Chicago Sun-Times

Plenty more final thoughts when it comes to Bourbonnais

| 17 Comments | No TrackBacks

Ran down some final thoughts on training camp in the paper today. There is only so much space in the print edition and with 79 players on the roster, well, plenty of tidbits were left out. We'll take a look at some impressions on some other players here:

Devin Aromashodu: Wide receiver flashed some ability at times during camp but the Bears have a catch-22 when it comes to getting him action with the first team in preseason. They're only doing so much with three-wide packages and building chemistry between Jay Cutler and starters Devin Hester and Earl Bennett is much more important.

Cody Balogh: Undrafted free agent from Montana last season is bigger and stronger than he was a year ago, and he's fit in well. He's got a good opportunity to get some solid game tape moving forward but with the addition of Kevin Shaffer he might be ticketed for a return to the practice squad.

Josh Beekman: Would be remiss in not mentioning that the arrow is pointing up for him. Probably projects as a center though because of his size.

Earl Bennett: Quietly had a solid camp. We'll see how that translates.

Alex Brown: The focus is on Tommie Harris and Mark Anderson returning to form but Brown might be better with Rod Marinelli on board. He did well rushing on Orlando Pace in camp.

Desmond Clark: Guy gets craftier as he gets older and still is smooth enough to run the seam route.

Rashied Davis: Got more work with the ones over the final week of camp.

Marcus Freeman: Will be looking for him in the second half on Saturday night. Didn't see a lot in training camp but it takes time for rookies to fit in, even on the practice field.

Jarron Gilbert: Veterans said that Gilbert showed some ability to become an impact player one day but he's still raw. We'll see what that means for him in terms of contributing as a rookie.

Corey Graham: If the cornerbacks come back healthy and there isn't a spot for him on defense, he ought to be a mainstay on special teams.

Marcus Harrison: Wouldn't be surprising to see him get action with the ones vs. the Giants. The defense needs him to provide a consistent interior push.

Hunter Hillenmeyer: Went mostly unnoticed but he played well at Buffalo and might be in a better position now that he's back in the middle.

Johnny Knox: Did not look interested in going across the middle where the big boys are in the Buffalo game. Keep an eye on that.

Lance Louis: Was worked a lot at left tackle but I am convinced that was out of need. You don't see any left tackles in the league that are 6-3. He's athletic but will have to find a home inside at guard.

Kevin Malast: Might have been the second most impressive rookie in camp after safety Al Afalava. Yes, it's far too early to make a prediction but if he continues to produce and can find a spot on special teams, the linebacker might just find a spot on the roster.

Henry Melton: As athletic as advertised but this project might take some time.

D.J. Moore: As one coach said, the smaller cornerback is learning how to work. He's always going to have to work against being listed at 5-9 (generous listing?).

Frank Omiyale: Did pretty well vs. Tommie Harris in one-on-one drills this past week.

Orlando Pace: Want to see more of him vs. Osi Umenyiora. This will be a good test.

Brandon Rideau: See Devin Aromashodu.

Garrett Wolfe: Challenge will be to get him the ball in open space. Been waiting a while to see that. He did get a fair number of screen passes in camp.

The great thing is we should have more storylines after Saturday night. Plenty more. It was a good summer at Olivet Nazarene University, and as usual the hospitality was top notch.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/25183

17 Comments

Good stuff Brad.

Didn't see that perspective coming on Cody Balogh. He definately looks bigger, but he looked really over-matched in Buffalo. Don't remember who was playing across from him, but Balogh was out-quicked so badly that looked like he was stuck in the mud or something.

Interesting about Rashied Davis getting more reps. I wonder if Cutler turned to Hanie in the meeting room this week and asked: "where did you get that #81 guy that can catch?"

Sure seems like they have a lot of good linebackers. They can't keep them all.

It's time for Garrett Wolfe to show us something. With the advertised skillset, he ought to be really strutting his stuff against second and third teamers in the preseason. If he didn't play so well on special teams I'd have started to wonder before now. Some really productive college players just can't make the jump. Is he or isn't he?

Man I am getting pumped. Camp is over! This weekend is the halfway point of the preseason! Tomorrow is going to be the most fun we Bear fans have had yet this year and then it ramps up!

"Devin Aromashodu (and Brandon Rideau): Wide receiver flashed some ability at times during camp but the Bears have a catch-22 when it comes to getting him action with the first team in preseason. They're only doing so much with three-wide packages and building chemistry between Jay Cutler and starters Devin Hester and Earl Bennett is much more important.

