Chicago Sun-Times

Looks like Bears waiting on Bowman just as much as Tillman

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill.--Lovie Smith did not hand out a starting job on Monday afternoon after the Bears completed their first practice since Saturday's preseason opener, but the coach sure gave a strong indication that Zack Bowman will be in the starting lineup when the season opens Sept. 13 at Lambeau Field.

Bowman is sidelined with a pulled right hamstring right now, but he did some work on the side Monday, joining cornerback Charles Tillman, who is working his way back from back surgery. Smith made it sound like the team is biding its time right now, waiting for the pair to return.

"[Tillman and Bowman] don't have to come out here and prove to us that they can play," Smith said. "So we'll just do what we need to do. Everything we do in general is to set up our play for [Green Bay]. Yeah, we would like to have them out here practicing, but as long as we can get them back around in time, we'll be OK."

Asked if he was endorsing Bowman as a starter on the spot, Smith continued.

"I speak of Bowman based on what he's done since [offseason team activities], and he's played as well as any of the defensive backs. That's how I am looking at it.''

There is no disputing that in the first week of training camp Bowman made more plays than any one player has made in all of camp to this point. He's been out since Aug. 5, and the Bears are hopeful to get him some preseason action soon. They need to because he played in just one regular-season game last year after beginning the season on the practice squad. He suffered a ruptured biceps and his rookie campaign was done.

It doesn't bode well for veteran Nathan Vasher. The hope the team had for him entering camp appears to have faded. Vasher's in good shape, he's been working hard, but the results haven't appeared like anyone would like to see. He's making good money but will be needed when you consider the health risks associated with Tillman and Bowman at this point.

Meanwhile, Corey Graham worked primarily at the nickel in practice and he also got some occasional reps at left cornerback in place of Trumaine McBride. Graham said he is taking a liking to the nickel, and the Bears would be best served to get him comfortable there right now. Danieal Manning will be out for a while as he heals his hamstring injury. The Bears need someone they are comfortable with in that role in reserve, and training Graham will give them two options.

Nothing is set in a secondary that seems to be going through change on almost a weekly basis, but the Bears have hope based on the fact they believe help is on the way.

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No team’s pass defense looks great when the 1 and 2 corners are out.

Nate Vasher was never a shutdown corner. His primary skill, the one he was paid for, is taking advantage of QB mistakes by intercepting passes (hands).

He perfectly illustrates how the defensive backfield benefits from a strong passrush that pressures the quarterback.

Bowman might be better, but the idea of cutting one injury prone player in order to get playing time to a second injury-prone player doesn't make sense. Like the D-line, depth is important and will likely play a critical role in the outcome of this season.

When Bowman and Tillman return, I feel very confident with Graham and Vasher coming off of the bench.

The corners are strong.

Oddly, Brad did not report the other players not on the field last Saturday that Lovie presented as starters for September 13, as soon as they show up:

Starting Free Safety: Ed Reed
Starting Wideouts: Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson
Starting Strong Safety: Troy Polamalu
Starting Right Tackle: Jordan Gross
Starting Left Tackle: Joe Thomas
Starting Left Defensive End: Julius Peppers
Starting Right Defensive End: Dwight Freeny

