Chicago Sun-Times

Four Down Territory, March 26: The O-line mix with Shaffer on board

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Full day of football activity as the owners meetings wrapped up in Dana Point, Calif. We're going to do one more Q&A this week on Thursday and then we're going to take a break with the mailbag until next Wednesday. We'll roll through some questions that day. Don't worry, Four Down Territory isn't going away but we've got a few things we need to knock out. So keep the questions coming. Let's get to it.

Q: Is the money the Bears are paying Kevin Shaffer starting money or backup money? It feels like backup money. Is the plan now to move forward in the draft without placing a high pick on a tackle (first three rounds) and address other needs instead? Or should I not try reading anything into this signing? Your thoughts?

Dave, Parts Unknown

A: I think it is probably fair to characterize Shaffer's pay day as being near the bottom of the wage scale for an experienced starting right tackle, or as a very solid pay day for an experienced swing tackle. That probably reflects how the Bears view him--as a guy who can man the position capably until they have a young player ready to take over. When that point comes, he'd be a nice veteran piece to have in the mix.

Shaffer's deal is worth $8 million over three years. He gets a $1.75 million signing bonus and will be paid $2.75 million this season. How the line shakes out remains to be seen. It was a knee-jerk reaction for Frank Omiyale to be moved from left guard to right tackle after one day of minicamp. Maybe that was a message from coach Lovie Smith to general manager Jerry Angelo that he better sign a tackle and sign one fast. Who knows? It didn't matter who was at right tackle in those non-contact practices.

Unless the plan has changed and won't be changed back (when does this coaching staff hesitate to make change?) you would figure Omiyale makes his way back to left guard. That leaves Shaffer at right tackle in competition with a yet-to-be-drafted rookie. Given the financial commitment, Shaffer isn't a longterm solution. He's a bridge to the future, which is what John St. Clair would have been had he returned. That doesn't mean Shaffer cannot start one, two or even three seasons, but the plan would seem to be to still get younger up front. Waiting anywhere past the second round to draft a tackle (and maybe even the first round) is going to leave the Bears with just a project. At this point, I would be surprised if they waited after the first three rounds to address the position.

Q: What about the Chargers' 6-5 wideout Kassim Osgood? He's 28, a two-time Pro Bowler on special teams and did a few good things over the last two years. He's also looking for a trade and I wouldn't imagine it'd take much to get him, if he doesn't get released. Any chance the Bears could trade for him or someone like him?

Sean, Arcata, Calif.

A: You are correct, the Chargers are working to move Osgood a year after he requested a trade. We talked to one league source and he suggested the price tag would be a fourth- or fifth-round pick and that is steep for a special teams player. Kevin Acee's article says he's been on the market for three weeks and generated no interest to this point. Osgood has skills on special teams and that is a very difficult position to maintain a high level of play. Brendon Ayanbadejo and Larry Izzo are the exceptions when it comes to that. Osgood will be 29 when next season begins and that is the same age Ayanbadejo was in his first season with the Bears in 2005. The Bears dealt a seventh-round pick to Miami for him, a move the Dolphins wound up regretting. The asking price seems a little prohibitive to me, but certainly it's worth keeping an eye on.

Q: I was wondering why the incredibly fast and large target Darrius Heyward-Bey is no longer mentioned as the best option for the bears in Round 1? I watched the combine workouts and thought he was spectacular, fast, and huge (a possible Randy Moss in the making). Perhaps, however, I misjudged what I saw and both Percy Harvin and Hakeem Nicks are superior targets. I understand that Harvin is a playmaker with his quickness and agility, and Harvin is supposed to be big as well (albeit slower), but doesn't Heyward-Bey's size, hands, and blocking ability make him a regular target with enough speed that together with Hester will spread defenses out to the extreme?

