Chicago Sun-Times

Forte set the bar high, but Smith confident Bears will land impact player in 2nd round

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The Bears got one of the most productive rookies in the league last year when they selected Matt Forte in the second round with the 44th overall pick.

Lovie Smith is expecting big production again this year from the player the team is going to get in the same area. The Bears will be picking 49th overall to start in the NFL draft, which begins Saturday and runs through Sunday. General manager Jerry Angelo warned earlier this week not to beat him up if he doesn't fill the most glaring need by selecting a wide receiver. The Bears could be looking at just about any position, but of course you can rule out running back.

Forte was honored this morning in the Halas Hall auditorium as the 2008 rookie recipient of the Brian Piccolo Award. He was not present as he is finishing classes toward his degree in finance at Tulane University. Forte did speak in a recorded video and offensive coordinator Ron Turner talked about his value and how it is so difficult to get him off the field. Forte set franchise records in rushing yards (1,238), scrimmage yards (1,715) and receptions (63). He was the league's seventh-leading rusher and became one of just eight rookie backs in league history to have more than 1,000 yards rushing and 50 receptions.

Expecting that much production from their second-round pick this year might be setting the bar too high, but Smith has plans to get the pick involved immediately. He's not settled on one guy.

"At [No.] 49, there are going to be a lot of good players,'' Smith said. "We're going to get a good football player right there. We got Forte and we had high hopes last year. We have high hopes this year. Our track record says you don't have to only pick a guy in the first round for him to contribute. We expect a few of these guys to contribute this year. I feel good about the picks we have.''

Kyle Orton, Tommie Harris, Chris Harris, Danieal Manning, Devin Hester and Greg Olsen are just a few examples of rookies who have contributed quickly under Smith.

With all of the work that has been done on offense this offseason--the club acquired a franchise quarterback in Jay Cutler and rebuilt the offensive line with three additions--it could be time to turn to defense in the draft. Smith has taken over as defensive coordinator and by all accounts has been going above and beyond in that capacity the entire offseason. It could be he calls for a player to help his side of the ball.

"Sure,'' he replied when asked if it was time for a defensive addition. "We could get an offensive guy, too. We have done some things on the offensive side but as you know they were easy decisions to make on what we brought in. We feel good about that.

"You look where we are right now and we're still in a position where offensively we could use a little bit more. Our wish list isn't completed on the offensive side. Defensively, we are always trying to add some guys."

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Matt Forte. What can you say about this guy that has not been said before? He works hard, he's mature...I think he makes the whole team strive to be better as he leads by example.

I heard that instead of going out to party all night after a game, Forte visits his parents, has a conversation with them, and then watches game film until he falls asleep.

Not only did Jerry get a dynamic and able-minded individual who will hold down the RB spot for years to come, but he also acquired a role model to Bears fans, both young and old, as well as other players around the league.

On a lighter note, some thought provoking language that caught my eye from President Lovie W. Smith:

"At [No.] 49, there are going to be a lot of good players," Smith said. "We're going to get a good football player right there."

Why did you have to include Kyle Orton with those other rookies?? He did nothing but hand the ball off to the RB's. What a waste!! They should have kept Chad Hutchinson!!

I'm extremely nervous and will be real happy to see the Bears hit on anything close to Forte with their pick on Saturday. I'm the most optimistic fan you know, but the last time we did this was '97.

They solved their quarterback problems for good by trading their first round pick for Rick Mirer and then drafted John Allred in the second round.

What, me worry?

I have a bit of a "different" idea for the Bears second round pick. There should be two tight ends still on the board who would make excellent H backs, and I think both should be impact players in the NFL; Shawn Nelson from Southern Miss, and Jared CVook from South Carolina. They both are rated in the top 5 tight ends coming out of this years draft, and both have skills. Desmond Clark isn't getting any younger as well. It's a thought on another approach to the draft-getting a highly skilled H back. It could very well be they snag a player with a yon of talent going that route.

Unless a top tier WR falls, I like going D at 49. Taking the best of the available DEs, DTs or FSs might be the best move. If we go WR here I hope it's because this WR rates higher than any other D players available at 49. We gotta have more pass D at this point.

I suspect there will be some hard choices for the Bears with their picks because there will be several excellent choices available. One can only hope they are as good as Forte has proved.

NBS ypur sick hatred for a player no longer on the roster has become obnoxious, I thought you crawled back under your rock. Rather you like it or not he is a serviceable back up and he is in Denver why don't you go there and annoy them.