I sure wish I knew what happened to Vasher. He has lost all of his mojo and he acts like he wants nothing to do with run support. And Lovie is sure putting alot of faith into Bowman. Yes hes had a good camp, but other then that hes a pure unknown. Besides the fact that he has a a hard time staying healthy we dont know much of anything... Tillman needs to come back, but not until hes healthy. If he comes back too soon we may lose him for good. All of the CB stuff is a mute point unless the front 4 get it going. You could have all world CB's out there, but they cant cover forever. All this faith/hope that Tommie will be a stud again will be Lovie's undoing. Tommie hasnt finished a year healthy since '05. And then he did nothing in the playoff game. To base the entire D around one player is plain dumb. But Lovie will use that as an excuse.. Well uhhhh I couldnt uhhh run my real effective scheme uhhhh because we had no uhhhh DT's that could push the pocket. BUT WE WILL LET IT PLAY OUT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!! Here is Lovie's intelligence in a nutshell. They move Manning to the nickel spot.. ok fine. Then he looks very good there. He can blitz from the slot and is a good tackler. So what does Lovie do???? Moves him back to FS as camp starts. Lovie just does not have a clue on what to do.. He just doesnt. Lovie spent all of the OTA's working one on one with Manning at the NB spot. Why move him then..?? Was he not getting it? Good grief coach get it together. Then Lovie gives us the Craig Steltz/starting FS talk all off season. Then Stetlz falls off the cliff on the depth chart. Whats up with that COACH?? This team will not do anything until that idiot gets canned. And dont give me this, "they have won more games in the last 5 years then any other NFC team". That team wins despite Lovie. Character guys like Alex Brown and Charles Tillman keep that team going. Sorry for the rant,,but Lovies obvious lack of head coaching ability ruined this teams chances at being a SB Champ... The window has closed already people..

Am I crazy for thinking that the Bears should bring in Jason David to see what he can do? We're short at cornerback, with injuries and guys who are struggling, and David had some success in Indy's cover 2 defense before he went to New Orleans and showed that he has no hope as a man corner. So why not give him a shot?

I know this is off the blog subject, but the new drama gossip issue occurring in the family between Hester and Cutler is hopefully not going to bring forth a T.O. + Romo relationship.

Everyone I've heard out of Halas hall has said nothing but good things about 2nd year corner Zack Bowman. The guy must have had a hell of an off-season. We know he's got nice size at 6-1, and the athleticism to boot. In his one lone game last season he made some plays. I think Chicago knows they might have something special on their hands in Bowman, but the guy simply can't stay on the field. In a perfect world Chicago's corners would be Tillman and Bowman. Unfortunately, this isn't a perfect world. Hopefully Bowman can return, get back on the field, and stay there, here's for hoping.

As far as Graham, he does seem to be a nice fit at nickle. The guy can play the run with the best of them, he had 90 some tackles last season. Myself, I'd like to see Graham at right cornerback, especially the way Vasher looked the other night. But if Graham is gonna be primarily at nickle during the season [when it really counts], I guess you get him the bulk of his reps at the nickle position.

If Chicago is confident both Tillman and Bowman are gonna return, keep Graham at nickle. But if neither Tillman or Bowman are ready to come back by the opener, Chicago needs to move Graham back to cornerback. Graham didn't look bad the other night vs Buffalo and proved last season he can play the position, heck, he might surprise in his second season as a starting cornerback. It might not be a bad idea to have Graham start pushing Vasher, Bowman might be something special, and the eventual starter at right cornerback, but I don't know if he can go an intire season injury free. If Vasher can't step up his play, I say throw Graham in there until Bowman comes back. If Bowman then goes down, Graham will be ready. It should be interesting either way GO BEARS!!

Strass, apparently you haven't been following as closely as you should with the DB's. No disrespect, but you are off a little bit. Manning is the starting FS and NB. He moves to NB in nickel situations and Steltz comes in (at FS) or Afalava comes in (at SS and Payne moves over to FS).

I am all for giving Bowman a shot over Vasher. He hasn't been the same since his new deal. What concerns me is his history of injury. Tillman has basically been limping through the last few seasons because of injuries related to his physical style, so we can't conceivably count on him to be full speed this season either.

We have Graham, Tillman, and Bowman that are all bigger than 6', and can be the physical corners we need in the defense we play. We for some sick reason keep playing the corners off the receivers, when we have the style of player that can jam and then turn and run with them. If you look at all of our corners, they are not speedsters by any stretch (Bowman being the possible exception). Their style is to disrupt the route, and run with the receiver. McBride, Vasher, Moore, Hamilton, and Turenne are all guys who would benefit from playing tight, and making the most of the 5 yards where they can make contact.