Rashied Davis: Got more work with the ones over the final week of camp."

That's good to hear because I know if there is one thing that will make readers of the Biggs' blog (and Bear fans in general) happy is more Rashied Davis!

I touched on it (in jest) on my blog but in humor there is truth (or en vino veritas I get those confused). Anyhoo, JA is asked what most impressed him at Buffalo and he (well I channeling JA) answers:

"I guess what impresses me the most is Izzy adds weight last year and they use him oustide. This year he drops weight - like they ask - and they play him inside. What continually impresses me is I give these (a$$holes) great athletes like Izzy, Daneial, Devin etc. and they can't (farking) screw them up fast enough. That's really (farking) impressive to me!"

Seriously, am I the only one who sees a continual pattern of taking guys who are of limmited intellect (save for Izzy) and far superior athletic ability and then completely mind-farking them by throwing every position in the book at'em.

Hester? Oh let's make the single greatest return man in NFL history into a mediocre wide receiver.

Manning? Hey this guy has extreme talent and has settled in at nickel and return man, let's move him back to safety where he was useless.

Izzy? Drop weight, add weight, do this, do that, and they still can't figure out where to put the guy!

Even though I think it's a horrendously bad idea, I get why people come on here and clamor for Tillman to move to free safety!

Brad,
I agree on the Knox comment especially. he appeared very "skittish" when he was inside the hash marks on his routes.

I also like the idea of Hillenmeyer in the middle. He is not quite athletic enough to do the things Urlacher does (but then again, who is?), but I think he can cover down the deep middle and probably has better lane discipline than Urlacher in the run defense.

Earlier in camp, I remember reading that Melton couldn't get onsides in 1 on 1 drills. During the Buffalo game, I saw the same thing from just about every backup end we put out there. None of them were ready to go at the snap because they flinched and couldn't get their momentum back. That is a recipe for zero sacks from the rotation. Alex and Wale are going to have to have monster years from that perspective, or we are dead in the water.

Balogh was not very good from what I saw in the Buffalo game as far as footwork, so he and Melton both should end up on the practice squad. Nice 4th round pick, eh? A novelty kick returner is not exactly what I would call value for the selection, especially with Sidbury still on the board at that point. If you want a pass rusher, take one. Ervin Baldwin, Henry Melton...not the impact we need as young depth. If we let Ogunleye walk after his contract expires, we have nothing behind him. As good as Marinelli is, he can't teach these guys to wait for the ball to be snapped before they come out of their stances...

I will be surprised if Lance Louis makes the final roster. I just don't see anything from him that convinces me that he can get the job done. Practice squad appears to be his likely landing place.

The other position I am curious about is tight end. We all know Olsen is the main guy, and Clark is a valuable controbutor. But we signed Gaines to be the blocker, and from all reports and playing time, Davis and Olsen have improved their blocking to where we might not have a spot for him on the final roster. What is your impression of that position group?

Also, has Basanez looked any better since the game? He was brutal...

By MSBearsFan on August 21, 2009 1:53 PM
Good stuff Brad.

"Didn't see that perspective coming on Cody Balogh. He definately looks bigger, but he looked really over-matched in Buffalo. Don't remember who was playing across from him, but Balogh was out-quicked so badly that looked like he was stuck in the mud or something."

I agree he looked bad against the Bills third team and got smoked a couple of times.

By Da Church of Da Coach on August 21, 2009 1:58 PM

"That's good to hear because I know if there is one thing that will make readers of the Biggs' blog (and Bear fans in general) happy is more Rashied Davis!"

I don't really need say anything about that do I?

"Seriously, am I the only one who sees a continual pattern of taking guys who are of limmited intellect (save for Izzy) and far superior athletic ability and then completely mind-farking them by throwing every position in the book at'em."

Your kidding right? You forgot Turner wanting all his recievers trained to play every reciever position. Jerry Rice and Tim Brown didn't even do that. Oh there is also the drafting of Kellen Davis to be a blocking TE don't forget that, if we use a lot of 3 TE sets we have a use for him. There is also them not wanting to use Anthony Adams even though he was the best DT on the team last year, but they felt starting Dusty was more important because Tommie likes him.