Samuel S., Vienna, Austria

A: I think Heyward-Bey has to remain on the radar of every team out there. He's who ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. currently has the Bears selecting in his mock draft. I'm not sold on the hands of Heyward-Bey like you are, and I'm also not convinced he has above average blocking ability. But as a vertical threat, he is one of the best in this draft with blazing speed. He could come in and potentially be a better Bernard Berrian. If the Bears believe they already have a top vertical threat in Devin Hester, perhaps they go another route and thus the interest in other possibilities like Nicks, Kenny Britt and maybe Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi. Don't write Heyward-Bey off, though.

Q: I keep hearing that Danieal Manning is in all likelihood going to be the nickel back. So what will happen to the loser of the right cornerback derby between Nate Vasher and Corey Graham? I've heard lots of talk of Charles Tillman moving to free safety, but nothing about either of those guys, and one of them will be without a position pretty soon. Does either guy have the skill set to play free safety?

Tom N., Wisconsin

A: We addressed the Manning issue here earlier this week. You can write him in at nickel back and use a marker. No pencil necessary. Vasher to free safety has come up here before. I don't see it happening. One of the knocks on Vasher's game is his open-field tackling. That would be a bigger issue at free safety. Graham could probably make the transition, it's at least been a thought in the past, but he's entrenched at right corner right now in this battle. I don't see him trading places, not this year. Free safety looks like it will come down to Josh Bullocks and a draft pick.

Thank you for all of the participation and questions. As always, thanks for reading. Our final Q&A for this week will be Thursday. Get your questions in.

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Samuel: "but doesn't Heyward-Bey's size, hands, and blocking ability make him a regular target with enough speed that together with Hester will spread defenses out to the extreme?"

DHB is soft accross the middle. His route-running is considered poor at best. And just because he has size doesn't mean he can block (see soft above). DHB is Hester with better size but further behind in route-running and without the toughness.

Hester is a big-play threat. A burner with the ability to stetch the field like Berrian and a threat to break any pass for 6. What Chicago really needs - if you believe my assessment - is a big-bodied intermediate threat. A physical receiver with good hands, durable, and able to over-power defenders and get yards after the catch. Britt and Robiskie are the two guys I see would be a good fit in Chicago.

Tom N.,

Don't forget also on the radar is Zack Bowman the greatest single-game athlete in Chicago Bear history :-) Seriously, Bowman showed some serious skills as a ball-hawk so maybe our FS is already on board. Wouldn't that be great?

You're disappointing Brad. In the last mailbag, you get 4 or 5 comments talkin about Tommie Harris, and you choose to answer a question about a special teams player on San Deigo along with the Manning issue which you talked about already. Fans want to know what's the deal with the "real deal".

Is anybody else out there sick of reading these long, stupid, know-it -all, blogs by this idiot that calls himself Creighton? What a jackass. Do us all a favor and root for the Packers, Lions, or the Vikings. Get lost, nimrod!

"Is anybody else out there sick of reading these long, stupid, know-it -all, blogs by this idiot that calls himself Creighton? What a jackass. Do us all a favor and root for the Packers, Lions, or the Vikings. Get lost, nimrod!"

ahhhhh....flatery wil get you knowhere "tripper." in case you didnt now this blog would be nothing without me because i am always right and i only give facts. ans for youre informatio i alredy DO root for my beluved packers. aron rogers is just soooo

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

ps - oh how id HATE that adorabel little BRANDO - and all the GOOD he does in the world!

Oh whats the matter Tripper your mommy not change your panties? Such harsh language your not another Brando persona are you. You can never really tell. You know how I know your stupid. I f you don't like my posts stop reading them idiot. Nobody forced you, dumb a## you do it to yourself. God I hate stupid people.

By the way Nimrod??= In the Bible, a mighty hunter and king of Shinar who was a grandson of Ham and a great-grandson of Noah.

I like that I am Nimrod the might Angelo hunter and King of the Bog.

You are Tripper the person to stupid to know he does not have to read any post he doesn't want too. You actually have freedom under good King Nimrod you may skip my posts, I give you permission oh stupid one.