MSBearsFan: Rick Mirer wasn't exactly Jay Cutler when little McCaskey pulled the trigger on that deal. Mirer was already a disputable bust at that point and it was an awful decision by McCaskey. We got a FRANCHISE QB in Cutler. There is no "what if" with Cutler; he's established himself. Now I completely agree with you on John Allred...OUCH!

Glazer is reporting Gonzalez traded by the Chiefs to the Falcons for a 2010 2nd round pick.....Talk about a low yield for a future HOF player.....

oh my gosh! we have a QB AND a RB!

You are entitled to your opinion - as wrong as it may be. Denver did not have to include Kyle, they did so bc they wanted him. That should tell you a little something about Kyle and his abilities.

Don't know why I wasted my time with that but...

Forte did set the bar high and that is why Cutler will be so effective with Hester, the D will have to watch Forte close next year and Cutler will tear em up. A WR would be nice in Free Agency as I would want a D pick there as well. We have upgraded the O now it's time for D. (with a FA WR)


Make no mistake, I love the Cutler deal and agree with you about that. It's just that they were saying about Mirer back then what you are saying about Cutler right now. That makes me nervous.

Jack I'm sure you mean well, but it didn't help my nerves to have you come in right after my post and suggest they take a tight end. That was Allred's position.

By MSBearsFan on April 23, 2009 12:55 PM
I'm extremely nervous and will be real happy to see the Bears hit on anything close to Forte with their pick on Saturday. I'm the most optimistic fan you know, but the last time we did this was '97.

Ok first off, you are not the most optimistic Bear fan I know, you are not even close. Have ever read Kevin Armsteads posts? The Bears could draft road kill and he would scream all pro.

Second you are comparing Rick Mirer to Jay Cutler. Mirer never even threw for 3000 yards in a season, he never even had more Td's than INT'S in a season. These are his numbers his first three years.

Year Passing Rushing
Att Comp Yds TD Int Att Yds Avg TD Team
1993 486 274 2,833 12 17 68 343 5.0 3 Seahawks
1994 381 195 2,151 11 7 34 153 4.5 0 Seahawks
1995 391 209 2,564 13 20 43 193 4.5 1 Seahawks

Jay Cutlers numbers

Year Team G GS W-L Cmp. Att. Cmp.% Yards Avg. TD Int.
2006 Denver 5 5 2-3 81 137 59.1% 1,001 7.3 9 5
2007 Denver 16 16 7-9 297 467 63.6% 3,497 7.5 20 14
2008 Denver 16 16 8-8 384 616 62.3% 4,526 7.3 25 18

In 2007 he put up those numbers while he unkowingly had diabeties.

Now here is a final Cutler fact, a lot of people are saying his win loss record should be better. This was posted by Brett over on the trib board. Brett did a nice job and I thought I would pass it along.

9 times last year, Denver's Defense gave up 30 or more points.
Here is the record of these qbs when their teams gave up 30 points:
Tom Brady: 5-8
Jim Kelly: 10-20
Peyton Manning: 9-25
Joe Montana: 6-17
Kurt Warner: 6-22
Jay Cutler: 3-13
Steve Young: 4-19
Ben Roethlisberger: 2-10
Brett Favre: 8-42
Terry Bradshaw: 4-20-1
Donovan McNabb: 3-16
John Elway: 7-41
Dan Marino: 7-52
Philip Rivers: 1-8
Jake Plummer: 4-37 (0-10 w/ Broncos)
Troy Aikman: 2-20
Jaws: 1-14
Eli Manning: 1-16
Jeff George: 1-40
Phil Simms: 0-20 guessed can't win when your team gives up that many points.


Love the QB comparison. Did not know it was that bad for teams that scored 30 or more against a team. WHEW!

Remember that Orton probably has a pretty good record because he won a game or two when the other team scored 40. (Just kidding). Didn't he win a game last year 49 to 41 or something like that?

Creighton, (and Brett) that's some good stat work with the QBs. It still pisses me off when people point out that "Cutler never had a winning record." Denver gave up over 30 points in over half of their games last year. From what you've shown, not even a Hall of Fame QB can have a winning record when the defense is that bad.

24/7 Bears, I couldn't agree more. I know we need help at WR, but if there is a better prospect at FS, DE, or DT (maybe even SLB, I can't believe I'm saying that) we have to go that route. Maybe we'll get lucky and find a hidden gem at WR in the later rounds. Or we find a serviceable pickup in FA to help the current group and we solve the WR position next year. Of course that might have been the philosophy last year and we all know how that turned out. I just hope we don't reach for a WR, because of need at any point in the draft.

