Chicago Sun-Times

Trade for Cutler was set up by rebuilding on offensive line

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It all starts up front.

That is what general manager Jerry Angelo has always said and that is the way the Bears went around constructing this offseason, even if the blockbuster trade to acquire Jay Cutler is the move that still dominates the spotlight. But Angelo didn't want to lose sight of the line on Tuesday afternoon when discussing the club's moves to this point.

"Obviously, the quarterback position speaks volumes,'' Angelo said. "I think we all sleep better at night. He saves lives. But going forward, we've got to do other things to help him. We feel our offensive line, and I want you all to understand this to, when you're building on offense or defense, you have to have a philosophy. Our philosophy was to build that offensive line. We want to protect the quarterback first and then we want to supply him with the needed weapons. So I felt like we were able to do that.

"Our pro department [Bobby DePaul] did an excellent job of identifying some players young and old and we feel real good about our offensive line and that was a concern coming out of the season. Now, we're building inside-out and we're going to look at some of the perimeter people. Yes, we feel real good about having our quarterback and running back in place."

The Bears signed left guard Frank Omiyale hours into the free agency period. Next, they effectively swapped John St. Clair for Kevin Shaffer as the veterans traded places. Shaffer comes over from the Cleveland Browns having started all but two games over the last five seasons. Then, Orlando Pace agreed to terms on a three-year contract within minutes of the Cutler trade being finalized. And to think at the scouting combine two months ago it was a slam dunk the Bears were going to be drafting an offensive tackle on Saturday with their first-round pick.

"We targeted the tackle position,'' Angelo said. "We're looking at a few tackles, if that tackle is there at the right round, because we still want to look at that position for a younger developing player, we'll take him. It'll change our roster a little bit, we'll have to carry nine offensive linemen vs. eight. The other thing when you look at our roster and you should be mindful of--we have four tackles on this roster presently. And all four of them have played on the left side.

"This is the best we've ever been at the tackle position. We're also looking at the tackle position, we shift our thinking our philosophy on how we look at linemen we're looking more for tackles who can play guard, rather than guards who can play center, that's a shift in our thinking this year. I feel like there will be some prospects. Again if he is a player of value we would pull the trigger on another offensive linemen.''

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16 Comments

Do you think this is a smoke screen or the real deal when JA indicates he may pick OT that can play guard if the value is there?

Who could fall Britton? Could Duke Robinson play either position, he is the dominant guard prospect. Lang might be a great pick, mean, nasty and a tackle that can play guard. HMMM!!

The most glaring weakness on the line is left offensive guard with Garza somewhat suspect at this point. It makes sense to secure the entire offensive line with the best available talent to protect the biggest acquisition in the history of the Chicago Bears and of course that is Jay Cutler.

Think about it for a few minutes, if Jay Cutler is given some time he will pick apart the opposing defenses. A dominant offensive line will be able to help Forte make that 3rd and 3 first down or the famous 1 yard plunge by the FB may even work with a more dominant line. Time of possession would most likely improve and the Bears could take over the 3rd and 4th quarter running the clock when they lead at half time. The D will benefit greatly if time of possession is improved by the Bears offense and the field position battle will help the D as well when they get that extra 15-20 yards on a drive then punt to the other team.

Lets face the fact that the WR prospects are pretty deep with some good talent even available in later rounds. Also it is evident that after the draft some wily veteran wide outs may also show up as free agents for various reasons. The Bears also could trade for wide receiver help maybe but not likely?

The receivers the Bears have are servicable and may be a little better than we give them credit. Hester will certainly be able to go long now that he has a QB that won't under throw him. Bennett who knows, but Cutler seems to like him, played with him in college and will help him to succeed. Olsen will be effective as a receiving tight end and Forte will be a little more effective out of the backfield as a receiver with a QB like Cutler.

The more I think of a potential O line pick up with the 49th or 99th certainly makes sense to me.

Like Kevin says Go Bears!!!!

