie go down for the season you can still be a great team if you have a great line. If you line breaks down it doesn't matter how talented you are, you will get shredded.

I would say free safety, defensive end, and a right tackle should be on top of the Bears wish list. As far as a receiver, I say go the free agent route, and I expect Earl Bennett to be a good player in his second season, the draft isn't the best place to go for receiver help, especially if you need it the very next season like Chicago does, and again, players like Bennett & Rideau might be able to help out a little more than a rookie, Chicago needs to give these guys a shot, especially Rideau. If the Bears really do believe Marinelli can get defensive end Mark Anderson back to his rookie form, then they may go in a different direction in the first, but the lack of a pass rush this season was a major problem area for the Bears, Chicago might want to bring in another young pass rusher early to get this problem fixed, here's a mock draft.

Rd player pos school ht wt
1. Greg Hardy DE Mississippi 6-5 260
2. Rashad Johnson FS Alabama 6-0 190
3. Fenuki Tupou RT Oregon 6-5 332
4. Ron Brace NT Boston college 6-3 330
5. Javarris Williams RB Tenn .st 5-10 215
6. Travis McCall FB Alabama 6-2 260
7. Drew Willy QB Buffalo 6-3 214

In the first Chicago could go safety William Moore if he falls, but with Taylor Mays going back to school, I don't think he will. Greg Hardy might be the best bet at #18. The foot injury Hardy had this season is a red flag, but this guy can flat out get to the QB, and to me, pass rushing is like speed, you can't coach it, either a guy can get to the QB or not, I wouldn't rely on Mark Anderson to get back to form, hopefully Im wrong and he will, but I would still bring in as much pass rushing talent as possible. Chicago could get their free safety in the second with Rashad Johnson, Johnson has the ability to play the ball, and is a smart football player, these are two attributes you want in a free safety. In round three I took tackle Fenuki Tupou who could develop into the road grader tackle the Bears running game lacks right now. In the fourth I went with big Ron Brace, the nose tackle from Boston college, this would give the Bears the big nose tackle they lack right now, Brace at 330lbs could help with the Bears run defense. I know Chicago likes the smaller, one gap penetrating types, but I really think Chicago will try to add size to their tackle rotation, they did last april with Marcus Harrison 315lbs, and the success Chicago enjoyed with 300 pounder Anthony Adams in the lineup, I think their gonna try and get bigger, especially at nose tackle. In the 5th I brought in a complement for Matt Forte in Javarris Williams, another small school guy like Forte, Williams is a home run threat every time he touches the ball. For example, vs Tenn-Martin Williams broke off td runs of 16, 48, and 73 yards. Williams is ranked fourth nationally among active players with 4,329 yards, and has 20 career games of 100 plus yards rushing. Also, Williams 42 career rushing touchdowns are the most by a player in Tennesse state history, I say give the kid a chance. Rounds 5-6 are just best player available types, but Drew Willy the QB from Buffalo is an intriguing prospect with his size 6-4 214lbs, strong arm, and career completion percentage of 64%. Willy wasn't very impressive when I watched him vs Connecticut a few weeks ago, but his overall body of work is impressive, he is worth a look with his accuracy and arm strength GO BEARS!!

Draft Speed, speed, speed and get a QB come hell or high water! can't get there from here!!

No way would I rank the WR ahead of Defensive end, safety, or a Right tackle. Take a look at our passing distribution this year..>Forte, Olsen, and Hester. That means either we had to throw quick, or guys weren't open.

A better offensive line makes both of these problems a moot point. Forte gets better running lanes, which gives the defense a choice...stack the box with 8 men, or die by the run. Orton can take more time in the pocket, allowing Hester, Lloyd, Bennett, or whoever is on the outside to get open on downfield routes, so they are not just running 8 yard stops and quick slants. Deep crosses and posts are what make the west coast offense go, and comprise most of the deep passes in the offense. A true #1 WR helps this, but not if Orton can't take the time to throw...

Defensive end is still a huge need for us, and should jump to the front of the line (no pun intended). There are several big-time pass rushers coming out this year, and we need to target one at 18. If none of them are left, then we look at either one of the first round OTs, or trade down for more picks.

Crabtree is the only legit #1 WR in the draft this year. Heyward Bey might develop into one, and Maclin is capable of changing games, but they are going to be projects in my opinion. We already lost a year for our first rounder this year, let's not make it two in a row....

Safety could be ranked #2 or #3 for me as far as need.

But this raises the question I have every off-season with this coaching staff. Do we have any idea what our depth chart is capable of? Outside of injuries forcing guys into the game, we do a horrible job of evaluating our roster in game action. Dan Buenning, Chris Williams, and Earl Bennett needed playing time down the stretch. Other teams manage to succeed and develop young talent. And not like St. Clair was doing anything special at LT. Garza was manhandled all year long, and our WRs were probably the weakest position on the offense as a group. On defense, we did not get to see Jamar Williams at all at strong side, and we got no real look at Toeaina, who was solid at the end of 2007.

