Chicago Sun-Times

On Pace for a change in draft strategy? Bears bring in vet for visit

| 26 Comments | No TrackBacks

The Bears' plan to select an offensive lineman high in the draft didn't seem to change last week when veteran Kevin Shaffer was signed to fill the hole on the line at right tackle.

If the Bears add Orlando Pace, that could dramatically change the draft plan.

The Bears brought the veteran in for a visit to Halas Hall on Monday and he was given a physical. It's not know if the Bears have made a contract offer to Pace, but he is in negotiations with the Baltimore Ravens, who he visited shortly after being released by St. Louis.


If the Bears make a play for Pace, it could signal they don't believe they can get a quality starting-caliber tackle with the 18th pick of the draft or in the second round at No. 49. It would also increase the chances the team made a play for a wide receiver or a defensive player, perhaps a pass rusher, in the first round.

Stay tuned.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/21216

26 Comments

Just saw this on ESPN's site with Siefert also, way to stay on top of things Brad. Like the thinking here Pace is solid, large and still young enough for three to five more years, going on the right side would help, but he is also insurance in case Williams has some issues on the leftside. Now is the time to pick and choose in free agency, some solid players out there who figured to have jobs already will look to make incentive laden deals to get the salary where they think it should be with performance, I might add this is now the american way since the wall st and Gm cronies are getting cash taken out of their pockets now.....I still say take a look at McAllister he could swing to free safety and is an upgrade over Bullocks who is younger with potential as his upside.....Leftwich also is itching for a payday and could be convinced to come on board as a back-up after the draft...I see where Nate Davis Ball St is slipping down might be available with that supplemental we have at the end of round 3 hea and Kevin A.'s guy Willy from Buffalo might be the picks here........Go BEARS

i would be more than happy if they traded down and grabbed a wr or fs lower in the 1st round/high 2nd round...the de's avaliable at 18 dont move me...and drafting nicks, robiskie or britt that high is a reach(bey's hands or lack thereof scare me)...

unless crabtree or maclin(and im not totally sold on maclin) slip to 18...look for them to either package the pick and trade for a player or trade down

Pace does not have the mobility that made him a Pro Bowler year after year any more. I don't see him being any more than an insurance policy, and he will likely not choose Chicago over Baltimore, where they have more pieces in place. Why in the world were we not after some of the better free agents, and settling for bringing this tripe into town?

I do think Jerry is correct on the defensive side though (NFL radio interview last week). There are a lot of teams making the conversion to a 3-4, and there are a lot of square pegs on those rosters trying to fit into round holes. There should be a lot of cuts after the draft and first mini-camps, so we should be able to get a good crop of talent to look at post-draft.
Ken Lucas on the other hand is a nice vet to look at. He is not too old, very physical, and solid enough to be a starter in any system.

Am I the only one that thinks this is strange? Nothing against Pace, Love him as a player but he has not been that great the last three years. Then there is the fact that Angelo says he loves to build through the draft and this year and last years class were oline rich and yet here is Pace on the Bears doorstep. Not that he will sign but it does seem odd to me. So far sense Angelo the guy who says he like to build through the draft has been here he has started exactly one of his draft picks on the Oline at a time and no more than that.

LG Steve Edwards 2003
LT Qasim Mitchell 2004
Nobody in 2005
Nobody in 2006
Nobody in 2007
Josh (Good for you buddy)Beekman in 2008 Poor guy is getting bumped too.

This year we may get Chris Willimas meeting Angelos requirment of only one of his draft picks starting. Beekman is being contested by Omiyale and if they Bring in Pace it's pretty much a lock they wont draft an OT to start this year. Maybe anothere 7th or 6th round warm body for the practice squad. To me it just seems a strange way to build a line through the draft by signing all free agents to start on your Oline. They just signed Shaffer and now there after Pace. If your lucky Pace has 1 year left in him. I would much rather see Torry Holt then Pace. I don't dislike Pace at all but I would like to see them developing some talent for the future as well. You cannot keep stop gapping the line and hope to win a Super Bowl. It's just putting a finger in the damn.

There is one thing in the back of my mind, are they planning on not having a first round pick? Are they trying to trade for someone? It's a long shot guess by me, and a lot of hope for Cutler. There is also Peppers but I don't see them making the defense that expensive, but maybe.