I disagree. I don't think the trade for Cutler had ANYTHING to do with what was going on with the O-line.

It was "Oh, Cutler's available. Let's get him!" Then it was, "Oh, look Orlando Pace! Let's low-ball him and see if he bites!" Before that, it was, "Well, St. Clair is gone. What do we do now? Hey, there's Shaffer, try him!"

Yes, the philosophy of getting an O-line is to get one when you don't HAVE ONE! Some philosophy.

In two years, most here admit Pace, Kreutz and Garza will be gone. Then you'll be starting all over again. If Kreutz or Pace gets hurt, they may retire. Chris Williams back is a question mark.

What do you expect Angelo to say? The evidence speaks for itself. It's temporary fixes. Last minute fixes. Other teams mediocre rejects. Fading stars with eroding skills. Injury prone players.

Just what kind of "philosophy" is that? There's no plan. It's making it up as you go along.

The answer is to FIX an O-line that has been broken for too long. Getting the best three players at their positions in the draft, Mack, Smith, and Robinson gives you an excellent base for the future to build upon. That's a plan. That's a philosophy. "DOMINATE" with the best.

Who thinks this O-line is going to get you a dynasty or a Superbowl? It's not about "winning a lot of games". It's not about just making the playoffs. It's about winning it ALL. The SUPERBOWL!
THAT'S A PHILOSOPHY!

Bears management, it's time to quit kidding yourselves. You know the truth. You know what you've done. It's time to do things right. Doing things the wrong way is not working.

You've accomplished Step 1. You went out and got Cutler. Now it's time for Step 2. Go out and do whatever it takes to get Mack, Smith, and Robinson. Trade picks, players, do what you must. You will never get the most out of Cutler without an "Elite O-line".

Once you have these players explain to Chicago that you're trying to do what's best for the team. That it's more than about today, this season or the next. It's about DYNASTY.

Life is too short. If you're going to even bother to play the game, why not do it right? Tear up what you've got and start over if you have to. Start on a new course of success. What's the worst that can happen? You won't win the Superbowl? The Bears haven't done that since 1985.

BUILD THE DYNASTY---SAVE US FROM MEDIOCRITY, SAVE US FROM LOSING

GO BEARS!

DAHLII LAMA:

I agree with you, I would not be supprised too see the ""BEARS"" draft for the O-Line and WR, and some Defense. I think JA and Lovie have been given an ultimatum, """fix this team or you are done""". My opinion only! With a QB of Cutlers' ability, COMMON SENSE tells me that you need to give him time !!!!!!!!!!!!! fix the O-LINE

Is there a trade in the works to trade some of our talent for picks that will, or could reap benefits in a year or two??? We can't fix this team in one year. BUT, with Cutler, someone who can QB this team for the next 8 yo 10 years. How can we improve this team so we are in great position in 1 or 2 years?

What happens if they trade Urlacher? Do they sign D. Brooks from Tampa Bay for year or two to man the positon? Just a thought. There are other LB's out there, plus it seems to be a Good LB crop in the draft.
Would New England trade some of their picks for Urlacher? Just a thought!!

THINKING OUT LOUD

You bring up an interesting point..but I dont think Jerry was referring to the 2nd round pick...I think he was just talking about value as a whole...like if there is a 1st round prospect available in the 2nd round, he would consider it...or a 3rd round prosect in th 4th and so on.

So while its not a huge need, he may consider taking a highly valued guy if he's the best player on the board...so maybe if Lang was there at #99 or even in the 4th round, he may have to take him...or a lot of people have Loadholt dropping..he could even fall to the 4th round..and I think JA might pull the trigger then, especially when he mentions all the guys we have being more comfortable on the left side..Loadholt is a prototypical RT, and he would have plenty of time to develop, and then Pace retires we would slide Chris Williams back to LT and insert Loadholt at RT...or even have him move inside and battle Garza at RG.

**Dahlilamma the only thing wrong about your post was that Graza plays RG not LG...Beekman played LG last year and this year Omiyale is going to battle him and (probably) win the job.