I can't wait for the draft!!!!

Dahli last year Orton was 1-3 against teams that scored 30 or more points for his career he is 1-4. Orton got a little help from that 2005 defense and a pretty good running game.

The reason I posted that really has nothing to do with Orton, and I am not trying to bash Orton, no QB does good in that situation. This for people who are worried about his win loss record. The fact is he had one of the worst defenses in the nfl the last 2 years.

If anyone wants to know if he is clutch he is one of the best 3rd down QB's in football and has led multiple game winning drives late in the 4th qt. In 2007 game 1 against the Bills he did it, in game two against Oakland he did it, he did it against Pitt in week 6(yes Pitt), he led a drive that took the Packers into OT in GB but the Packers won the game on the first play of OT.

In 2008 Cutler Mr. Crybaby according to some was voted Team Captain of the offense. He had comeback wins against the Browns, Chargers(contorversy), Falcons, Chiefs. He has 7 game winning drives in 2 years. Thats pretty darn good. He was also named player of the week 3 times, and player of the month once.

I will be happy unlike some people to take this guy as the Bears QB. I do not think he will be the next Rick Mirer. But I do hope they get him another weapon, I am still hoping for Robiskie or Britt, I would be happy with Nicks as well.

War Room Mock Draft update for Bears picks:

2 17 (49) T. Lang T Eastern Mich.
3 35 (99) P. Turner WR USC
4 19 (119) K. Barnes CB Maryland
5 4 (140) A. Magee DT Purdue
5 18 (154) O. Martin DE Va. Tech
6 18 (191) J. Johnson RB Oregon
7 20 (229) W. Davis DE Illinois
7 37 (246) D. Johnson QB Tulsa
7 42 (251) T. Sales OLB Penn State

Three things that really stand out to me:

1. No safety, unless they are going to convert Barnes to a safety. He is a lot like Tillman in his style and build.
2. Way too early to draft Lang in my opinion, no matter how high up the board he travels
3. David Johnson is a completely wasted pick. Why take a QB when you spent your first and third on one? Hanie and Basanez may not be the best options as backups, but what makes them think Johnson would be?

We certainly would not qualify as landing an impact player at 49 if we take Lang....Nothing like a developmental prospect at a position of strength to take away the impact. Looking at the pick spot, here is who they still showed on the board that I thought would be better picks:

Derrick Williams
Darcel McBath
Connor Barwin
Michael Johnson (shows him going at 73)
Rashad Johnson

I have a tendency to disagree with the placement Russ Lande does in all of his mocks, but his scouting reports are halfway decent. He seems to buck all of the other guys just to be different. I think we will have a better set of players to pick from when we get to 49. I think at least one of the WRs like Massaquoi, Iglesias, Robiskie, Britt, or Nicks will be there, and if not, we should consider DL.

Joe I can not agree with those pick wither, it is clear the Bears are going for it this year and all those guys are developmental. What will Lang do for the Bears this year?

If they can land an impact WR and FS with picks 2 and 3 they will be in reall good shape.

I think they need a DT and are going to wait till roster cuts to find one, unless a big name falls to them in the draft. If the defense can hold teams to 20 points a game and the Bears can get Cutler a Reciever, lookout cause you will have a very solid team.

That war room is whacked. Micheal Johnson is my #1 followed by Melton of Texas, Ramses Barden ,Williams Eastern Ill. then Sammie Lee from Stillman a NT, best OL on the board. This sets up the future DL they can be coached up by Marinelli make contribute it would add youth, speed and size.

So would anyone out there get Glenn Dorsey for our 2010 third rounder? They gave up Gonzo for a 2010 second, and he is a 10 time Pro Bowler....He is much better suited to a 4-3 than a 3-4. Maybe he would be a better fit in the Cover 2....Maybe add in Izzy as a 3-4 DE to replace him, and offer a lower pick than that?

That would be an interesting impact player out of this draft....

NBS, the only way they should have kept Chad Hutchinson is if they were working to trade him to the Cubs for Jeff Samardzija.


I am totally with you on Cutler.

I was just trying to be funny with the comment about Orton and the Bears winning one when the D gave up 41.

Your comments are right on about cutler.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 23, 2009 11:26 AM.

Bears to announce Forte, Tillman as annual Piccolo Award winners was the previous entry in this blog.

McCaskey: We have hopes people will mention Luckman and Cutler in the same breath is the next entry in this blog.

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