Chicago Sun-Times

Combine notebook: Saturday's movers and the status of Vasher

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INDIANAPOLIS--We're getting ready to depart Indianapolis after three days but want to cover a few bases.

*** Showing up at the combine out of shape and announcing he will not work out until the pro day at his school was a bad move by Alabama's Andre Smith. Bolting town early Saturday morning without telling anyone was another strike against Smith. Remember, this is the player who was suspended for the Crimson Tide's bowl game because of illegal contact with an agent. The strikes keep piling up and Baylor's Jason Smith and Virginia's Eugene Monroe are capitalizing quickly.

Both performed well in workouts and on the field Saturday in Lucas Oil Stadium. Jason Smith, a converted tight end, put up 33 reps on the bench at 225 pounds. If Andre Smith doesn't wow scouts at his pro day March 11, he'll fall significantly behind these two.

*** USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, perhaps eyeing an opportunity to gain ground on Georgia's Matthew Stafford, will work out in positional drills today. Sanchez is anxious to answer any concerns scouts may have about his arm strength. With Stafford waiting until his school's pro day to throw for scouts, this is a chance for Sanchez to claim the spotlight. The thing he can't make up here is the lack of experience he has coming out of school with only 16 starts.

*** Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew, considered head and shoulders above the group, dropped the ball with a 4.87-second time in the 40--yard dash. Those capitalizing were South Carolina's Jared Cook (4.50) and Southern Miss' Shawn Nelson (4.56). Cook starred in workouts but passed on positional drills.

*** Finally, general manager Jerry Angelo was asked about veteran cornerback Nathan Vasher, who has been limited to 12 games over the last two seasons since his lucrative contract extension that has already paid him more than $15 million.

"I don't know where he is now,'' Angelo said. "I touched on that. He has to re-establish himself, he's competing to start. We talked about that, he's got to take his game to another level. I didn't see anything physically speaking that would tell me that he can't, but he's got to get it going. He's had some injuries that's kind of retarded some of the things maybe that we're used to seeing from him, but he hasn't been the guy that we've been accustomed to seeing and certainly not the guy that [we saw] when we gave him his contract extension. He needs to be a better player. He knows that. I feel strongly he's going to accept that challenge and we're going to see a much better Nathan Vasher.''

Vasher has fallen out of favor with the coaching staff and if he's not behind Corey Graham for a starting job right now, it will be an open competition. With Charles Tillman out for minicamp next month while he recovers from shoulder surgery, Vasher and Graham could both be on the field then. Angelo didn't want to speculate if Vasher fell into a comfort zone after receiving his new deal.

"I'm not going to put myself on the player's ... I could [only] speak for what I see,'' Angelo said. "I'm not going to get into being a psychiatrist. I've got enough things that I have to deal with. He knows what he has to do. He's a good person, highly competitive, all the things that he needs to do to be the player we want him to be he can be, and that's assuming he stays healthy.''

Wide receivers work out today and we'll check in later on with some updates from that. Four Down Territory will return Monday.

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10 Comments

They all jump on Vasher but are in love with Orton...........we are in big trouble!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Orton sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

" He's had some injuries that's kind of retarded some of the things maybe that we're used to seeing from him ..."

And if there's one thing Jerry knows, it's retarded.

All kidding aside, how completely stupid do you have to be? Andre Smith contacts an agent knowing he's going to the NFL and will make big bucks losing his final game of his career. Now, he shows up fat and out of shape then skips town. Wow, congrats kid you single-handedly cost yourself millions. At this point, he should consider spinning it, annoucne his return to college because his basket-weaving degree is important to his family, and then give NFL teams another year to throw big dollars at him.

Please Bears, let Tate retire!!......At least he knows when his heart is no longer in the game and is man enough to admit it. He doesn't want to just go through the motions and collect a pay check like our whole defensive team did last year!!!!(except for Briggs) We need passionate players that play for the love of the game like the good old days. I am so jealous of the 49ers now that they have Singletary.....give him three years and the Niners will win it all....we blew it not hiring him!!!!!!

Coach what is strange is that Smith came in at 332 pounds which was 60 pounds lighter than expected. His Pro Day will tell the tail of this guy, but his attitude needs to get fixed. I think he will end up in Washington at 13. They are desperate for a RT.

Now on a plus side, Angelo believes because the Bears have more holes than ever thanks to him. That this means he has been a better GM than ever. More holes=Good job. Super Bowl team= Bad team cause there are to few holes to fill and we all know how Angelo loves to fill his teams holes. Next year he is planning on having even more holes to fill. He is so lucky he can take the best player available, at all his picks. Oh and the Bears are set at reciever, just like he said he really liked what they had at reciever last year. In fact this may come as a shock to some people but Angelo likes everything he has done, all his picks are awsome.