One thing it does is take away the slant. The other thing it does is give the safeties a chance to move to their zone before the receiver gets there. If we are going to look at Afalava and Payne as the starters, we will need that extra second to get them into position.

I like the idea of Manning at the nickel spot, where he is the fastest and most physical guy we have in the secondary. his blitzing is very important. Graham did a nice job of blitzing off the edge on Saturday, but Manning would have lit up Edwards on the same blitz, and made him look over his shoulder every time he moved in close to the line. You put Graham, Tillman, and Bowman on the outside, and rotate them in to keep players fresh. We do it for defensive linemen, why not on corners too? If Manning is going to start at free safety, and then move to the nickel, you bring in Afalava and shift Payne to free, and we have a much more physical secondary than we have had in a long time. Your depth chart of Moore and whoever is there for special teams and to rotate in for the dime and prevent.

But none of it will matter unless we start jamming on the outside. We need a pass rush too, but letting the talent at WR we will be facing run free for 10 yards before we fall into step is a recipe for disaster. In the true Tampa 2, the corners play tight to take away the slant, and then release the receiver downfield to the safety. We don't do that. We play Cover 3, or the corners drop too far at the snap and leave the underneath routes open, where a team can pick us apart all the way down the field. It is tough to watch.

Strass, I hate to say this, but in a way, I agree with you. The down fall of Lovie Smith is gonna be the cover-2 scheme. Don't get me wrong, I like Lovie Smith and have supported him for a long time. But this scheme Smith runs on defense has ran its course. Lovies defense can stop the long ball and the run, but to beat it, all you have to do is tear it apart underneath. All teams do is short three step drops, and then get rid of the ball underneath. I don't care if you have Reggie White, Richard Dent, and Dan Hampton up front, your not gonna get to the quarterback vs a team that gets rid of the ball quick with underneath passes. And again, thats all teams have to do to beat us, as a fan, its frustrating to watch. I hope I eat my words and the scheme can get back on par, but even myself, the most optimistic fan on the board, am starting to wonder about this scheme that Lovies seems to live and die by. It very well could be his downfall by seasons end. If Lovie can't muster up at least 10 wins, he's probably gone. Again, I want to see the scheme work out, I want Tommie Harris to come back healthy and strong. But even the most optimistic fan like myself has got to be realistic sometimes. Again, I like Lovie Smith and will continue to support him, but he needs to come up with an answer, hopefully everything works out. I still think Chicago's offense is gonna surprise some people this season, but it aint gonna do any good if they can't stop anyone on defense. Again, I'm probably just jumping the gun a little here, but Lovie needs to get it together on defense this season.

If not, I look for the Bears to hire Mike Shanahan next off-season. It makes perfect sense. Chicago is taylor made to run his zone blocking scheme on offense. Chicago has quick athletic offensive linemen. Matt Forte has the vision to be a great back in Shanahan's scheme. And we all know Jay Cutler knows this offense and works good with Shanahan. On defense Chicago could switch over to a scheme much like they run in Carolina. Basically the dt's are asked to take up blocks to allow the linebacker to flow free. Chicago has big Marcus Harrison, all they would have to do is add another monster DT and Chicago could switch over to this type of scheme. This scheme would help Brian Urlacher last a couple more seasons also. Again, I'm just playing "what if" and hopefully Lovies scheme can get back on should GO BEARS!!