We have to go into the offseason with more answers than we do. We could have 3-4 starters on the roster, but we will pursue those spots in the draft or free agency, and let them languish some more. Jerry, Lovie, and the coordinators deserve a lot of criticism for not following the cardinal rule of roster management...know who you have, and what they can do...
Maybe someday they will figure it out, but in the meantime, Chris Williams will see his first action of his professional career at LT next year, rather than getting a series here and there once he was cleared for action. All he got was jumbo package and field goal protection. Not a very comforting thought for Orton...

Sooner or later, someone has to evaluate the development of the drafted players (or lack thereof). We'll see what they think when they do.

By Tomk4054 on January 14, 2009 1:37 PM
Here's my stand:

Trade 1st round and 6th round picks for Ocho Cinco or Boldin. Trading the picks for an established wideout would be a great move.

2nd Round: O Line
3rd Round: Safety
4th Round: O Line
5th Round: DE
7th Round: Safety

You cannot have too many good players. Draft 2 lineman and let them compete. Garza should hit the bench.

Safeties all need to compete so throw 2 more into the mix. What can it hurt?

Last year we had 11 Draft picks and 6 made the team. Who cares how many we have if they all get wasted on players like Bazuin and Okwo.


You are so right on that. Since the Bears cant draft shit in the first round for shit go get BOLDIN or C.JOHNSON and draft O-LINE/D/LINE AND SS/CB. WE NEED A BIG TIME WR AND NOT ANOTHER MUSHIN

Bill Holland wrote:
"But what about a true nose tackle? The ability to stop the run without 8-9 guys in the box is so important, plus a great nose tackle makes everyone else around him better, especially the defensive end position that EVERYONE is so focused on."

Exactly. Forcing the other side to account for a NT (or whomever is lined up closest to the OC) is the key to a defense. On the 85 Bears we had two DL who needed to be double teamed -- Hampton and Perry. That's huge. Getting even one person on the DL that requires a double team makes everyone else look good.

MD Kevin and Bill, you will not see a true NT in this system, it's not what the Tampa Bay Bears do. Small and fast, what they need to improve there style of play and Line is a guy on the line who penatrates and forces a double team.

Kevin A Hardy is a nice pick but Rod and Angelo have struggled over the Years to find or develop a DE given five first round picks between the two. If the Bears are going all out on defense then they need to go after Peppers. It worked for the original Bucs when they got Rice. So it could work for the Tampa Bay Bears.

I see you also like Tupou, try looking at Sam Young in round four instead, he's more of a project but he has a huge upside. Brace is wrong for the Bears scheme. If the Bears get Peppers look at Raji at NT in round 1.

It looks to me like Lovie is going to ignore the offense for the most part this year. Maybe a OLine pick in the later rounds. They will probably try Bennett next year, and are hoping for good things from him. They don't have a number one, Bennett is a natural number 2 like Ward and if they keep Hester a reciever slide him into the slot and give him a better chance to work in space and limit his bad hands to shorter passes. I figure Lovie thinks Williams will upgrade the Line and St. Clair will move to RT. He is hoping Bennett steps up and maybe even Buenning at LG and Beekman back to backing up Olin, Angelo does not go after interior linemen before round 3. Maybe in free agency they will go after a mid level reciever like that guy from the Saints to play as your number 1 or he may hope for Lloyd to have a better season. But as it is shaping up Lovie is focused on the D and has not touched or looked at the offense or even mentioned it outside of him and Angelo talking about Orton. So we all know they are loosing Rex and brining in a vet anyway to have a so called compitition again.

Quit trying to make ex-DB's into WR's (R.Davis and Hester) and find one (or two or three) that can scare someone!! It wouldn't hurt to find someone that can throw it to them either!! I would give Hanie a shot before spending too much on a free agent QB.

Tomk4054 wrote:
"Trade 1st round and 6th round picks for Ocho Cinco or Boldin. Trading the picks for an established wideout would be a great move."

I disagree. Not because we don't need a big time wideout but Chad Johnson just turned 31. He is high maintenance. He has not been 1st or 2nd team All Pro in three years. His contract is up 2011. I think there are better choices. Seeing how Randy Moss was traded 3 years ago (he is a year older than 85) for a LB and a #7 overall if we did get Johnson it would be a much less than a #1 and a #6. Last the Redskins offered their #1 in 2008 (21 overall) and a conditional #3 in 2009. Ocho Cinco has done nothing to earn that type of return over the past year.

Now Anquan Boldin I would do that today. Even though I would have to pay for a large contract. The likelihood that the Cards will trade him for our #1 (18 overall) and a #6 is so unlikely. Boldin will 28 in Oct '09. Cowboys WR Roy Williams along with a #7 was traded by the Lions for a #1, #3 and #6. Williams also got a large contract extension. Williams is a year younger than Boldin.