Well Lovie what do you think? Dusty or Anthony?
Well Anthony is better against the run and can push the pocket. But Dusty looks like a Viking and is friends with Tommie, plus he gets hurt all the time. You can't beat an injury prone player for drama and excitment.

So basically coach what you are saying is that Lovie and Angelo have some strange ideas about the team. They like to force guys into positions they don't belong and leave them there even though they suck. The like to rely on injury prone players to be starters. Angelo also has some strange ideas about it's all the QB and recievers have little to do with the passing game. Even though a hall of fame player like Tim Brown had nothing but Journeymen QB his entire career all of whom happen to have the best years of there careers as soon as they started playing with him(Jeff Hostetler, Jay Schroeder, Todd Marinovich, Jeff George, Donald Hollas, Rich Gannon). Also Turner and his WR learning curve, Lovie and his homer hires like Babich and Hot Rod, Angelo and his drafting. Sounds to me like it's a good thing the Bears play in the same division as the Lions. That way someone else can be the joke.

Then again it could be worse. Tom Cable could be our head coach. However it would be fun to watch him choke Babich.


Just remember 1 thing about this season. Manageable schedule!

Based on 2008 records, Bears' opponents had a .412 winning percentage, the lowest in the league. There's a six-week stretch in October and November where the Bears play the Lions, Bengals, Browns, Cardinals and the 49ers. In that stretch, they also travel to Atlanta for revenge from what might have been the team's worst loss of 2008. There's a good chance the Bears go 6-0 over that stretch. At worst 4-2.

So what ever happened to Derek Kinder? I don't think he was mentioned even once over the past three weeks. Was he that bad or did something happen to him?

Creighton, I have the Bears at 2-4 during the 6-game stretch you cited. Beat Lions and Browns and that's about it. There's also a good chance they start out 0-3.

Trade (Urlacher,Harris,Kreutz,hunter,Vasher,Tillman and a 3rd pick for a good corner,wideout and possible high pick.Package them anyway you like. Play all the young guys even if they suck it up. Let this season be of learning and experiance for the young guys and Cutler. Then truly go into the 2011 season with a true playoff/superbowl contender.Move Rod to D coordinator,fire turner,keep the other coaches at their positions and Lovie go back to being head coach.Steltz at free,Afalava at SS,Graham/Bowman at R & L coener,Williams at mid. linebacker w/ Briggs and pisa at s. & w. backer.Adams and Harrison at tackle w/ Izzy and Gilbert at the ends. Rotate the other player

Da Church,
The reason some of us advocate moving Tillman to free safety is that he doesn't have the right cover skills to be a really good CB, but he could be a really good FS. The only problem is, the Bears have no one to replace him at CB right now, so he can't be moved to FS even if the Bears wanted to do it. But if they could replace him at CB, I think he'd turn out to be a much better FS than anyone the Bears now have.

You would really pick Steltz over Payne? OKay. Alrighty. And Adams is not really that big at all. He isn't even over 6 feet. Honestly he's short and fat. I ought to know because we had a lot in common when I met him in May. He played well last year because he didn't get a chance to wear down playing more. If Mark anderson had held containment on that one play we wouldn't have to wonder so much about him. Gotta play smart.

For a team that supposed to go into the playoffs it has a 100 questions to answer. In any event, I just hope the D can regain some type of consistency. On a side note.. watched the Viqueens/Chiefs game. That Queens team is about as cocky as it gets for week 2 of the pre-season. They are strutting around like the trophy is already theres. That team is ripe for a meltdown. Just wait.. they will start hot 7-3'ish..then Favre's arm will get tired and he will run with his ego and start throwing picks.. More reason to hate that team..

I was at training camp the last day(20th) and the most popular players(Urlacher, Cutler, Hester) exchanged jerseys with other players. I've never seen that before, is that something new? and why would they do that? Alot of the fans were confused. Thanks, Tony

Every team has 100 questions to answer but the top 5. Even with the injuries to the secondary, I still think WR is the weakest position.

Look for some cuts post camp from other teams. Some examples that the Bears need could be Tavaris Jackson. The Boys, Eagles, Packers, and Cardinals are stacked at WR. One of those teams will cut a WR that can help the Bears. If Marvin Harrison hasn't been picked up yet, then he truly is not that good anymore.

I didn't see the first pre-season game, but I still question the mostly pessemistic opinions of the bloggers. It sounds like the Bears got demolished, but the stats say otherwise. The starting defense gave up only 3 points, and had 2 sacks. The offense seemed "rusty", but that should get better.