There is always an argument about removing the coach and stating that the players keep the team winning not true. I disagree Lovie has been able to win with what he’s been given that includes the high volume of quarterbacks that have come through the system during his tenure as well as the poor top draft selections and yet he has still fielded a winning team. I also agree there is room to dispute how well this has happened under Lovie’s tenure. I think the lost here in Atlanta last year was based purely on poor coaching as credit to your argument. I also think he advocates for some members of his staff more than others but I think he still is a good coach just growing in expertise. If he is indeed a defensively minded coach he will have to deal with what happens on the field this year. Since there have been no massive changes to the defense it’s pretty much as him being tied to a sinking ship. Defensive line play needs to make a quantum leap from last year and what I saw in the preseason warm up. I noticed some blitzes in the Buffalo game to create pressure but nothing generated pressure after those plays from the line. Secondary play which is what’s being discussed here has been abysmal and declining in the last two years. Now its borderline desperate if you want to take a guy that played in nine games in college was injured in his first pro game for the season and have him replace another guy that has missed 20 games in the last two years. If it all holds up I think he will get two games out of each of them. Secondary play will be the make or break for this defense and I see it moving towards keeping Woody Turenne and Al Afalava as rookies in key secondary spots. Keep your head up Strass desperate times do create desperate actions.

don't write off vasher just yet! I know he got beat for a couple but this was buffalos second game and they were up a notch for intensity. I actually like vasher (of old) better than peanut because he plays in the recievers hip pocket and don't get turned around and out of position as much as peanut does. he watches the q.b. and plays as if he's the reciever. I'm high on bowman for his size and turnover instincts and hope he has a healthy career. Peanuts strength's are he is big and seems to play best against top big recievers but he does get "toasted" occasionally but no corners can blank their competition all season so I judge them by passess defended,man blanketed,and at least one turnover made a game. some second year player like harrison need to step up and collapse the middle to make our ends better so we have an adequate pass rush.


Completely agree that jamming the receivers is what could help this defense get going good again and disrupt the offensive passing plays. The soft corner play cost the Bears game after game last year, if the receiver in the Atlanta game would have been jammed at the line of scrimage, no way would he have made that play to set up the field goal. All of the slants and tight ends catching passes underneath the coverage would be more difficult as well with a little tighter play and contact from the corners. Heck Belichick used to get away with mugging the receivers from his corners.

Maybe it is time to trade Vasher and Harris to get some value in a trade like a Brandon Marshall from the Donkeys or Boldin from Arizona? Harris will show flashes I am sure this year but will he truly be healthy and how much longer can the Bears count on consistent play from him? Also he seems to be a little bit of a head case and Vasher well it appears he is no longer worth the money he earns, time to trade him because the Bears have decent CB depth and they could get some value, maybe like a great Wide Receiver as noted above.

What's with all these pulled hammies? Is this something that's standard in minicamps across the nation? What are these players doing (or not doing) that is pulling these hamstrings?

No fear folks. Favre will bail us out.

Several sites are reporting that Favre could be signed by the Viqueens as early as this evening and this can only bode well for a secondary in need of a quick shot to the arm. Two games a season to watch "the gunslinger" hand out picks like leftover Halloween candy. And I'm not talking about kit-kats and reece's, I'm talking about that orange and brown wrapper crap that looks like someone ate pumpkin pie and washed it down with a baskin-robbins sign ... and then passed it just in time for the holiday. That kinda interception-fest.

By the time Favre hits his late season slump the Viqueens will have two choices: 1) Shoot Farvaro in the leg and let the very damaged and disillusioned pair of Sage and T-Jack take over ... or 2) Ride the lightning - more like a portaloo - all the way into NFC North irrelevance. Either way, Vasher, Tillman, Bowman, Payne, and the rest of the cast will be knee-capping each other just to get to start and put up season numbers against the Sultan of Twat.

It's great times men, great times!

I'm going to wait until after the Giants game. It will be a lot more informative on where the Bears stand on both sides of the ball.

From TV it looked like the Bills, on their second pre-season game, had a completely different agenda than the Bears. The Bears were there for a glorified scrimmage. The Bills were beyond that point and were working on offensive rhythm with their no-huddle. Most NFL teams probably practice all week to defend against a no-huddle. The Bears clearly did not. It was not a cornerback friendly environment.

I'm not saying it's not a problem, just that we don't really know yet. Nobody is talking much about Moore. He got beat a couple times, but he looked like he belonged in the NFL. So did Afalava at safety. Both were playing in their first pro game. Vasher didn't look as quick as he has in the past. He needs to show something the next game, or he may not make the team. McBride was usually in good coverage position, but can't seem to tackle. McBride is going to have to work to beat out Turenne.