We have money for FA. Last year we had to sign so many players on own team that there was no money for fresh blood. Not so this year. We can be more active with FAs.

The final point and for that have read my other posts should be able to know what is coming next... one the reasons the Cards can throw deep is they have a QB who can throw deep, we don't; AND since Warner is less mobile that even Orton on one ankle it's because he has time to throw deep. The Cards have invested a high #1 Levi Brown at RT (remember they took him over the Vikes AP) and a mid #2 Deuce Lutui along their OL.

So yes if we can get a deep threat I am all for it. But you can't throw a 30 yard pass from your rear end; you need pocket protection. Bears can't sustain a pocket long enough to throw deep.

Having a good OL (and DL) is akin to having a home with a solid foundation. If the roof is leaking you don't worry about the look of the room. People will remember the nice looking room but without a good roof it will have water stains along the wall.


We have had our disagreements here but I want to say nice post on the difference between Benson and Forte and how their running styles impact their performance. Spot on.

Bill H. - I would like a little better quality at NT too, but I don't think it's our top priority. The Bears were 5th in Rushing Defense. Their pass rush was nonexistent late in the season. Nobody got to the opposing quarterbacks. That seems like a bigger problem to me.

Yes GSH we were 5th in rush defense last season, BUT that was because we put everyone up on the line of scrimmage in hopes of stopping it, which in turn killed our pass defense. That stat about us being 5th overall against the run may be the most non-truthful stat in Bears history. What happens when we quit putting our LB's at the line of scrimmage, or blitzing so much? We have the answer on our roster, all we need to do is either get Adams, Harrison or Tuinea to add 10-15 pounds and they would fill in nicely at the nose, and be able to handle the pounding in the fourth quarter that undersized nose tackles cannot. If we do not go this route than I would love to get Haynesworth. Name one other player we could bring in besides Albert who would instantly upgrade our rush and pass defense? And would everyone please remember that their are 2 positions on the interior of the Bears line ( under tackle AND Nose)

WR is a thin position in this draft and in free agency. Maclin and Bey are considered good but not great, Crabtree is a Larry Fitz clone. As for free agency, there is TJ and then everyone else.

Trading for Boldin may seem like a good idea and he is a stud but he is a stud who gets hurt a lot Chicago gets cold and the ground gets hard. Muscels get tight and recivers pull them. He's strong and tuff but he has missed some games and he will be 29 this year. The Bears could use him but I don't think I would give up a first for him given the situation on the lines. I would rather have Fitzgerald or try to trade up for Crabtree, then go after Boldin.

However I don't see any of that happening, I wouldn't be surprised if they went after Henderson in free agency. Again I don't think there gonna do much for the offense. If you want to see something interesting, look at the offenses for the Bucs and the Colts when they won there Super Bowls, both Teams Ran the Tampa Two and had a lot of talent on defense and Both teams had lot's of talent on offense as well and it took all that to get them the Super Bowl win. Bears need to work on both sides not oneside.

I've got some draft needs for you :
1) QB
2) QB
3) QB
ESPN is reporting that Mark Sanchez will forgo his senior year. I suggest we hop all over him. Orton can ride out his contract year and fade off into the sunset. you loosers making me laugh talk about teh draft! why would we need to draft anyone?????? we alredy have stars like steltz ans orton and wolf and st clare or brandos personel favorite metcaf (aint that right brando? are holding tite to that metcalf pillow of yours?? let me tell you loosers spmething: it doesnt matter who we draft because they wil all be BUSTS! why oh why crap-ton who is always right and only gives facts? ill tel you why because ANGELO rdfated them and he is the WORST GM IN THE UNIVERSE!!!!!! you loosers want someone who nows what there doing then you will make ME teh GM!! all my picks will be perfect because i am always right!!! (man i am always right)

but you guys now me old crap-ton just trying to be posative../

I know the Bears need someone new who could compete for a starting job right away at free safety, right tackle and wide receiver, and that's who they should go after in the first three rounds. We're hurting badly in all of those spots, so I don't think it makes much difference what order we do that in. It would be great if Taylor Mays was available at #18 though.

I don't think it would be bad to use the middle and lower picks to take a shot at finding a cornerback or two, a center (Kreutz isn't going to be around forever and I'm not even sure we have a true backup for him), a quarterback and a defensive tackle.

Unless we're switching to a 3-4, I don't see how anyone can think we should draft any defensive ends at all. I know our line didn't get much of a pass rush last year, but we brought in Marinelli there and Lovie is taking over the defensive play-calling which should help (after all, Lovie and Angelo put this team together, he should know how to use these guys better than anyone else).

The lack of a pass rush in '08 probably had more to do with our obsolete, ineffective defensive scheme and the lack of variety in our unimaginative play calling on that side of the ball. Maybe Brown and Ogunleye have lost a step or three, maybe Anderson never plays like he did in '06 ever again and maybe the only place Idonije will only ever on our team is tackle, but I really believe we've got to see if the coaching changes make a difference for a season because there's no specific area on the team we've got more talent. Standing still for a year at DE is worth it alone to see if Marinelli can do something with Anderson, and I really think Idonije is fast enough to play end as a pass-rush specialist or as a run stopper.