Also it's not about talent all his guys are the most talented ever, it's about attitude. Look good equals feel good, and nothing to it but to do it. He's taking the whole team out for a makeover, Urlacher is very excited he plans on getting two coats of wax on his nice shinnny melon and Orton is going to have his beard braideded. Exciting times here in the windy city. The Bears are also going to get new uniforms and new colors. Navy Blue and pumpkin orange are to moody and broody, it's cold enough at soldier field without all that dark blue, the new uniforms will be a nice warm crimson red with Pewter helmets. Also the logo will no longer be a C but a Bear with an eye patch holding a sword and wearing pirate hat with a big ploom on it.

With Graham and Vasher scheduled for the March minicamp, they should line up at each corner. It will be interesting to see if the Tillman consideration for Free Safety comes back into play given the fact that Lovie has flat out said that Manning should remain at nickel.

So the two starting corners are Vasher and Graham, Tillman free safety, Payne Strong safety, Manning at Nickel with backups at all positions in place McBride and Bowman at corner, Stelz strong safety and McGowan at Free Safety. Needless to say the Bears can pick up a developmental corner and free safety in the draft. What a tremendous group of D backs would that be? Simply awesome!!!

Still need to go OT at number #18 in the draft unless the Bears pick up Loadholt or another Tackle with the round two pick #49, maybe a Loadholt may be available. Sign St.Clare for ROT as insurance. Round Three and beyond would allow for developmental DT or DE, WR, FB, Safety and Corner. That leaves #18 for the next Chicago BEARS middle linebacker of the future; at #18 the BEARS pick either Rey Maualuga or James Laurinaitis. Can you imagine the various ways that Urlacher could be utilized (blitz and coverage packages coming in from the end position etc to rush the QB) as he helped to develop the next great middle linebacker for the BEARS. WOW!! The BEARS D would be back to confusing teams like the 83-85 Bears D. Or as another possibility, just maybe that would free up Urlacher for the trade to Arizona for Boldin? Stranger things have happened?

Then Bears go DLine(again) O line (again) and QB early in next years draft.

Loadholt is a good player...but RT is the ONLY position he plays! He'd be our pick outta desperation only because JA will screw things up and let all the better, more versatile players go bye-bye.

Why in the world would JA draft the MLB of the future with so many glaring needs on offense? The Bears are trying to win now, not build for tomorrow. It has to be a OT or WR in the first two rounds. Unless someone at DE or QB slips down to them at #18 and presents too much value for them to pass.

The reason the Bears have problems at WR is because they let Marcus Monk go. He was such a beast! lol

Dahli tell me you just didn't say the secondary is awsome. Tillman is not moving. Angelo already said that, he is recovering from surgery thats all. Graham is not that good, and Vasher is a dog with flea's. Steltz is being looked at as the FS next year. Oh god, Adam Archuletta part deux. Even if you bring in a rookie unless he is really good it will be hard for him to start at FS in the Tampa 2, it takes a lot of work. This team needs speed, it's getting slower not faster with age.

I don't expect to see to many new faces starting this year, thats just the way the Bears operate. Even if they draft a OT at 18 I expect St. Clair or some other vet to start. Bennett may be the new WR, and I excpect them to try and find a vet at FS. I also Excpect to see Buenning playing LG. I don't think they will do much in free agency and I expect they think there players will all elivate there game. If they sign St. Clair I suspect they will take Maclin or Bey with the 1st pick and go after a saftie and OT in rounds 2 and 3.

For Angelo to draft a RT at 18 he is really gonna have to love him or a LT like Oher will have to fall in there lap. I don't think he is lying when he says best player available. That will probably be Maclin and I don't really have a problem with that as long as he has a vet and drafts a rookie tackle in the first 3 rounds to groom. There will be a lot of trades around the Bears people going after the last of the top end OT's and I expect MIN to go after Sanchez and guys like SD to trade down. Also Carolina and KC both need to trade guys like Glenn Dorsey and Peppers. 15 on down may get busy, Angelo will probably stand pat as he loves the middle of a round cause it's usually great for value.

Coach the thing to remember on the Smith kid is that living as an Alabama football player in Tuscaloosa ain't exactly like playing for the Giants and living in Manhattan. I'd imagine the combine was a bit of NFL culture shock. For example, it is conceivable that this kid takes his girl to Denny's for a big Saturday nite date and thinks it's uptown.......No I'm not kidding.

He probably was afraid they would vote him off the island.

And then again he may be worthless as a pro. He was dominant in the SEC. That's nothing to sneeze at. The smart teams will go to his pro day and talk to him awhile before they jump to any big conclusions.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 22, 2009 9:43 AM.

Don't rush to judgment on a pass rusher at No. 18 was the previous entry in this blog.

Wideout way out of range for Bears now after Heyward-Bey flies in 40 is the next entry in this blog.

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