Turenne was a nice surprise. Nice size too. On the other side of the picture, Josh Bullocks looks bad.

Anyway the corners didn't look too good, but I'm going to wait and see before getting too worked up about it.

Agree with you on the objectives. We all know the Bears play a pretty basic defense in the preseason, and don't show too much on offense, but the tackling was just as shoddy as in the last 2 seasons, where we can't seem to get the guy on the ground. I noticed McBride, Tinoisamoa, Bullocks, and others as the game went on either taking poor angles, not wrapping up, or allowing themselves to get bowled over, giving the offense 3 more yards.

I am more than a little concerned about the secondary, and am not as optimistic on the linebackers as I thought I would be. I think Jamar Williams deserves time with the 1's in the Giants game. Let's see what the kid can do, and see if he outperforms Tinoisamoa on the strong side. He definitely has better size. Our smallest starting linebacker should not be anchoring the strong side. That's just counter-intuitive. I think Turenne, McBride, and Hamilton should all be fighting for 2 spots, as we need to cut Vasher, or find someone else to take him. The Pats are big on the scrap heap, and might give up one of their 350 draft picks in 2010 to get him. After Tillman, Bowman, and Graham, we are pretty weak, but Vasher doesn't make us better, just older. He can't seem to get it done.
I also think Steltz needs to get moved as well. Can't cover at all, and a retarded monkey could have made that pick. He was out of position, and the throw hit him in the chest. The strip was a lucky break because of poor ball security. He didn't even have to punch it out! Afalava, Payne, Manning, and Bullocks is as good as we're going to get. If he makes it, then we are making ourselves painfully slow at safety, with Manning as the only one who can run, and most of the time he starts late, so the speed is negated.

Offensively, I hope Williams makes the adjustment quickly to NFL game speed, and stops looking like John St. Clair reincarnated on the right. Cutler needs time to drop back, set his feet, and unleash the cannon attached to his right shoulder. We can't expect him to play on the move all year. Also, he didn't try to run at all in the game. Could he have been staying put to not show any bootleg action or designed runs? Not sure I am ready to give Turner that much credit....

All in all, we are pretty well set as far as the 53 man roster, with some minor turnover at the bottom, but we need the starters to stay healthy and start playing better at all 22 positions to have a chance this year. Forte and Olsen included, we need a step up at every position.

Wow Kevin your starting to pick up on the T2, just remember while it is a Cover 2 it is a modified cover 2. Just about every team in the NFL plays cover 2 including PIT and BAL. What you are missing is why it's vulnerable underneath. First it's actually not very good against the run. What Lovie does is stack the box against the run, when he does this his LB's are out of position because they are pulled up and the underneath is exposed because of it.

Remember last year? How many times did you see Urlacher and Briggs playing up, only to see them turn and run back as fast as they can? The reason they did this is because Lovie is trying to use his best defensive asset, his LB's to help fill the holes created by a weak defensive line and weak safety coverage. He is asking his LB's to be 2 places at once. In the box helping shut down the run and apply pressure to the QB and trying to have them cover more space then any LB's in the NFL in an attempt to support the Safety's.

In the T2 LB's are already asked to cover more ground then any other LB's, Lovie is asking them to cover even more space. Why because his corners are not great in coverage and niether are his Safety's.

Thats why they played more nickle lasy year, they needed more help in coverage. Lovie's mug up look proved to easy to beat with a no huddle or play action, or a three step drop, or an audible out of the run to a quick slant. If the Bears could generate pressure with there front 4 the way they are suppose to, then the system works because your LB's are now in the proper position to cover. Does any one know where we can get an elite Under Tackle and DE.

As for the secondary, it's really bad, thats all there is to it. You can hope all you want for them to be good but they suck.

Whats the problem with them, well most of them are horrible open field tacklers, in fact most of the Bears are bad at that.