There is also this. Shaffer is a proven RT, he may not be great but he is not bad either. Pace is a Pure LT, how is Williams doing? Brining in Pace brings up a lot of questions about Williams rather than the RT spot. RT at worst without Pace is decent with Shaffer, LT is still a big question. Is there a problem at LT?

I know one thing 10 of the last 11 Super Bowl winners all built there Olines through the Draft. Angelo does not seem confident in there ability to draft a starting calibure Olinmen.

Do you think the possible signing of Pace and Lucas could mean JA is contemplating trading some picks for Cutler?

Guys,
This is amazingly frustrating! First, everyone rails about the Bears being tight-fisted and not signing free agents. Then, they rail because the free agents the Bears are looking at don't fit the criteria that each fan has. Creighton, I wouldn't read any conspiracy-stuff into the Pace visit. Our LT didn't make it out of training camp last year. They definately need the insurance that Pace would provide. As far as drafting an O-Line, that is much easier said than done. The Bears were derailed by, in my opinion, alot of misfortune that burned draft picks and required redrafting certain positions; case in point, Rex Grossman, Cedric Benson, Mark Bradley, Terrence Metcalf, etc, etc.. Although many people will say call all of these picks stupid moves, most were respected as good moves by the so-called draft experts (the ones that get paid, as opposed to the fans who complain). All along, JA talked about being fiscally responsible by waiting until the spending orgy was over and grabbing the real bargains. The big money is used to keep the current guys. I believe these guys have a good plan. Let it play out and we'll be back on top of the division where we belong. GO BEARS!

"Pace hasn't been good in the last couple of years" are you kidding me! He was injured last year and still only allowed two sacks. I wish people would do their homework before making comments sometimes. Pace is a beast. He would be a great addition to our team and would force the Bears to get a WR with our first pick which is truly crucial right now. Pace has skill and experience and that's what we need. In addition he won't allow 9.5 sacks like St. Clair.

Mick - I sure hope he's going after Cutler. QB is the toughest position to fill and he's a proven player.

Creighton - Beatty starts looking better doesn't he? I know he's a yr away, but there are only so many big guys out there with quick feet. If Williams doesn't breakdown he can play RT. I haven't seen the complaint that he's a 1 yr wonder anywhere. If not Beatty maybe Kropog in the 2nd rd.

You are right about the SB winners. The top teams almost always draft a lineman (offense or defense) in rds 1 or 2 every year.

Mick thats exactly what I was thinking when I read that pace was at Halas Hall.

Actually who is the backup LT? Omiyale? Shaffer? They might be playing so Pace could be a good backup insurance.
We are all trying to figure this draft/FA out this year, and it's really impossible, but what IF JA does his usual stunt of drafting D first couple rounds? and then doing the oline 6/7. Wouldn't that be a riot?
I feel there will be a starting RT available at 18, so it's not that their not available, its that he's just not going there like he did with Tait/Garza/Brown/Miller. Weren't they all Free Agents?? So this is classic Jerry actually, and Williams needs a mentor and Pace could sure teach him some moves. Plus didn't the Ravens offer Pace small change???? Now that's classic Jerry! We are going after the cheap now.

Creighton wrote:
"I know one thing 10 of the last 11 Super Bowl winners all built there Olines through the Draft. Angelo does not seem confident in there ability to draft a starting calibure (what is this word Creigton??? weren't the person mocking someone for misspellling something?) Olinmen."

Ok let's see if your facts are correct. You are quick to point something out and I am going to do this for the past 11 SB winners -- based on their SB starting lineup.

So what constitutes a home grown Offensive Line? All (5)? A Majority (3)? Forty percent (2)? What about rookie free agents who make the team out of camp. How we count these players? Or even those who went to camp with another team never played on a game for them and were plucked from the practice squad. How do we count them?