It's sad I actually don't know who you are but you seem to read all my posts. I guess I must be doing something write, because you are the idiot reading my posts of your own free will. Stupid is as stupid does. I on the other hand cannot recall reading anything from you other this one post of yours. I think I will call you Brando. I notice your asking for help, whats the matter you to weak to take down the mighty KING. You are a total Looser. Go read your own posts if you have any Brando.

Tripper: I would rather slit my wrists and do push-ups in saltwater than read Creighton's useless crap. Maybe his Mom will kick him out of the basement soon and we can all get back to talking football.

Brad: Has Warren Sapp still planning on working one-on-one with Harris during the offseason, as promised?


Didn't lovie smith say Zack Bowman is the starting Free safety at minicamp last week? So would be the starter and bullocks the back up?

Bowman moving to free safety
One of those players is 2008 fifth-round pick Zackary Bowman, who is being moved from cornerback to free safety, a position he played at New Mexico Military Institute before transferring to Nebraska.

The 6-1, 193-pounder possesses speed and athleticism, but has struggled to remain healthy. He suffered knee injuries in each of his final two seasons in college and then sustained a season-ending biceps injury while making his NFL debut last Oct. 19 against the Minnesota Vikings.

We just feel like there’s an opportunity now to see if that’s [Bowman’s] best spot to compete,” Smith said.

I think DHB is a Troy Williamson waiting to happen. No production in college with all those assests. The NFL is tougher. And by the way Creiton has a low IQ and it isnt fair for you guys to pick on him. Just feel sorry for him.

Samuel S: We need our Jeff Graham to our Curtis Conway (aka Hester). We need our Dennis McKinnon to our Willie Gault. Look at Robiskie (another Buckeye btw), Iglesias, Britt, Massaquoi - maybe even Austin Collie of BYU.

creighton/crap-ton, who do you think you are? you come on here and act like you know everything and nag [yes nag like a girl] at anyone that has a different opinion than yours. you probably wonder why over half of the board can't stand you, ok more like 3/4 of the board. then you say stupid s%it like alex brown was not an angelo draft pick when everyone with half a brain knows angelo took over after the 2001 draft? and by the way, most of have already figured out that your packbacker so give it up.

i'm looking at this from another you think angelo is signing a takle now because he may be trying to trade the #1 as one of the many things he'll have to give up for Cutler? i think hes still scouting wideouts just in case the trade doesn't happen but i think hes trying to prepare for both. i think he uses his 2nd on a wideout. i think they still get a tackle but maybe someone like kraig urbik who can play both G or T or maybe phil loadholt in round 3 if their lucky and hes still available. i think angelo will pull this deal off if denver lets them. and i hate angelo but i got this feeling its gonna happen and he'll give up just about anything for him. minus hester or briggs anything else should be fair game. my proposal......2 first rounders next years 3rd (ala jeff george) and whoever denver wants minus briggs or hester...thats a starting point and i'd say if that ain't enough give them some more draft picks.....get this deal done!!!!!

I've heard that Kenny Britt got suspended for 1 game at Rutgers. I haven’t found out what he did other than a violation of team rules. If the Bears can get over that as a character flaw they really need to take a serious look at him. If you need to see more just go to You Tube and check out some of the videos. Wow, what a BEAST. He would instantly make the receiving corps better. I think would be a starter from day one. He goes 6’3” & 218 lbs and has been clocked at 4.4 in the 40, considerably faster than the 4.56 he ran at the combine. He reminds me of a Terrell Owens style of player with the same yards after catch ability. (Hopefully with the ego in check) That is my only concern about him. I sincerely hope the Bears find a way to get him. (Might even be able to trade back from #18 in the 1st to get him & possibly move up in the 2nd to get a tackle we like that might not be available with pick #49) I’m just hoping this could happen this way. That means forgetting about a very expensive deal to go after Cutler. I believe Orton is still developing and that deal would actually set the Bears back for years, considering their other needs. Don’t criticize until you watch the Britt videos. Go Bears!!

