Chicago Sun-Times

Kevin Shaffer comfortable stepping in at right tackle

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Chris Williams was told on Wednesday he will be the starting left tackle on Sunday.

Apparently no one has said anything to Kevin Shaffer, but he is the man who is expected to line up at right tackle Sunday against the St. Louis Rams at Soldier Field as Orlando Pace will be sidelined for a little while with a groin muscle injury.

"If that's the case it's something I've been working for all year, starting with training camp and everything and right tackle's my position, I've been at for the last couple years, so that'd be great,'' Shaffer said. "I don't know what the situation is, I really don't. I know today I practiced with the ones, but what it is in the future I don't know.''

The Bears essentially swapped John St. Clair to the Cleveland Browns in free agency for Shaffer, who was released after he refused a pay cut. He had started 79 of the last 80 regular-season games for the Browns and Atlanta Falcons before arriving, and played the last two seasons in Cleveland as the right tackle. Before Pace was signed, it looked like the Bears would line up Shaffer at right tackle and Williams at left tackle.

"Last two years I've been at right and it took a little while to adjust, but I like it now, I mean I've liked it for the last couple years and now I'm back there now,'' Shaffer said."So left or right doesn't really matter, but right I feel real comfortable at.''

HELP NEEDED: Newly signed linebacker Cato June figures to pitch in on special teams this Sunday. Jamar Williams is set to replace Lance Briggs (knee) at weak-side linebacker, and that will pull Williams off special teams, creating a need for special teams coordinator Dave Toub. June could have a couple roles on special teams.

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14 Comments

I hope this can generate some push in the run game. We need something right now.. I cant remember a season as bad as this in a longggg time. What needs to be done is this.. LT- Williams LG- Lance Louis C- Beekman RG- Garza RT- Shaeffer... What better time then now to find out what this group has. They are playing for roster spots now as no doubt this team is gonna be ripped apart in the off season. And trades... Hester and Urlacher. Maybe steal a 2nd for Hester and 3/4th rounder for Captain Mouth. I bet the Patriots would take Url.. they need help at ILB. Time to rebuild and give Cutler a big/nasty OL.

Who are the top 5 paid players on the Bears? I'd cut/trade everyone of them (except Cutler) and pay off this staff! Start over, my friends!!

With the season basically over, and only 5 games left, the only logical thing left to do is to start evaluating some of the younger guy's.

I have said it all year, I never liked the Orlando Pace signing. All it did was set Chicago's line back. Angelo has basically put himself in a hole with his bad offensive lines, especially since 2006, that makeshift line wasn't bad, it did get the Bears to a Super Bowl, but it didn't last that long either. You can't build a line with stop-gaps, Pace was a stop gap. Chris Williams should have been at left tackle all season with Kevin Shaffer manning the right side. Shaffer looked bad on the left side vs Minny, but he should be a better fit on the right side, a position he is more comfortable with. If Shaffer falters, I like the idea of moving tackle James Marten up to see what he can do. Again, what else does Chicago have to loose? Right tackle is gonna be a need heading into the off-season, why not see if the answer is already on the team in James Marten? The team liked him, play him.

Lovie Smith came out and said the team is gonna play the players that can best help them win right now. I don't buy that, especially with Angelo saying rookie Jarron Gilbert is ready. If Chicago was making a play-off run, I guarantee you probably wouldn't have seen Gilbert. In Lovie's defense, he can't come out and say, "the seasons over, we're gonna start evaluating our younger personnel." He's gotta say the politically correct "we're playing to win right now line." But we all know the truth, its evaluation time.

A major knock on Chicago's coaching staff over the years while Lovie has been here, has been their evaluation of the teams younger personnel. An example from this season, rookie running back Kahlil Bell is clearly better than either Garrett Wolfe or Adrian Peterson, but yet he was left to rot on the practice squad till Wolfe went down...why? Why wasn't Bell given a chance to compete earlier in the season when neither Wolfe or Peterson were getting the job done as the #2 back? Why did it take an injury to Wolfe to see Bell?? It shouldn't have, the coaching staff should have been looking at all their personnel to see who REALLY were the best players to put on the field on game day. Again, this is why I would like to see tackle James Marten. The staff needs to make some changes in their evaluation process. If a guy on the 53 man roster isn't getting the job done, move someone up from the practice squad and see if they can. It worked with Bell. Oh well, GO BEARS!!