Brad. You have a good sense of humor. Very subtle. Very funny.

My jaw dropped at your headline. I couldn't believe it. It kind of makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. It's funny and tragic at the same time.

Watching mediocre Bears football for most of your life can get that kind of response from a person. Three and out!

BEAR DOWN, CHICAGO BEARS!

PTQb I respect your passion but not your logic there is no way Angelo is not going to look at the other side of the ball in the second or third he knows last year his team was exposed and had to sacrifice to stop the run. You are right about the offensive line but the other side the line was real weak at POA and like the offense got pushed around. Now that he has gotten the Qb he was looking for now he will go back to what he knows and it ain't more offense first it will be a impact player potential on the defense.

Hey Brad,

I'm not sure if you read these or not but I just wanted to thank you for all your good work on the blog. The quality and frequency of your work are a godsend to this Bear fan who wants as much information and analysis as possible. We get much more information about the Bears from you than the Bears actual website and your analysis I've found is always well tempered and well supported. If I had to read only one Bears source of information, it would be you first and second place isn't even close. Thanks for all your efforts and keep up the good work!

PS. No need to publish this comment. I just wanted to let you know that you work is much appreciated.

Smooth do you really feel there will be a battle for the LG position. The history of the Bears under Lovie and Angelo suggests that they will give the job to someone and may say there is a competition, but in fact there is not one. Benson and Jones comes to mind. In there regime they seem to see guys at certain spots and then put them there good or bad and then give them 5 years to bust out.

PtQB your post as usual makes little sense. Yeah we all know about the Oline, what you fail to grasp is we never had 3 first round picks this year, so how could we draft Mack, your nuts if you want Smith and Robinson. Who are all projected first round picks. Thats 3 first round picks this year, and you keep running around going why can't we have them. You are also ignoring the defense which needs more help than the offense. Harris may be done, you have no NT, all three of your ends are entering a contract year and 2 of them have not been very good. Your missing a starting corner and the Safety position is a joke. Also how many teams have a total of 4 first round pick on the line, if focus everything there then your going to get weaker someplace else. Denver had one of the best lines in football and they were 8-8.

This is how football works you gotta run the ball on offense and you have to stop the run and pressure the QB on defense. When your passing the ball to much it means your playing from behind. The Bears can't stop the run unless they put 8 in the box and bring little pressure to the QB. Like I said Denver has a great line and it didn't help them. The Colts line was tore up this year and they started three rookies none of who were first round picks.

Your living in this fantasy world were you think the Bears can trade anything for a first round pick and get it.

Mick, Brooks is not a MLB and as he and Briggs will tell you thats were play, there not MLB, there Tampa 2 weak side LB's. There system LB's nothing more. I am affraid if you want to improve this team in the next two years you are going to have to pray for the defense.

The O-line signings this year are meant to be stop gap fixes and not long term. It will give the Bears time to draft and teach the rookies. Giving Cutler more time will allow the receivers more time to get open. If the d-line can get back to '06 form then it will make the S and CB position better because they won't have to cover as long. It all starts with the lines. I like what the Bears have done this year.

I love the fact that Angelo is still looking at the tackle position. Angelo seems to want to bring in another younger player to develop at the position, and thats a good thing. When Angelo said, "were also looking at the tackle position, we shift our thinking our philosophy on how we look at the linemen, we're looking more for tackles who can play guard." Can you say T.J Lang of Eastern Michigan.

Many scouts like Lang as a guard or maybe even a right tackle. I think the fact Angelo has been all over this guy as of late tells me he likes him, and probably for a player to develop at right tackle. I look for Angelo to take Lang in the 3rd at #99, I hope he's there for the Bears GO BEARS!!