Football Season 1998 -- but SB year 1999): Three players were not drafted by the Broncos (Harry Swayne, Tony Jones and Mark Schlereth);

1999: Two players were not drafted by the Rams (Tom Nutten, Adam Timmerman);

2000: One player was not drafted by the Ravens (Harry Swayne) and another player was cut played with two other teams very briefly and then returned (Mike Flynn);

2001: Two players were not drafted by the Pats (Mike Compton and Joe Andruzzi);

2002: Three players were not drafted by the Bucs (Roman Oben, Kerry Jenkins and Jeffy Christy);

2003: Three players were not drafted by the Pats (Russ Hochstein, Joe Andruzzi and Tom Ashworth) Ashworth was undrafted and originally with 49ers but played first game with the Pats;

2004: Two players were not drafted by the Pats (Joe Andruzzi and Brandon Gorin);

2005: One player was not drafted by the Steelers (Jeff Hartings);

2006: One player was not drafted by the Colts (Ryan Lilja -- undrafted and originally signed by the Chiefs but never played for them);

2007: Two players were not drafted by the Giants (Shaun O'Hara and Kareem McKenzie);

2008: One player was not drafted by the Steelers (Justin Hartwig);

While I might agree with your idea that a home grown Offensive line is desirable; you undercut your argument when not one team that has won the Super Bowl in the past eleven years has a wholly draft built offensive line. Please note that some of those teams (Giants, Colts and another team had rookie FAs in their starting lineup and I did not record. But that too undercuts your argument that winners have wholly built offensive line via the draft.

In short, Creighton your facts are wrong. Busted. Again.


Signing a veteran Tackle like Pace probobly indicates that Angelo wants to trade down and bring in more quality players to provide depth and develop at more positions, but less likely to make an immediate impact. With Pace, the only urgent position is WR. If they sign Pace they can go O-line in rounds 3 or 4. Signing Lucas would say more about Vasher than draft strategy. I see a potential move down with the Pats who hold their first and three second rounders.

God forbid they should have tried to make a deal for Pace years ago when he had such a bad contract dispute that he held out and the Bears had no left tackle! (Same goes for Walter Jones, right around the same time.) But that said, signing him would improve the team, no doubt about it. One possible move would be moving Williams to left guard, which is a much easier position and would also beef up the interior of the line.

Signing Pace would also remove any necessity for drafting a tackle early, though they should still draft one at some point because of Pace's age, even if they get him and he works out very well. Of course, they also need a guard, defensive end, wide receivers, and free safety. This is what happens when you fail to maintain the team adequately.

Signing Pace will just give Angelo an excuse to put off building a young and explosive offensive line for yet another year.

Any receiver selected should expect one year to develop. Might as well select one in the second round (Louis Murphy?) and use the first rounder for an impact player. If 2nd rounder Mark Bradley didn't get hurt, it is very likely that he would be our #1.

Tripe? Strange? You guys are kidding right?

I'll tell you what would be strange.....NOT checking out Pace. The dude is only 33 and will be a first ballot HOFer. Not to mention the fact that their current left tackle is unproven. And that means Pace isn't worth a plane ticket?

There is a real chance Pace has a couple years left in him. He got cut because he is on the back side of his career playing for a team that needs to rebuild from the ground up. He won't be able to go THAT long.

Cutting a check to Pace would immediately give Jerry Angelo a world of flexibility in the draft. He could trade up, he could trade down, he could wait till next year. Mainly he could pick the best player left on the board.

I'm Pretty upset with MDKev, tho I enjoy reading the opinions,upon seeing actual facts and analysis in a sports blog I spit hot coffee all over my shirt,good one.

Actually Kevin that shows me (correct me if I am wrong) that the majority of their Olines were drafted by their respective teams? Not a 100% but alot more than the Bears, not sure if I read your post right, but thats what I see. 3 of course would be a majority FA but quite a few had 1 and 2, that's significant, personally I don't care so long as we get some pro bowlers on our Oline - draft or Free Agent just do it.
Yes I like the Pace signing, but of course he has 14 years so we get what 1 year maybe 2? Wrigley was correct - why not grab the man when he could have helped us a few years?

MD when did I ever correct anyones spelling First you will never here me get on someone about spelling unless it is a name, and the only reason I will correct it is if the repeat doing it. It's never good to mess up a name. But that is very rare for me to even do. Second I never said any team had a 100% drafted line I said they built there lines through the draft. Don't try to pretend like you don't know what that meant. In fact your the one who said 100% not me. So don't try to mix your words with mine.

Second lets take a look at those Super Bowl winners.