I could see drafting a defensive tackle, but I don't even think that's worth doing before the fourth round because I believe Marcus Harrison is good enough to start. Defensive end is the one position where we've got real depth. There could be quite a rotation there if the younger guys are capable of making the kind of impact Brown and Ogunleye have made in the past.

If we want instant help on the defensive line, we need to go free agency. No matter who we draft, it's a real long shot that they'll come in and play better than anyone we have right away - Glenn Dorsey put up one sack this entire season - and we've got enough young guys with potential that aren't quite developed yet on that part of the team to waste early draft picks there. You'd have to be insane to not want a guy like Haynesworth on the team, but you'd also have to be insane to keep ignoring all the long-neglected areas of the Bears.

Here's how it should go:

Round 1: Myron Rolle, Safety, Florida State: A good Mike B prodige.
Round 2: Max Unger, C/G/OT Oregon: A secure anchor at 3 positions.
Round 3: Shonn Green, RB, Iowa: 5-11 235lb. compliment to Forte.
Round 4: Larry English, DE, Northern Illinois: Young blood for Rod.
Round 5: P.J. Davis, OG, Pitt: Big fella, more OL youth.
Round 6: DeAndre Levy, OLB, Wisconsin: Fast, big, LB depth.
Round 7: Nate Swift, WR, Nebraska: Way under the radar.

Mark my smoke, our Bears could have a great draft this year. Why does everyone scream receiver? Greg Olsen lined up as a WR many times this season and Hester will continue to develop (and Jerry dropped some serious coin on a WR last year, it won't happen again). A two-headed monster in Forte/Green behind a refreshed O-line would open up all sorts of stuff for the passing game.

Go Bears.

Joe, I'm with you on that, couldn't say it better,
Drafting a RT Olineman makes the WR/RB/QB better right off.
Our WR/TE are for the most part young and our OLine is for the most part old, it's time to finish the Oline.
We just Drafted Bennet, do we have to draft WR AGAIN?

Rod is supposed to bring in Sapp to work with Harris which leaves the DE position the most glaring weakness on the Defense,
We just drafted Steltz - who I feel will be better next year, drafting the same position twice in 2 years either says JA does not know how to draft or the Coaches can not develope. Give Bennet/Steltz/Harrison/Williams a year to mature and get that DE we need at No.1
Either that or every one that says Safety/WR are in effect saying that JA can NOT draft or that Lovie can not Develope young talent. Which makes me ask you - Will they get it right this time?

Drafted last year

Need this year as a result of last year draft

Sorry I left off the other 2 needs
Free Safety
WR (Free Agent)

MD Kevin

`Their OL and DL lines are old and has been put together from a combination of high #1 picks of 10+ years ago, rookie FAs, and veteran FAs. Guess what? It shows. The Skins fans here are talking playmakers this and playmakers that. Their fans are ignoring the obvious -- improved line play. I am concerned that our fans are doing the same thing: focusing on WRs, a FS, a QB and backups to Urlacher and Forte when we should be looking inside at the line play on both sides of the ball.'

The game is won in the trenches, remember the Hogs?
Remember Hampton/McMichael/Fridge!
Hilgenberg/Bortz/Covert/Thayer/Van Horne!
Our Playmakers couldn't do squat w/o those great lines in front of them.
Playmakers can't make plays unless the Lines hold up the other teams line.

Sapp and Rod will make Harris better? and we just got Harrison, with Adams coming on for DL

If we showed anything at DE last year I would go RT/RG first, but OG and Company were so bad I feel we go DE first but RT/RG has to be second (or even first, then DE)

Randy, you forgot Dent and Harrison is a 3 tech backup to Harris who is now trying to become a true and very rare under tackle. Adams is a decent backup but they need a T2 NT. Raji would be the ideal fit, he is big for a cover 2 DT but he is athletic enough to do the job and he gets to the QB and shuts down the run.

I hope the just take the best player at a need position, they only have six picks and they more needs than six plus you don;t really expect much out of late round picks.

I haven't been paying attention to what Tennessee's plans are but would they seriously not franchise Haynesworth? I don't think they're that dumb. And I would love to have him, but I also don't think the Bears would tie up that much money into two DT. I don't think you can do that in today's salary cap. Of course, that is changing, so we'll see. I don't think Raji is going to fall to 18. And, we just drafted Harrison. Yeah he maybe a backup 3 technique, but so was Tank and he did pretty decent once they let him play alongside Harris. I still think we have bigger needs right now. I'd take a qb that could hit open receivers downfield over a DT right now. That's assuming there's no way we're going to get Haynesworth. God, I love this time of year.

Top need is QB QB QB.