Wow a bunch of guys who have never posted before are suddenly posting. Hmmmmm, smells like Brando. Besides does it really matter what 3 or 4 people think? Like I said don't read it if you don't want too. Brando you have lost it, keep trying one day I amy just scrap you off the bottom of my foot. Oh god what looser wothout me your life has no meaning.

By the way Duane if your going to say a guy has a low IQ, then either debate and make point or spell his name right. I mean it's right there and you can't even spell it right. Yes If I have low IQ and can spell my name, what does that say about a guy who cannot spell my name when it is printed in front of him. Your a tard.

Well I don't see 3/4 or half the board here going on strike against me. I guess no support is no support. Nice try chumps.

On the Cutler front, here's a hypothetical for you. I've been trying to think of a trade that might be equal without giving up our first round pick. Then I saw a report about Derrick Brooks still available and it got me to thinking, would you trade Lance Briggs and Orton, plus our first third rounder to Denver for Cutler? Would that be a fair trade? Would Briggs even fit in Denver's defense? I hate to think it because I think Briggs is our best player on defense right now, but no one is really safe in a trade like this. After the Briggs trade, do you try and sign Brooks for one year to fill in, or do you go with Williams who has been waiting in the wings?

Duane wrote:
"I think DHB is a Troy Williamson waiting to happen. No production in college with all those assests. The NFL is tougher."


I get the same sad feeling, esp. if we draft him.

Creighton wrote:
"Brando you have lost it, keep trying one day I amy (sic) just scrap you off the bottom of my foot. Oh god what looser (sic) wothout (sic) me your life has no meaning.

By the way Duane if your going to say a guy has a low IQ, then either debate and make point or spell his name right."


We disagree on some posts and agree on others. I actually enjoy discussing things with you. But if you are going to call someone out for spelling errors you might want to proof your own stuff.


Rather than name calling -- ok, I have done it in the past so I am not perfect either -- why don't we focus on the Bears.

Sometimes we write opinions as facts. Sometimes it reverses but I do enjoy hearing from other serious Bear fans.

Back to the debate of whom the Bears will select in April.....

Dissing others opinion and proving a point is all part of the experience but when it gets personal because someone has a different opinion that's just plain dumb. duane and Brando we have all been guilty at one time or another but it has gone too far if you don't like a poster/post don't read it or act civilized. All points are valid to someone but this b.s. takes the fun out of it. Creighton stop feeding the monster don't respond to stupid personal insults if you ignore them they will take their keyboard and play somewhere else. Hope that wasn't too long. GO BEARS, GO AWAY ANGELO.

Hey MD Kevin, I am just jacking with the guy and misspelled his name on purpose. Im a plumber what do you expect. He jacks with people so I was just jacking with him.

First, IF Kenny Britt can keep his ego in check is the big question. The guy is a stud. The big question now that he posted that 4.4 40 is who's gonna take the gamble?

Second, for the amount of name-calling and insults I would say these threads (even with my idiocy) is pretty tame. Hell by some standards (check out any college football thread) this is damn near a MENSA meeting.

OK, couple of questions about FS: Does anyone have a feel for where William Moore will go the FS out of Mizzou? Originally I had him marked as the FS I loved and a possible late 1st-rounder (even suggested at 18). I haven't changed that I love the guy, but once I started putting together picks and boards I have him anywhere from early 2nd to early 3rd. Anyone have some thoughts?

Also another FS who keeps popping up is Louis Delmas from Western Michigan. Anyone seen Delmas play? I'll be honest I don't know much about him.

Who, if anyone, was the last head coach to also assume defensive coordinator duties? How successful have teams of the past been when head coaches take more active roles in either offensive or defensive play calling? Also, what were Lovie's statistics as a defensive coordinator?

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 25, 2009 9:46 PM.

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