You already made my point for me Pitt. 4 starters Drafted in 2008

2007 Giants 3 Starters Drafted.

2006 Do you still think 4 out of 5 guys being drafted is a FA line like the Bears have in fact it is the exact opposite.

2005 Steelers again so thats 4 out of 4 I am right on. 4 starters

2004 Pats: Light, Neal, Koppen,

2003 The Pats: again, Light, Woody, Koppen, wow look at that 6 for 6 for me. Hoshstien was not a starter check your facts. Woody started 14 games.

2002 The Bucs, what did I say in my post. Let me remind you. "I know one thing 10 of the last 11 Super Bowl winners all built there Olines through the Draft. Angelo does not seem confident in there ability to draft a starting calibure Olinmen." Here is team 11.

Then the others all had a least 3 out of five starters, as you point out so basically your saying I am right but arguing with me like a moron that I am wrong even though you point out I am right. Are you that stupid? Or just trying to pick a fight? Either way you make my own point for me. Why do you keep trying to pick a fight with me. What is your obsession? My post was not aggressive in any way towards anyone and yet you still tried to pick an argument with me for no reason over something you go out of your way to point out I am right about. Did I miss something or is your IQ falling as you type?

Creighton I think you hate Williams because if I remember right you had a man crush on Mendenhall. How many teams passed up on him? Yes Cris was also injured but yet stayed with it and appeared in a couple of plays here and there.

Also who wants a RB that cant take a hit? Heck he didn't even get to the first game.

Kinda same said for Williams, but I think he will do a satisfactory job for the Bears this year.

Is it possible that JA and Lovie have been given an ultimatum, that this year is their last if the team does not improve? Maybe I am reading between 2 many lines, but I am getting the feeling that both are trying to save their jobs.
Lovie has taken on more responsibility, the hiring of Morinell signals to me that he is going to help Lovie with the whole defense, not just the front line.
I think we HAVE upgraded our O-Line, how much remains to be seen. The FS, SS, CB area has been rebuilt somewhat. It leads me to believe that they are going to focus on DE, maybe DT, WR for sure, maybe another LB. And I hope they still draft a couple of O-Lineman, We need to prepare for the future---COMMON SENSE !!!!!

Cutler maybe in the works, though I am not counting on him. I just don't think we should give up the farm for him.

I don't know, maybe I am reading this wrong !!!!

i hear all kinds of people saying lets bring in this guys or that guy and we can be back on top of our division. who cares about the top of the division! this game isnt about being there its about going to the superbowl and winning it. if the bears will never bring in elite players they wont make it back. that means you have to start from the top, new owners would be great but thats not going to happen.we need a GM who isnt chicken shit to spend the money to get players, a coach who can show some emotion and pass that on to the players, an offensive cord. who knows how to call plays, a defensive cord. who isnt lovies buddy. a QB who just isnt there for ball control, WR who can actually hold onto the ball, defensive linemen who can get to the QB, DB's who can cover, and the list goes on.....so quit always going for bargains and get some elite talent in here or theyll never make it to the superbowl and win it. its depressing seeing the same thing play out year after year!

MS,
I am more concerned with bringing in a guy whose body has broken down in each of the last 3 seasons. Orlando Pace WAS one of the top OTs in the league for several years, but that guy doesn't exist any more. He has come into camp every year since 2004 overweight, slow, and causes himself injuries by being out of shape. 3 Straight years he has missed significant time with injury. If that's the kind of guy you want on your team manning the left side, then great. I would rather have someone who will actually come in, work hard, and fight for a roster spot, instead of a guy who thinks he deserves one because of who he is.

If he can stay healthy, and if he is in shape, it could be interesting. But I do not expect that either of those things are likely to happen right now.

NBC Sports had reported that the Ravens were seeking Pace to protect the blind side and were planning on moving Giether to RT. Pace gave up two sacks in 14 games started last year Joe. So it is not that far fetched that he could play LT for the Bears. They Could let Williams break in at RT and have Shaffer as a backup swing and Omiyale as insurance behind him. Or they could do what Angelo and Lovie usually do.

Pace
Omiyale
Kruetz
Garza
Shaffer.

The 97-98 Broncos were the last team to win a Super Bowl starting at least 4 FA on the line. They also had a guy named Elway. The Bears have the Orton.