This is and always has been the Bears greatest need for 20 years. Angelo has admitted, finally, that it is this position which makes a team a winner and perennial contender in the NFL. Let's hope he's serious. Ok, I'm awake now and no longer dreaming. They most likely will not acquire a franchise QB, and so the Bears' needs, based on that reality is:

#1 DE:
They NEED a pass rush, a playmeker. As Lovie says, and I agree with him, it starts with the defensive line and pressure on the opposing QB. If it's Mark Anderson...fine. But they need someone. Please.

#2 WR:
As with the DE, they NEED a playmaker. A weapon at this position could make a mediocre QB (ahem, Orton) look good. Ideally, he would demand attention from opposing defenses, opening up the field for other players such as ancillary wide receivers, tight-ends, and running backs.

#3 FS:
Again, this is a position where they don't really have a playmaker, and they're thin at safety in general. Mike Brown is better at SS and injury prone. Payne is also better suited to SS. Steltz is average and slow. And although Manning has all the physical tools, I have no faith in him after watching him blow coverages left and right (e.g. Superbowl LVI and the Texans game).

Besides these positions OL (OT and OG), a complementary RB to Forte (most of all the quality teams in the league have two guys), DT (insurance against injury and Harris not living up to expectations), and did I mention QB?

09 Draft Order

1.DE :It all starts up front

2.OT :Release tait get a tackle from the drat.move st.clair to G to replace garza.Now we are Young Again. C.Williams,Beekman,Krutz,St.Clair,Rookie OT

3.FS: The Reason im not saying WR here is because Angelo has a point.We had Moose,Berrian,Wade,Bradley and Gage who all start on different teams now.That means If u pass the ball to the WR more the More Yard he will they will have its that simple.We Need Better Qb Play (not saying our WR are good or K.Orton is bad).But i think we will go free agency with this to get a proven player.

4.WR:with a vet from free agency will give this rookie time to grow

5.C:Krutz is old,expect a ok season from him this year.

6.DT:A BIGG guy who will play that nose position.

7:MLB:you know the bears never go a draft without drafting 1 of these.

All the positions are needs but teams that win year after year have great O-line and D-line. It all starts with them, you can bring in whoever you want at the glamour spots but without really good lineman you will not win.

1) Power OT
2) Passrushing DT
3) Mobile LG

Interior pressure is the best way to disrupt the running game (Adrian Peterson) and force poor throws by QBs. Tommie Harris either needs fewer reps to stay healthy, or the defensive unit needs two pass rushing DTs to generate pressure on 3rd-and-long.

We need someone on the right side capable of blocking Minnesota's Allen and Greenbays Kampman.

Forte is KEY to the offense. If he is not able to average at least 4 ypc in 2009, Angelo failed to provide a dominant/mobile LG to lead through the hole (i.e. Rueben Brown).

Sure, we need a receiver (free agency), but I would prefer to see our team kicking butt in the trenches against the toughest teams in the league.

Does anybody have info on this DE from Georgia Tech, his last name is Johnson about 6'-7" 290lbs.

These are my top priorities.

1) Safety
2) Defensive End
3) Guard
4)Nose Tackle
5) Wide Receiver

First, I hate the idea of drafting receivers high. Half of them bust badly, and those that do have good careers often take a year or two to make a major impact at the position.

While I want no part of the likes of Booker and Lloyd again, I think they can fill the position with a vet, and draft someone with potential on the second day.

Second, it is now clear to me, after watching the defense for several years, that the scheme needs a top flight safety to work.

There's no Taylor Mays, but in the first three picks, they need to bring a ball hawk who can step up in run support. That may indeed be Tillman, in which case CB becomes priority.

And we all know the team needs a pass rusher and a power guard that can move someone inside.

A NT would be nice, because they do need someone who can stop the run and command blockers to relieve pressure from Harris. That could be Harrison, but I see him more as a rotation player.

And forget a QB. Let Orton play and find a vet. Keep developing Hanie

Creighton, I also like Notre Dame tackle Sam Young, this kid is a beast at 6-8 330lbs. With that being said, Young isn't gonna help the Bears as a fourth round draft pick or anyone else for that matter, Sam Young will probably return to Notre Dame for his senior season. Today is the deadline for juniors to declare for the draft, and Young has yet to do so. Young probably won't come out this year because this is a pretty deep draft class as far as the tackle position is concerned, and with another year in school, Young could go a lot higher in the draft vs if he came out this season.

Creighton, I disagree that Boston college nose tackle Ron Brace is wrong for the Bears scheme. Creighton, you and many others on this board have said "the Bears should sign Titans nose tackle Albert Haynesworth," if thats the case, why wouldn't Ron Brace be a good fit? Albert Haynesworth and Ron Brace are both around the same size, they both tip the scale at 330lbs. Im not saying "Ron Brace is the next Albert Haynesworth," but like Haynesworth, Brace has shown the ability to penetrate from his nose tackle position with around 15 tackles for loss this season, to go along with 2.5 sacks, for a big man, Brace can get up the field. I do agree with you on Braces team mate, B.j. Raji, Raji would also look good in a Bears uniform, I think either one of them would be a good fit in the Bears scheme at the nose tackle position.