I hope they look better against the Giants tonight, but if they don't, it is only the pre-season. The game plans are little, and more just play straight up. I do just want to see good effort, and some improvement in the passing game, and run blocking.

WFB,

I get why you want him to move. I just think that putting a guy at a tackling position when he already has 2 bad shoulders is a VERY bad move. I get why people want him there ... I'm not blind he's a hell of a tackler but I think increasing his exposure to run support would make him 10x more susceptible to injury which he already has a history of.

Church,

EVERY defensive position is a tackling position. If you can't -- or are unable to -- tackle, you shouldn't be playing defense. Tackling is the most basic aspect of playing defense at any position, period, with the exception of a lineman whose sole job it is to take out blockers so others can make tackles. Everyone in the secondary has to tackle.

That said, free safety is nowhere near as much of a tackling position as strong safety. The FS's job is mainly to play "center field" on pass plays, which are most of the plays in the NFL nowadays. A good FS does not have to be strong in run support. (Actually, if you have a good line and linebackers, even the strong safety doesn't have to do that much run support.)

Another reason not to move Tillman until the Bears get someone as good or better to replace him is that FS is the least important position on the defense. But if and when they do, they should make the change. I don't see why Tillman would have to do any more tackling at FS than at cornerback.

By Da Church of Da Coach on August 22, 2009 9:59 AM
WFB,

"I get why you want him to move. I just think that putting a guy at a tackling position when he already has 2 bad shoulders is a VERY bad move. I get why people want him there ... I'm not blind he's a hell of a tackler but I think increasing his exposure to run support would make him 10x more susceptible to injury which he already has a history of."

Fact is Tillman plays Corner like a FS. Thats why he is so banged up, he plays the position hard and supports the run with the best of them. But at FS he would not get beat in coverage as much because his zone would be smaller and he would be asked to do less. Our Safety's were in on fewer tackles last year than Tillman. Kevin Payne had 82 tackles, Tillman had 92. See move him to safety for his health.

It will never happen, but it is funny you point out Lovie puts guys in the wrong position but he doesn't want to move Tillman. Coming out of College most thought Tillman would be a FS in the NFL, he plays the run great for a corner but he too often gets burned in coverage for a corner, teams are not affraid to attack him, his best talent is that he strips the ball after he has been burnt. Either way he is a sold DB, and I am fine with him at corner. I would just rather see a true shut down corner, than Tillmans safety like play at corner.

By REM on August 21, 2009 11:21 PM
Creighton, I have the Bears at 2-4 during the 6-game stretch you cited. Beat Lions and Browns and that's about it. There's also a good chance they start out 0-3.

0-3??? So you think the Lions have a good shot of beating the Bears at home? Atlanta is tough, but then you get the Bungles who have no defense and no O-Line, Andre Smith is not even in camp yet, oh wait camp is over. After that Cleavland, I mean please thats 3 out of 4 wins right there. Then we get Arizona, and thats a bad match for the Bears, but after that Thanksgiving comes early and we get the turkey that is the 49ers. By the way to be fare to Smith this is actually not his fault, the Bangles will not sign him until Crabtree signs, they won't even discuss a contract with the guy. I saw it on HBO, the dumb *** bangles. I saw thier GM actually say it to him over the phone. "Can't sign you or even discuss signing you until Crabtree signs."

Don't forget roster cuts have yet to happen, I am sure Angelo will grab some reciever off the heap. After tonight we will all have a better idea of who the Bears are. But loosing to the Lions at home and the Bungles, shame on you. I think the Lions are better as well but they are not beating the Bears at home.


Creighton,

Don't count on beating the 49ers in San Francisco. Samurai will have them playing much better ball this season and I think they've got a shot at winning the division. Their strength will be running and defense -- go figure -- and Frank Gore has been my favorite running back since the first time he played the Bears and ran over Bear defenders. He's in the best shape of his life this season, and if the Bears don't tackle any better than they did against New York, he'll run wild. I don't think they'll have much of a passing game, but if they can run and play good defense, this will not be an easy victory for the Bears.

Leave a comment

Twitter updates

Categories

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 21, 2009 12:15 PM.

Saturday's meeting with Giants will tell something about Vasher was the previous entry in this blog.

NFL slaps $7,500 fine on Dusty Dvoracek for hit on Buffalo QB is the next entry in this blog.

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