Then you have the players and what they are good at. At Safety Payne, Afalava, Manning, and Steltz are all poor in coverage, Manning is just football stupid, but all are good in the box against the run. Manning being the only one with good speed, he should be able to cover, but "Footbal Stupid!!"

At Corner: Tillman is great against the run and decent in coverage when healthy, like last year excpect Tillman to play his best once he gets back into shape late rin the season. Vasher would be gone if this team was not a mess in the secondary, he was never good against the run, and now has lost a couple of steps and is not very good in coverage anymore. Bowman=Mark Bradley and he will be hurt again. Tons of Talent, just can't stay healthy. Graham is solid against the run but bellow average against the pass for a Corner, he is ideal for the nickle or Safety position. Hoke thinks he would be a very good FS but they can't move him like they wanted because of issues at Corner, right now he is the number 1 back up at 3 positions who all have injury concerns.

What the secondary should look like under ideal circumstance. At CB Tillman and Bowman at SS Aflava, FS Graham, at Nickle Manning.

What it looks like now, at CB Vasher and ????, SS Aflava, FS Payne, Nickle Graham. Even under ideal circumstances it's not a great secondary and given how the line has played, that makes it even worse. Your two starting Corners are major injury concers and your backups are bellow average, the safety position is a mess, you have nothing but in the box safety's.

Lovie is obsessed with forcing player into positions they should not be playing. Payne or Manning at FS when niether is any good at that position, Hester as a Flanker, when he is clearly a slot reciever, Bennett at split end when he is a Flanker, Omiyale at Guard when he looks bad at the position and Beekman is clearly better. He wants Gilbert and Izzy at End at some point when Gilbert couldn't even play end in college and got moved inside and Izzy is better as a DT then he is an End. He has some strange issue with not starting Adams at DT when he looks like the best DT on the team right now and also looked like the best DT last year when he was playing Dusty ahead of him, now he wants to play Harrison ahead of him. Last year he didn't want to start Forte, he had Benson peciled in when Forte looked way better than him in camp. Thank god for drunken boating or Forte would have road the bench last year.

Yes Coach Favre is back in the NFL and playing in a dome. A dome where he has sucked his entire career. Still he is better than Jackson and makes them better. From what I have seen out of GB thier defense is coming along really quickly. Thats the team I am worried about, but thank god for the Lions at least I know I can pencil in two beatings.

Is it crazy to think about moving Vasher to FS? While not having the ideal size his style of play (ball hawk), speed, & game (Cover 2) experience would seem to be a good fit.

Now I realize that he earns WAAAAY more than any team should pay for a safety but shouldn't the Bears attempt to get some (any) production out of him this year while younger players gain experience.

We have Tillman and Bowman, two ball hawkes to start, we have Graham who's a sure tackler to backup, we have two former starters in Vasher and McBride as further backup, and we have Turenne and Moore as young projects who might leapfrog one or some of the backups. That's quality depth. Injuries can happen to anybody, and that's why you keep depth. You put your best guys on the field and hope for the best. No use in worrying about it or predicting future injuries.

I seriously doubt Vasher will have many bidders in a trade. The Bears will have to keep him or release him. He's familiar with the scheme and the guys, and it's nice having a veteran backup. I would keep him until Moore or Turenne truly overtake him. Hamilton... I don't know.

This week's game will be a good gauge of what kind of team we have even without the starting corners. The BEARS will need to be productive out of the division to get to the playoffs this season. With Farve back everyone has them one and the lousy Pack second. Most people feel the BEARS defense is on the decline, we'll see how the players themselves feel about this. The Ravens had this problem a few years ago and came back with a vengence, but that was also due to young players stepping up and adding to the teams strength we need that this year. Players like Harrison, Payne, Manning, Graham, J. Williams and Bowman will make the difference. Coach em up Lovie or else we'll be on the outside looking in in December even with Cutler on board. I still think they will get it done, but we need to have the best record out of division to be sure, can't afford to lose games in the last minute like we did last season.
Creighton; I too like Alfala, but it's a little early to be certain yet, still he looks like a hitter and playmaker and as you know I've been looking for that on the field the last two seasons, the defense is still the key in Chicago, always was and always will be....GO BEARS and hit somebody in the mouth.