I see their are a couple guys on this board who say, "Chicago should worry more about their line than getting a backup for Matt Forte," they are probably the same guys who say "the Bears are gonna run Matt Forte into the ground." While I agree with the line part, it does start up front, I don't think it would hurt the Bears to use a 3rd round or lower draft pick on a runningback. Chances are, your not gonna fix the offensive line, right away, with a 3rd round or lower draft pick anyways, and a third round runner is a lot more likely to come in and contribute. With players like, left guard Josh Beekman, who got better as the year went on, and tackle Chris Williams along with guard Dan Buenning, who are both waiting in the wings to contribute in 2009, I think the players are there for Chicago to improve their line play. However, Chicago does need a young right tackle, to me, this is the biggest need up front for the Bears, I would still draft a tackle. Back to my point, Chicago needs someone to spell Forte, maybe in the third round, it wouldn't hurt to draft Michigan st running back Javon Ringer if he is there. This kid is a game breaker, Ringer ran for 1,590 yards along with 21 tds in the Big Ten. Ringer also caught 25 passes out of the backfield. Ringer may slip in the draft because of his size 5-9, and his 40 time. I say the heck with the measurables, this kid can play. Ringer with his ability to break one, would be a good complement for Matt Forte at running back GO BEARS!!


Won't the Bears likely get a high compensatory pick (extra 3rd or 4th rounder?) since Berrian left and had a good year with the Qweens?

tom, Michael Johnson is 6-7 260lbs, the one knock on Johnson might be his weight, at 6-7, 260lbs is light, scouts might want to see Johnson bulk up a little. Other than the weight issue, theres not to many other knocks on Johnson, Johnson would be a great pick for the Bears also in the first. One scouting report on Johnson said, "few ends can match Johnson's speed and athleticism." This fact could catch the eye of Bears GM Jerry Angelo, athleticism was the reason Angelo liked defensive end Mark Anderson. This season at Georgia tech, Johnson had 9 sacks, and 17.5 tackles for loss. Another reason I think Jerry Angelo might like Johnson, is his ability to drop back in coverage from his defensive end position, Chicago likes their ends to drop back in coverage. This season Johnson picked off a pass, broke up 6 passes, and defended 7 passes, again, this shows Johnsons athleticism. Johnson is currently projected as a top 25 pick, Chicago could land him in the 1st at #18. tom, if you have the NFL network, check out the senior bowl coming up, Johnson will play in it, also during the week before the game, the NFL network will show the one on one drills with the different ends going against the offensive tackles, this would be a great way for you to check out Michael Johnson GO BEARS!!

We have to get a quality wide-receiver and the surest way to avoid the Detroit Lions' past problems of drafting college talent WR's that can't play dead is to acquire a proven WR in free-agency (hello, Mr. Boldin)
then, we can draft OL & DL (and, hopefully a safety)
but, amazingly, Angelo is right (a stopped clock is correct twice daily): we do need a QB

I think we have enough money to make one big splash in FA, and we need to go get our biggest glaring need, a pass rush. I thing we need to get Peppers or Sluggs, Simms qb, Henderson wr.
Then we draft:
round 1; Laurentius/lb/Ohio State
round2; Chung/fs/ Oregon
round 3/ Boone/ot/ Ohio State
round 4/ Jennings/rb/ Liberity
round 5/Dillard/wr/ Rice
round 6/Dockery/og/ Texas
round 7/Walker/og/ Okla
We move Urlacker to Sam linebacker, Put a middle linebacker than can fight off a block. We have our edge rusher that can fit in right away, and with Marinelli, the d line is back. We resign St Clair for LG, move Bruening to RG, draft Boone to take Taits spot in a year. A couple of big guard prospects to develope. Chung can compete right away, and Jennings is a big back who can spell Forte. Dillard has some speed, to go with Henderson, Hester, Bennett, and Riedeau to have a complete new set of recievers. All needs will be met.

Angelo Jr., hey what's up? Haven't seen you around for quite some time. I always wanted to ask: Are you related to Angelo Sr. or are you just a real big fan of his?

"All the positions are needs but teams that win year after year have great O-line and D-line. It all starts with them, you can bring in whoever you want at the glamour spots but without really good lineman you will not win." - Tom

Tom, that seems to be the general school of thought but I'm going to go one step beyond and say it all starts with the coaching; the people who put the players in the best position to make plays. Minnesota is a prime example of a team with a solid line on both sides of the ball but they are perennial losers. Childress is a clown and I'm not sure how he retained his job after this season (oh well, better for us).

You can have standout linemen, standout RBs, standout WRs, but if they're not used properly, then it doesn't matter how good they are.


The Bears have so many positions of need it hards to place the top need on just one, but here goes my thoughts.