Going back to the 85 Bears There are only 2 teams I can find that won a Super Bowl with a line featuring more FA than draft Picks, the 02 Bucs and the 97 Broncos. In fact the most common feature on every Super Bowl team I looked at dating back to the 85 Bears were dominant offensive lines that featured at least 3 Draft Picks starting on a line sense 85. The Cowboys 3 Super Bowls we all remember there line, Washington 2 Super Bowls the Hogs, The 49ER's 3 Super Bowls, New England 3 Super Bowls, Ny Giants 3 Super Bowls, Pitt 2 Super Bowls, The 85 Bears 5 draft picks on the oline, plus a few other teams.

But I must be wrong good teams don't build there offensive lines through the draft. No it's like MD said FA are fine as long as the guy is good. It just so happens that all these other teams got lucky by not doing it his way with FA. Yes who cares about the Oline? Lets just bring in FA's for it. Don't draft your players. MD the guy who claimed a month ago that great teams build there Olines through draft now says it's just as good with FA's. Even though history disagrees with him, I disagree with him, and he disagrees with himself. Only 2 teams sense 85 people. Yes Kevin what a great way to build a team with FA's. Good for you MD, thats why your also a Skins fan and not a good Bears fan.

MDKevin is a little confused. I think your just mad because your favorite Bears players Okowo and Bazuin were massive busts and JA a guy you have stated is the best GM in football sucks. So you are willing to ignore facts and say anything to support your pathetic belief.

Sorry But the Bears will not win a Super Bowl until they fix the line through the Draft. At least three legit NFL starters, if they can't do it no Super Bowl win.

The FA market at OT got a little thinner today, Marvel Smith has signed with the 49ers.

By the way were have I ever said I hate Williams. I said Williams has a bad back, he does. I have wished him the Best of Luck on his career but my own Belief is his back will always be a problem and everyone agrees that drafting a LT with a bad back was a mistake. So I can't see how that is insulting to Williams. By the way Fingers or should I call you Brando why don't you find someone else to speak to. Try MD your both idiots after all, so you have something in common. Plus I do enjoy slamming both of you on a regular basis and your both in Love with Angelo and have both claimed he is the best GM in football. Your a perfect match and I am sure you will be very happy together. Just think you could use your magic fingers on him.

Creighten: I agree with you, drafting a guy with a bad back was ABSOLUTELY stupid. Once you have a bad back, you will always have a bad back. I hope Williams does well, but the odds are not in our favor. Also, getting back to Harris, why would you draft a guy when your own team doctors stated he ( Harris ) has the body of a 35 year old. Makes no sense to me !!!!!
Draft kids who are healthy, you don't mess with bad backs !!

ESPN is reporting that Cutler is officially on the block...could the Bears actually make a move??

It's official the Bears as reported by the tribune are trying to sign Orlando Pace to Play and start at LT. That is the Job he has been offered. If they sign him Williams will compete with Shaffer for the RT spot.

Now what were a few people saying? I don't like Williams? Its just a consipracy theory on my part. Well FU very much. Mr. Creighton has slammed home another one.

Mick thank you for your support. It's good to see a guy with some common sense around here. I agree with you 100%.

You know it came at such a perfect time too. Orlando Pace starting LT for the Chicago Bears. Get used to that.

Randy thank you as well for your comments.

MD you are now on team Brando. It's also known as team Sesame Street. Don't worry it's not just you two, Brando has like 20 personas and don't worry they all know how to get there a$$e$ handed to them buy me so you will fit right in.

I'll see if I can't get that little fire plug NBS to change his name to MD and Brando suck.

Please keep comming at me with your weak attempts to prove me wrong. It makes me laugh, if Mike was here he would laugh too.

Anyway Bring on Cutler, in fact. Sense I AM IN A GOOD MOOD.

They say Cutler is our man.
If Orton can't do it, Cutler sure can.
This is Cutler, and it's no wonder
I run like lightnin', pass like thunder.
So bring on Atlanta, bring on Dallas,
This is for Mike and Papa Bear Halas.
I'm not here to feather his ruffle,
I just came here to do
The Super Bowl Shuffle.

Leave a comment

Twitter updates

Categories

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 30, 2009 5:14 PM.

Bears release preseason schedule was the previous entry in this blog.

Free-agent parade: Bears bring in CB Lucas for visit is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.