Creighton: "Yes Coach Favre is back in the NFL and playing in a dome. A dome where he has sucked his entire career. Still he is better than Jackson and makes them better. From what I have seen out of GB thier defense is coming along really quickly. Thats the team I am worried about, but thank god for the Lions at least I know I can pencil in two beatings."

I think that Green Bay is going to need time to get their 3-4 in order so I like our chances at the beginning of the season.

On a related note, "The Brett" has shown up again in my blog and I'm also looking forward to making fun of him AND Packer fans all season!

By Kevin Armstead on August 18, 2009 10:11 AM
"Everyone I've heard out of Halas hall has said nothing but good things about 2nd year corner Zack Bowman.'

Oh god Kevin your not talking ot guys at Halas hall too now. Is Angelo also your best friend now? As for what has been said about him. Lovie said his injury history is a concern. How is that good?

MOMO how do you know Bowman is anything in an NFL game? Not saying he isn't but he only played one NFL game and 9 college games. Oh and Tillman has never been described as a ballhawk, a good player yes. A ball hawk I don't think so. At least not with the amount of interceptions he has. 6 Years 20 int's is pretty good. Ed Reed 7 years 43 int's, thats a ballhawk. Not to say INT's are the only measure but people are not afraid to throw at Tillman, granted they can skip him and throw at every other player in the secondary with greater success but they would rather throw at him then a guy like Asomugha. By the way having guys backing up guys does not mean you have quality depth. Vasher is not quality, Vasher may not make the team, he looks brutal, Graham really isn't a corner. Turenne looks better than Vasher right now but thats not saying much. They drafted Moore to play nickle. So lots of Nickle, no legit FS, several in the box SS who are bad in coverage, and 2 injured starters at corner with below average talent backing them up.

Let me tell you when Lovie Smith is openly concerned about something it is a bad sign and he is openly concerned about his secondary.

Thats historic for Lovie.

Yanton I would pay Ed Reed as much as he wanted to play the Bears and he is a Safety.

Creighton, since you've been trying to bait me all day....I'll bite this time.

No, I don't know anyone at Halas hall, I was just talking about the stuff I've been reading about Bowman on this site and others. Media types. And yes I've heard Lovie Smith say good things about Bowman also.

EXAMPLE: Brad Biggs wrote above "There is no disputing that in the first week of training camp Bowman made more plays than any one player has made in all of camp to this point."

It must be true because Bowman was a starter going into camp. I'm not saying Bowman will be the second coming of Deon, but he might not be half bad if he can remain healthy. And yes I also agree, durability is the biggest concern with Bowman. I'd like to see him stay on the field, if I get my wish remains to be seen.

Also Creighton, Kevin Payne might be a better free safety than people think. This Afalava kid looks good and might be a pretty good strong safety for Chicago. But I think Payne is Chicago's best option at free safety. I disagree with you about Graham being Chicago's best option at free safety. If so, he would be there right now. Obviously he didn't work out there when Chicago had him there earlier in the off-season. Grahams best position is at nickle. The Bears might have a pretty good set of safeties in Payne and Afalava GO BEARS!!

The story of the Bears' defense the last few years has been to wait. Wait for Harris to play like he used to. Wait for Tank Johnson to come back. Wait for Urlacher to come back from injury. Wait for Vasher to be the Vasher of old. Wait for Manning to learn the defense. Wait for Tillman to come back. Wait for Anderson to discover his rookie form. And now we're waiting for a totally unproven cornerback who played all of about six snaps last year before getting injured to be our savior. I'm trying real hard not to get cynical this early, but it ain't easy.