Round One: Defensive End
Nothing makes a mediocre secondary look like a great one than a solid pass rush. With a strong showing at the combine Matt Shaugnasy will be shooting up the draft boards and into the middle of the first round. The Bears also should have their choice of DE's Tyson Jackson (LSU), Michael Johnson (GT) or Everette Brown (FS).

Round Two: Wide Reciver
I would love to see Percy Harvin fall into the second round and have the Bears select him. Harvin is a dynamic playmaker with explosive speed but has the stigma of being fragile. Other available players should be Brian Robiske (OS), Juaquin Inglesias (OK) or Louis Murphy (FL)

Round Three: Running Back
Although Matt Forte was a beast this year and appears to be the back of the future for the Bears, there is little to no depth behind him, and unless he is backed up by some quality depth Chicago will run this guy into the ground. Kevin Jones can't stay healthy and Whoppie Goldberg, oops, I mean the other "Adrian Peterson" only adds value to the special teams unit. Select a Rashad Jennings out of Liberty. He is a huge (6'2) 237lb back, who's a true North/South runner who continually keeps his legs churning until the whistle. Sprinkle in shifty back Garret Wolfe as a change of pace guy (ala Darren Sproles)and Chicago has a solid smash mouth, ball controlling running game. Many analyst have labled Jennings as "this years Matt Forte" of the draft. Chicago may have to move up into the late second or early third to make this selection. This appears to be a very lean year for quality backs and free agency would be the only other option should Jennings not fall to Chicago.

Speaking of free agency. There appears to be a few quality players at the Safety position that Chicago should definitely address prior to the draft. Some names to consider are: Jermaine Phillips & Will Allen (TB), both come with cover 2 experience and would and instant credibility and add stability at one of Chicagos most glaring weaknesses. Also consider James Sanders (NEP), Sean Jones (CLE), Kerry Rhodes (NYJ) and of course Brian Dawkins (PHI). If Chicago deems the cornerback position something they want to address if free agency im sure DB coach Hoke would love to be reunited with Dunta Robinson (HOU) or why not Kelvin Haydon (IND) or Bryant McFadden (PIT).

Finally, QB. Whatever it takes bring Donovan McNabb to Chicago! Although Donovan maybe saying all the right things now he is very disgruntled over the the lack of fan support and coaching faith in his ability. The temporary benching this year was the icing on the cake. I would hate to see the Bears pass up an opportunity to land Donovan to help develop Kyle Orton and Caleb Hanie or any other QB prospect brought to town. Hanie looks to be a keeper and time will tell with the proper tuteledge how or if he can develop into a starter. Worst case Hanie offers strict competition to Kyle and pushes him along to compete with Donovan. Kyle will get his shot to compete for the starting role but we greatly benefit from a few years years working behind McNabb. If Chicago does not trade for Mcnabb the thought of Donovan haunting Chicago over the next 5-6 years is frightening. Imagine if he winds up wearing a Vikings uniform! We just got out from under the Brett Favre reign over Chicago, lets not hand the division over for the next five years.


Free Agents
Nice story lines on each player, Cassel will probably be a Franchise.

We will know pretty durn fast how serious JA is about fixing this team as Free Agency is just around the corner!

Actually Dent was that great but I was pointing out that interior linemen were most important for players like Dent to do that well and since I feel we just upgraded the D interior line with Adams coming on, Harrison drafted and adding Sapp/Rod for Harris (that will be interesting!)then we could afford to go DE and get another Dent. With RT/RG needed just as badly.

1. Free Safety - absolute need
2. LG - Beekman's horrible
3. QB - bears have to invest high picks in QBs a la Ron Wolf and Bill Walsh
4-7. Best player available

The Bears don't need new DEs and DTs. They got Marinelli for a reason. They'll probably see if he earns his money with the guys they have.

Biggest need is WR but too hard to pick a good one in the 1st round, to many teams have failed picking WR #1. So wideout #1 has to be picked up in free agency or through a trade. Boldin Yes but not likely but Housemsedah could be a great one to target. As for the draft.

Biggest impact position is DE, with a good pass rusher you change the game. So if A very good DE is available then draft him #1 with the OLine the next need that could make a good impact.

Draft best available talent in this order.
#1 DE or OT
#2 OT or FS
#3 LB or QB

Felix, I don't think Beekman is as bad as you think, if theres a weak link in the offensive line, its right guard Roberto Garza, or right tackle John Tait.