Creighton,
How about Brooks playing WLB and Briggs moving inside if we move Urlacher? I think Briggs is better at fighting through slop and using the front shoulder to keep his outside arm free to make plays. Not ideal, but if we moved Urlacher for a draft pick or 2 (I still think he could play another 4-5 years as an outside backer in a 3-4 defense), we have at least a smart, physical linebacker who can run. A little short, but would be able to hold down the fort in the short term.

Just a thought....

Joe F. I would prefer to use a guy on the roster instead of one looking at retirement. Why not Jamar Williams I believe he has earned the right to get on the field and should be considered I have said in previous posts Urlachers speed would be better served on the strong side. Bears still need a large run-stuffer who commands a double team to free up the rest of the line.

Brass tacks- this O-Line on paper is a lot better than we had last year and allows JA to get some mid-round O-Line draft picks the next couple of years to make sure the O-Line remains strong and, hopefully, get younger. However, the Bears have actually had some success bringing in older lineman who they felt still had gas in the tank to come in and play at a high level. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on that one.

I mean, if Orlando Pace says he can still play, who are we to say he can't? He played 14 games last year and most of his serious injuries came to his arms and shoulders more than two years ago, not injuries that will effect a guy when talking about footwork and agility, which is what a tackle needs at the pro level to succeed. He sprained his knee last year and was out a whole two games. Not exactly a disaster.

Shaffer seems like a meaner and younger St. Claire who has also started at both LT and RT at the pro level- I would say that's an upgrade considering he's going to be asked to be a back up- which, let's face it, is what St. Claire should have been doing all along.

Omiyale- who the heck knows? He's a big guy with outstanding athleticism who spent time behind Pro Bowl players in Carolina. That kind of experience for a young offensive lineman is invaluable. He could come in and be a major contributor. Heck of an upside, however, even though he's never been tested as a day in, day out starter.

Williams has the tools to be pretty dominant up front, as most first round linemen do. He seems like he's ready to step it up this year and personally, I love his willingness to play RT, or any position on the field, to get playing time. You love that attitude from your young guys, particularly first round guys.

All in all, I'm more excited about the O Line this year than I have been in a while. You throw in a franchise type RB and QB into the mix with Forte and and Cutler and you're going to create a lot of problems for a lot of teams no matter who you have lining up at wide receiver. I look at this team to stumble a bit offensively out of the gate as players get acquainted with one another and the playbook and then I see them starting to roll. This could be a very dangerous offense this year, #1 WR or not.

J Smooth;

Actually I know where Garza played I was just rushing my post because I was late for something. OOPS.

Creighton, Joe and Deputy:

About Urlacher, needless to say he will probably still be productive for 3-4 more years but I do believe he should be considered for trade now maybe combined with Vasher for a draft pick or a WR like Ocho Cinco, Boldin etc.

I agree that Urlacher would be better suited to the weak side than middle or strongside as he does not shed blockers well and he could use his speed better on the weak side. Although with the cover two no one could do a better job in coverage (deep middle) than Urlacher as a middle linebacker. I have mixed emotions with Urlacher because he has been such a great player for the Bears, but I would sure like him to be utilized more in pash rush situations than he has the last few years. If the Bears traded Urlacher and Vasher for a draft pick (maybe a #1 round pick), the Bears would have to think about picking up a MLB or SLB with that pick, since the draft has great LB talent this year.

Protect the QB,

Once again we all have to read another delusional post about your 'elite O line'. What Kool-aid are you drinking that makes you think that all three of your picks are ever going to become elite in the first place? Simply because they have been deemed 'can't miss' prospects? Give me a break. There is no such thing as a can't miss prospect in the NFL draft.

Your justification of trading away proven elite talent to simply get the picks to accomplish this feat is about as moronic as someone cashing their paycheck and putting it all on three numbers at the roulette wheel.

Why do you think the Bears were willing to give up two first round draft picks for Cutler in the first place? Because Cutler is a proven commodity and the picks are nothing but a gamble for potential.