What a novel concept..>You take the only guy on the roster who is a RT, and actually PLAY HIM THERE!!! Granted, you don't tell him about it, but at least they are finally putting someone where he belongs. Williams at LT is the other one that is finally making some sense. What, was Orlando Pace's ego and reputation more important than keeping Cutler alive? If Williams bombs on the left side against James Hall and Chris Long, then we know we need replacements at both tackle spots next season. But we only know that we will need a new RT right now, as Pace will likely not be brought back, and Williams would get first crack at that job next year, with ZERO EXPERIENCE at the position in the NFL....

Even though it was forced by injury, this is the first move they have made in weeks that makes sense from a personnel standpoint...Maybe they can be taught....

Oh Strass haven't you heard the Bears who run a man blocking scheme that features their signiture play 16 power O, don't want a big powerful line. No Agelo said after last season the Bears want a more athletic line something like the Jets have. I don't think Angelo knows the Jets run a zone blocking scheme. No he wants to put athletic zone blocking types on a team that plays man and runs power O. Thats a genius at work right their. Thats why he drafted Williams and went after Omiyale and Pace.

By the way if Shaffer is better at RT than Williams, that means the Bears let another lesser player start becuase of draft status even though Lovie says the best players play.

Brad nice report on the Cutler interview.

Speaking of the Jets and Thomas Jones... http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2009/12/ny_jets_thomas_jones_racks_up.html
and people wonder why Creighton dumps on JA all the time! I just shake my head in disbelief.

Creighton,
I would hope that after the poor performances the last two years, the Chicago sports media would be a little tougher on nice guy Lovie if Shaffer plays well. Same for Aromashodu, Gilbert, and any other player who gets playing time because of injury or benching. We have listened to this double-talk for years now, and we are finally starting to see evidence that the players on the bench are better than the guys who are playing. We see it in free agents who leave and are successful in other cities, or backups who show more than the guys they play behind.


This team has gone all touchy-feely, where the coaching staff doesn't want to hurt the feelings of veterans who aren't getting the job done. Garza has been the only OL who has played halfway decent, and barely halfway decent. Yet we keep hearing from Olin that his body will tell him when it's time to quit...How about game film? That should be a pretty clear message if it were me...

This team needs a serious attitude adjustment, and I hope it happens when the Ravens play us in a couple of weeks. Even as bad as they are playing right now, they still have a violence to them when they hit the field that we lack, and it reminds me of something I read from a book on the Bears-Packers rivalry. A young Packer offensive lineman was getting dressed for the game, and looked over at one of his teammates, who was taping magazines to his body under his pads. The player asked him what he was doing, and he said "We're playing the Bears today." That tells you all you need to know about Bears football, and how far we have fallen. Now teams are going all Lou Holtz on us when talking about our team, basically trying to give us credit for being better than we are, just to be nice....They have to be laughing when they watch film. If it didn't tick me off so much to watch this travesty, I would be laughing too. We don't scare anyone, we don't beat up anyone, and we don't win anymore. Sometimes we score more than the other team, but we haven't won a game in quite a while....Heck, the only big hit that I can remember this week was Tim Shaw on special teams. A team without toughness can't run the ball, can't stop the run, and doesn't punish the QB. I think that is the Webster's definition of the Bears this year.

Bring on the hornless Rams, so we can all feel good about our team on Monday. Odds are even if we do win, we won't look like we did...

You want to see who knows how to draft O-Line take a look at the Saints. Anyone watch their backup OT Jermon Bushrod, that guy is beating the snot out of DE's. 2007 4th round 125 over all, Bears could have had him but we took Wolfe and Okwo back to back. This is why the Bears fail, they look at film and go wow Wolfe and Okwo look awesome and then look at guys like Bushrod and are like god he sucks, check out some more film on Wolfe.