stinger 56 you have the best plan of anybody that i read.riedeau,
should have played last year with the preseason he had. the wrs were
weak and you had one on the pratice squad who could play, plus earl bennett should have played also. lovie smith is a poor head coach at best as far as evaluating and giving guys a chance to show what they can do in game situations. he caught lighting in a bottle by going to the super bowl. we must get j peppers to create more pressure so the tackles can get to the qb. urlacker needs to move to the outside cause he has seen his best days on the inside. you need big tackles to let him roam on the inside, and we don't have them.on the outside he would still be awsome with briggs. get henderson or the az receiver. lets see the d line would be great and
the linebackers would be better and great with jamar williams or a rookie in the middle. draft some more ol players so forte can get at least 4 yard a carry. plus we naad to draft a speed back to back forte up, or a power back just as long as he's good. keep peanut where he is and play less cover 2, play pressure d and tight coner d
we have had our best d naters were pressure defense. from what i see
you have to be able to confuse the qb with the blitz and the babich
couldn't confuse a six grader, he should have been fired. if the bears don't do the right things lovie needs to go also. the bears are really close if they get the right free agents and jerry stops
drafting down to get players who won't make it anyway, what a waste on the salaey cap. i would draft up some yrs to get good players who
willearn their money and make the team better.the 85 bears had a slew of top picks who lasted for years. quality jerry not quanity will make the bears a super bowl winners. less draft choices but better players will make the bears better and allow you to get proven players on the fa market.

That was pretty good Carlos, JA does draft down alot, to get players that don't make it anyway, How about drafting UP for a change JA? and Beekman did pretty good for his first year, he learned alot from the older guys I bet, Garza and Tait are old and gotta go. I liked them in their prime but it's time.
Left side was fixed with Williams/Beekman now the right side needs fixed.

Again - why draft a WR when we just drafted one last year? same with RB? How many RB's does JA have to draft?

Kevin A, actually I actually never said Angelo should go after Haynesworth, I said I would go after him for a different scheme. NT in a 3-4. I said they should go after Peppers or Suggs if available. I still think that as much as I like some guys in the draft at DE, none of them will be as good as Peppers who is still young, plus Angelo is not that great at spotting DE talent.It would be like bringing in Rice.

As for Young yeah I know I was just speculating. Mays is going back which really sucks for the Bears, cause there are a couple of teams ahead of them that need a saftie and Moore is the only first round talent at that position and after Saftie most need line help or a QB and there is not much in the way of QB's this year. Looks to be a run on both sides of the line.

As for Buenning, I think I get why he is not playing and may not play. He is a run blocker a big grinder. The Bears current WCO has become more Walsh like which means they could really use a zone blocking scheme. But sense they don't have that, they are focusing on pass blocking and athletisism for a pass oriented scheme. You can see this in there draft picks of Olsen, Williams and Forte. You can see the change in philosophy from the Garza, Beekman, Benson picks.

If there not going to use Buenning they should trade him to a team like Pitt who need help in the interior and may get some good value for him like a third or a fourth round draft pick as he fits there scheme and is a talented run blocker. Plus he is still young with great size.

Chris William's is what the Bears want, a true pass blocker and if his back holds up he will be very good at it as he has one of the best kick slides you will see on a young guy. However he is not a run blocker and at the Senior Bowl and combine it was pointed out that he has a very weak hand punch, instead he tends to latch on with his hands. Beekman is a Run blocker like Buenning but he worked on his pass blocking all last year and this year, so now he is more of a balanced LG, he is also probably the Bears best linmen as he is better at the run blocking than everyone else on the line, that said I actually don't think he fits what the Bears want to do with there line as he is not athletic enough, he may still be there future center though. Olin is the anchor but has seen better days and at the very least needs an understudy who he will probably kill and eat. Again they will want to get more athletic at the center position. Alex Mack or the even more versitile, Unger would seem a better fit with his ability to play guard and RT, though Mack is still the better athlete. Garza at RG is like a less athletic Beekman which is not good. He can run block, and has worked on his pass blocking, but is not very athletic. Andy Kemp or Canfield would be a better fit for the Bears. So would Duke Robinson as he may be big but he is very athletic. RT is a big need for the Bears, Tait looks done and has only one year left on his contract. The Bears may choose to slide St. Clair over but that like plugging a damn with your finger. It just won't hold up very long. They were desperate enough to bring Miller back last year, so that tells you how weak they are. Young would have been great here as he is huge and athletic. However Eben Britton who has played both tackle positions would be a perfect fit and give the Bears a pair of Book end very athletic tackles. He will also be there when the Bears draft. I would not hold my breath for a reciever or saftie at this point. Only D line would be taken before OLine first and that is not a deep class.

Think the Eagles offense with Westbrook (Forte), or the Jets Oline with Jones (Forte). That way the Bears could move away from the power O they run which was meant for Benson not Forte. Eagles Oline is also designed for pass blocking but is not as athletic as the Jets, but is much bigger. The Bears look to be trying to do some of this so called "West Coryell" offense, a control passing game with mis-direction, not a lot od down field stuff and players that are multi talented like Forte or ultra athletic. Look for the Bears to also find a blocking TE. If they did a two TE set you would see them have a blocking TE in and a pass recieving TE in. Instead of two recieving threats.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 14, 2009 11:49 AM.

Sapp plans to join Marinelli in working with Tommie Harris was the previous entry in this blog.

Harris' relationship with Sapp goes back to his college days is the next entry in this blog.

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