Chicago Sun-Times

Gould, Davis selected as alternate reps to the NFLPA

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It's a complex time in the NFL when it comes to the labor issues, and Bears players held a union meeting at the end of the day on Thursday where kicker Robbie Gould and wide receiver Rashied Davis were selected as alternate representatives to the NFLPA.

Linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer is the team's player rep, and attended the meetings in Hawaii in March when DeMaurice Smith was elected as the executive director of the players association. The vote was needed because Mike Brown and John Tait, both ex-Bears, served roles in the past.

It's not a job that is being taken lightly. Tom Brady was selected as an alternate rep for the New England Patriots earlier this month.

"You're a part of the meetings. You have a voice for whatever issues that may come up,'' Brady said. "There are certainly a lot of them. The players obviously don't want to see a lockout. We want to keep working, but if the owners lock us out, we've got to be informed. Hopefully, it doesn't come to that, but it's not really in the players' control.''

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This can't be as difficult as the Players and Owners are making it out to be....Maybe this should be one of those "what if Firefighters ran the world" commercials from Sprint/Nextel:

Ok guys, do we want to keep making a sh!tload of money? Aye

We want more money going to the veterans, and less to rookies? Aye

How about retirees? Take better care of them

TV deal? Take a portion of the revenues and help fund the players pension fund

Merchandise? Players get 20% of the profit on their name merchandise paid into their personal pension fund. teams get 20%, the retiree fund gets 20% and the other 40% goes to the league to operate

Seems pretty straightforward to me. Baseball still hasn't recovered from their last work stoppage, and hockey and basketball have fallen so far back that they are barely considered major sports any more. NCAA basketball and football have passed them. Heck, NASCAR has passed them. They get it done, they maintain their stranglehold on the sports world. They don't, and all bets are off....

If the owners are willing to share a little more, in exchange for a rookie pay structure like the NBA has, this should be easy. I know it's not that simple, but it can't be as tough as they are making it out to be either. Are they just jerking our chains to make it appear more dramatic?

I also hope theres no lock out next season, hopefully the league and its players can get everything squared away. I'm also hoping for a rookie salary cap. Some of these rookies are making way to much money straight out of college. I think a player should earn his pay-day, not get paid based on where they were drafted. We'll see.

I like some of the moves Chicago made this week personnel wise, especially on the offensive line with Beekman. At linebacker I like how Nick Roach has played this year, he's around the ball a lot. But he was in a little over his head calling plays, hopefully Hillenmeyer will make a difference. He should, he didn't do to bad getting everyone lined up when he was at the mike linebacker position earlier this season. I still like Nick Roach as the Bears strongside linebacker moving forward, the guy makes a lot of stops.

Another move I wouldn't mind Chicago making is maybe trying Kevin Payne at strong safety. Last season when Payne was the Bears starting strong safety, he was leading the Bears in tackles. Payne doesn't have the range to be a free safety, but he does have great instincts as a run defender at strong safety in the box. Payne is a very effective in the box run defender. Al Afalava came on fast during the pre-season, but he has seemed to fizzle down a little. Afalava is currently 5th on the team in tackles with 26, 20 solo. Payne isn't to far behind at 8th with 19 stops, 16 solo. If you think about it, Payne has made around the same amount of stops as Afalava, and he basically only comes in on nickle situations as a free safety. Again, this time last year Payne was leading the team in tackles when he was starting at strong safety. I think the guy can be a heck of a strong safety and could improve the run defense if giving another chance at SS. I'd like to see Chicago line him with the 1's as the starting strong safety, he's clearly a better run defender than Afalava. Just an opinion GO BEARS!!

Joe, that was freakin' hilarious!

Kev, I agree Payne is best suited for the SS role and I think he did a decent job there last season, well, for the time he spent there before being moved around to Free. But do we need more secondary shuffling? Lovie has made a complete mess out of the defensive backs. We had Manning at FS, a decision that was made right before the pre-season, and even though he is/was the starter at FS, he gets moved to Nickel on passing downs (make any sense to you?) and the plan was supposedly for Craig Steltz to come in at Free. The coaches weren't impressed with Steltz so they put Payne in at Free on passing downs even though he's best suited for Strong. Then, something made Lovie unhappy about Payne at Free, so he puts in a backup cornerback (Vasher) to fill in at Free for passing downs only. I'm telling you Kev, this is an absolute circus. These clowns don't know what they are doing. Why can't Manning just stay at Free? Why is Payne being put at Free? And where exactly is Corey Graham and why can't he be used at Nickel? He blitzes just as well as Manning and does a good job against the run.

Brad, answers please!

Mike, I agree 100% with what your saying, especially about Manning. Danieal Manning should have been left strictly at free safety since day one. This shuffling around of Manning from free safety to corner to free safety to nickle then back to free safety has really stunned his development. Manning would have been better off being left at one position. Hopefully Chicago sticks with him at free safety and gives him some time to develop at the position.

Mike, I also agree with you on Corey Graham, why isn't he the nickleback? Graham looked good playing nickle during the pre-seaon. Playing Graham at the nickle position would allow Manning to concentrate on his free safety position, probably making him a more effective/better free safety.

The Bears need to play Corey Graham at nickle, leave Manning at free safety, and move Kevin Payne into the starting spot at strong safety. I think these three simple moves could improve Chicago's secondary and overall defense.

At corner I like Charles Tillman, but I'm starting to wonder about Zack Bowman? I realize he's a first year starter, but the guy needs to step up his game and show some improvement moving forward. Bowman has nice size and athleticism, but he seems to get burnt every game. Maybe in time Bowman can come on, if not, I look for rookie D.J Moore to push Bowman next pre-seaon. Moore was known as one of the premier cover corners in college football. Moore slipped in the draft because of his size and lack of top notch speed. But on the field the guy could cover and play the ball. He's not ready as a rookie, but in a year could surprise. As far as his size, Antoine Winfield, who many consider the leagues premier corner, is around the same size as Moore at 5-9. I think Moore could be a player to watch out for next season, but as of right now, Bowman needs to make improvements to his game, hopefully he does GO BEARS!!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on October 30, 2009 11:20 AM.

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