This is tough love for you PtQB. We'd all love a line like the Redskins had back in the day, but it is a total fantasy you should give up. Even if we were to hit the lottery and get three all-pros, we would only have them playing at a high level together for 4 years at best. Why? Because we can't afford $28 million in payroll for just three guys on the o-line. It's no coincidence that no NFL franchise ever seems to have more than two of these guys on their roster at any given time.


Everything I've written on this blog has been proven correct. From how the Bears operate to the current trade situation. All my critics just make my case for me as they contradict themselves over and over.

"Your justification of trading away proven elite talent to simply get the picks to accomplish this feat is about as moronic as someone cashing their paycheck and putting it all on three numbers at the roulette wheel."

Yet, somehow the Bears got Jay Cutler! People said it couldn't be done. Now we can do even better. Mack, Smith, Robinson.

"Even if we were to hit the lottery and get three all-pros, we would only have them playing at a high level together for 4 years at best. Why? Because we can't afford $28 million in payroll for just three guys on the o-line."

This is just pure short-sightedness. There is going to be a new labor contract and anything can happen with the economics. Plus there's something called inflation. Players are always making more than they were 10 years before but so are the owners. They'll find the money if the players are worth it. They're $20 million or so under the spending cap right now, maybe more.

My critics don't have a clue as to what the real price would be to build the dynasty. They've fallen in love with certain players and would rather not make the Superbowl for another 20 years than do what it takes to win 3 Superbowls.

My critics make the same mistakes over and over.

They overestimate what it will cost to get Mack, Smith, and Robinson.

They make up scenarios where the Defense gets destroyed by trades when that doesn't have to happen.

They don't understand losing now to win later. They don't get that it doesn't even have to be that way as the draftees are all starters from day one, not backups, and you have a weak schedule.

They don't understand the draftees are all great run blockers so that the Bears can do what they love the best---RUN.

They call for WR's and FS's in the draft but Angelo says it'll take 3 years to develop them.

They have no idea what Free Agency can do to fix the team and totally ignore it. But Jerry Angelo says he believes he can do a good job of fixing the Defensive needs in Free Agency.

My critics somehow think Free Agency is good for the O-line but can't possibly be used to do anything else. Yet Free Agency is exactly what the Bears are going to do to fix most of their serious needs.

When asked about what he thought about Bears fans thinking they'd never get a good QB in their lifetime Jerry Angelo said:

"I really didn't understand it until after the fact. I was really taken aback. But I'm not a Chicagoan. I've been here. I certainly understand the importance of the position. I truly felt bad about it, I really did. They told me it's about defense and running the football, so that's kind of what we stuck with it."

You see Jerry Angelo was just doing what he was told by ownership;

"They told me it's about defense and running the football, so that's kind of what we stuck with it."

The Bears haven't had an "Elite QB" in 50 years! They don't realize what they have or what to do with their current situation. They don't know they can have a DYNASTY or how to get one. They needed to be told. But the Chicago Media is not getting out the message. And I know the Media has the power of influence because of what else Jerry Angelo said.

JA about the Media:

"You guys are tough now. This is a tough place to play the quarterback position. I said this to ownership and I said this to our scouts, that you have to take in the Chicago media, the Chicago culture, when you bring in a quarterback. It's different. It might be this way in other places, but it's not this way in a lot of places, and that to me is a factor."


Is it too late? Will somebody in the Media say "Hey, you guys have a special chance..." No. It's not too late. Anything can still happen.

But odds are that the Bears will blow their chance and give my critics what they desire; 12 more years of not going to the Superbowl. Maybe one if you're lucky. Cutler's gonna get hurt. Then you can argue about the backup QB again. Whoopee!

If only we could draft a Free Safety...If only we could draft a WR... Dynasty? What's that? As long as we beat Green Bay...Whoopee!

Three and out! Three and out! Three and out!

The Chicago Bears! Mediocre since 1985. And counting.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 21, 2009 6:53 PM.

Cutler talk of draft: Angelo addresses QB's nightlife was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears could consider Troy's Sherrod Martin at cornerback first is the next entry in this blog.

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