Here's a question: maybe our dbs wouldn't be getting injured so much if our linemen could make some tackles at the line of scrimmage. Is there something about the Lovie 2 or Tampa Mug or whatever Lovie's stupid ineffective defense is called that leads to dbs being in on too many plays and getting injured?

To my brother Bear fans.. I do apologize for some of my rants. My frustration bubbles up with the lack of organization Lovie seems to present. Good coach Lovie is. Head Coach...??? Leaning towards no. I love these blogs and look forward to reading them every day. I want this team to win no doubt. Deep down I dont think they will make that big jump without a stronger more experienced guy running the show. Tipping a beer to a good season and to a healthy D come Decemeber..

Hey guys i don't think its all so bad. Steltz had an awesome game against Buffalo with two takeaways. Two! That's pretty good and I think I know what coach Lovie SMith was saying when he talked about Steltz as a starter on draft day. I think Steltz is a smart player with a nack for making plays and he might turn into the next Mike Brown. Go bears!


Graham has the most POTENTIAL to be a good free safety. The reports were that he had some trouble learning the position, and once the injuries began at cornerback, he was moved back there as insurance. Kevin Payne is just too slow to be a good free safety. He might be like Doug Plank -- he will kill people but will not be a threat to intercept passes -- which is great for intimidating receivers, but won't get you much coverage or many interceptions.

A couple observations after rewatching the Bills game about three times.....Kruetz is either not giving his all out there or he is just plain finished!!!!! Watch him.....especially is short yardage. He is usually standing around at the end of each play while his man has made the tackle....Vasher stinks...I'd rather see D.J. Moore get some reps until Bowman comes back....We'll be fine at safety...all good, even Bullocks looks good...........Did anybody happen to see Rex and his debut with the Texans????? First play, fumbled snap and pulled hammie......some things never change!!!!!! Bear Down!!!!!!

Wrigley Field Bear said: "The reports were he had some trouble learning the position."

Wrigley Field Bear, you basically agreed with me on Graham with that statement. That was my point to Creighton. I'm not saying Graham will never be a good free safety. My point was, AS OF RIGHT NOW, Payne is Chicago's best option at free safety.

As far as Payne being slow, it didn't stop him from leading the Bears in interceptions last season [he had 4]. I'm not saying Payne will be the second coming of Mark Carrier, but I do think he is Chicago's best option at free safety and might be better than people give him credit GO BEARS!!

Hey, Creighton, thanks for the comment. Good to know somebody actually reads my posts.

Just trying to be positive because we seem to have enough negativity to go around my friend.

But really, Bowman looks like a guy who has a knack for being at the right place at the right time. Do I know he will produce throughout the season? Of course not. But from what we've seen so far, I think he has a good chance, and I've seen nothing to the contrary.

And, yes, I add Tillman's forced fumble numbers in there, which are 16 over 6 years, and that translates to 6 turnovers a year. I'd say that's pretty good. Ed Reed has 43 interceptions and 6 forced fumbles over 7 years, which translates to 7 turnovers a year. Not a bad comparison, but if the definition of "ball hawk" is interceptions only, then I stand corrected. But anyway, Reed and Asomugha are two of the best in the business, and Tillman's not that far off. (Asomugha has 12 interceptions and FFs in 6 years, and the Raiders' pass defense numbers are pretty good, but their run defense is pretty bad and the Raiders have been losing a lot so not many teams have to pass against them. Comparisons are difficult, aren't they?)

Having guys backing up guys doesn't mean you have quality depth? Sure it does. Not many teams have guys with starting experience as backups, and the Bears have 3 in Vasher, Graham and McBride. Defense is a scheme, and you can count on these experienced guys to be where they need to be, and be steady, and I would call that quality. Come on, it's not like any team in the league is going to get the likes of Asomugha to be a backup. Who would you be satisfied with?

Safeties are a different story, and I can agree with you on that.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 18, 2009 1:27 AM.

10 observations: Cutler's toss of blame toward Hester a curious one was the previous entry in this blog.

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