Or guys like Carl Nicks a powerful nasty LG for the Saints was drafted in 2008. Some of you may recall his name because about 5 guys on this blog where hoping the Bears would draft, but the Bears said no and TE Davis in the 5th round a guy who was not a major need when in 2008 they where in desperate need of line help. Boy a big nast LG who opens up running lanes sure would be nice, he is also a good pass blocker.

In 2006 the Saints drafted Jahri Evans who is now considered one of the best guards in football. Another 4th round pick 108th overall. The Bears took Dusty.

You know who the Bears have drafted for the O-Line in the 4th round? Josh Beekman, who is not even good enough to start over Omiyale who should be kicked out of the NFL.

The Saints have four out of 5 current starters and none of them where first round picks and all of them are better than anyone on the Bears line.

The only way the Bears are going to learn how to hit this week is if they get someone other than Lovie to give them a motivational pre-game speech.

Someone like... Elin Nordgren.

She seems to be a pretty big hitter.

It's not the players, give us any of those lineman from the Saints and they'd suck big time here!!! IT'S THE SYSTEM!!!!! IT'S THE COACHES!!!!!

JA is feeling some serious heat; lets hope Chris Williams looks like crap - b/c if he looks worse than 'Opps, what happened' Pace, then JA might be on the verge of moving back to Tampa. A great showing by Aromoshodo would help to make the staff look like the idiots they really are.

A BTW, Urlachers just trying to stir the pot to save Lovies ass. This defense has been suspect w/o good tackle and safety play. Craig Stelz in the 4th round. please. But after that mistake JA had to draft Gilbert and iglesias when there were good safties left on the board. And of course, they've spent several years trying to justify the daniel manning pick. on and on and on ..

they all need to go; anything that makes angelo look bad right now is good for the franchise

Change is good for the sake of change at this point.
I work with a Cleveland transplant, big Browns fan (looser like me Bears Fan) and he is glad Shaffer is gone. Who knows though - can't be worse than what we have been doing right?
Really good article on JA in SunTimes. Jerry is what? never above the 20's on offense at Tampa and Chicago? a long time huh, even if he has been above the 20's a couple times, thats still a serious indictment of `Offensively Challlenged'. There is no doubt He can not draft offense and the D is taking a hit as well. and it is weird how Lovie and Jerry BOTH don't see good players. Something really rotten in Denmark there.

I hope you read these comments, Jerry Angelo, because here is an idea that might help you and the pitiful Bears squad you've got this year.

Sine you have no picks in rounds 1 or 2, you are going to need to get help somewhere else. Signing FA's - good ones - we hope, is one way to go, and you'd better, with all the holes you have.

Here's another idea. Would an extra half-dozen low round draft picks help? Possibly? Then start cutting guys - today, despite what Lovie says. Use the roster spots to snag guys that the rest of the league has been stashing on their practice squads. They are all likely guys who went in rounds 5 or lower, but desperate times call for desperate measures. This way, you can cherry pick your way to a mini-draft. Maybe you even get lucky and find one or two gems.

Here is a list of suggested cuts to get you started -

Pace
McClover
Rashied Davis
Jason McKie
Steltz

Adrian Peterson
Ogunleye
Anderson
Vasher
Tommie Harris

Yes, the last four guys might have a little value. But they are all likely gone after this year. Be honest, are you really going to pay these guys? If not, they can help this team best by packing their stuff.

To Kevin Armstead-
You really think Kahlil Bell is better than Wolfe or even Peterson? Kahlil Bell is an awful running back. It's funny when people think just because a RB gets a gaping hole and runs for 70 yards before being chased down that he is awesome. Kahlil Bell is a terrible Running back. Do you realize Kahlil Bell ran a 4.8 forty at the combine? Yea, thats sure gonna cut it in the NFL. He should be happy he was ever on the practice squad to begin with. The guy is 5'11, 210 pounds, and runs a 4.8 and managed a measly 15 reps at 225. Therefore he is not big, he is not strong, and he sure as hell is not fast. He will be out of the NFL all together very soon.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on December 3, 2009 9:28 AM.

Angelo announces Jarron Gilbert is ready for action was the previous entry in this blog.

Tillman, Brown return to the snowy practice field at Halas Hall is the next entry in this blog.

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