Chicago Sun-Times

Briggs "excited" but still looking for one more piece on D

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Bears Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs is encouraged by the addition of Julius Peppers and the return of Brian Urlacher.

He can even live with the departure of defensive end Alex Brown and cornerback Nathan Vasher.

But Briggs is still hoping for one more player: a veteran safety.

"I am excited with what we have right now. But I still think we need a safety, a veteran safety, to help our defense," Briggs said. "But, to me, I'm excited to work hard and prove ourselves."

Briggs said it's "unfortunate" that Brown and Vasher are gone. But, on a personal level, he's excited for them.

"We've made some moves, and we've made our team better. It's part of the business. You hate to see those guys go, but I'll be happy and proud when I see them do their thing," Briggs said.

Specifically, Briggs said he was looking forward to seeing Brown and Peppers starting opposite one another.

"It would have been a big year for Alex. But, when you sit back and think about it, we do have Israel (Idonije) and Mark Anderson, and you plug Peppers in there with the guys in the interior.

"It's got a chance for something special," he said. "Just bringing Peppers in allows us to do some things."

Urlacher's wrist seems recovered, Briggs said.

"It's good to see everybody," he said.

Finally, Briggs said he's pleased with the elevation of Rod Marinelli as the defensive coordinator.

"I'm pumped. I think Rod is a guy I respect a ton - and we all do," Briggs said. "He's a tough cookie, and I like to say he's a guy who is in the foxhole with you."

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16 Comments

Given Lance's history with women, you guys need to be a little more careful about your headlines.

Briggs is becoming the leader of the Bears. I know that Urlacher is the face of the Bears but Briggs is becoming the stand up guy who sets the example.

Briggs is right, even though Alex Brown is gone, the Bears are only lacking a top level CB and free safety to be quite good as a defense.
The jury is still out on Bowman as the answer at CB although last year he was pretty decent.

If Peppers can get pressure on the QB's and through his efforts help other d line get more pressure, the linebackers should be solid and the CB's and safeties should be better as a result. If a top level Free Safety can be brought in like Atogwe, this will be a top 5 defense and I agree with Briggs that Marinelli will be a very good defensive coordinator.

If the Bears D can hold teams to 17 points or below they win at least 10 games because the offense should average mid 20's, particularly if they find a decent left offensive guard, the rest of the line although not elite is serviceable.

Needless to say in the 2011 draft the O line will most likely be the Bears first pick and probably a few in the later rounds as well.

The Bears had better do something about their horrid O-line. Aside from Chris Williams, they have the WORST line in football. Kruetz has been terrible for years now, our guards are awful, and Frank OMG is pathetic. Angelo should be shot for trading our second rounder for Gaines Adams. He could not play a lick of football.

Why in the hell isn't Darren Sharper not already a Bear......w/o a good proven safety the Bears Defense will still suffer.....

Kevin McAllister, if you think our Oline is the worst in football you obviously didn't watch a GB, Redskin, or Seahawk game last year. Just ask Jared Allen how much he likes playing GB... I believe he had 7+ sacks in those 2 games last year. Also, Gaines didn't play Oline.

Jan why hasnt any team picked up Sharper? I can only believe that teams will wait it out untill after the draft. Sharper is 35 years old. He had a good year with the Saints but who is to say he can do that again with another team. Saints didnt ask much of Sharper but the Bears will ask him to do everything and be in certain spots on the field where as Saints let him free roam.

Briggs knows that 05 and 06 were special for the Bears. He seen the Saints have a good run in 06 then flop for 2 years to only make a few changes and win the 09 superbowl.

Bears arent far off, they cant have a pro bowler at every possition, but im sure if they plug & patch the holes they can make a run for it this year.

Timmer the Saints are a very different team now compared to 2006. First they play a different style of defense. Second 2006 was the begining for a young Saints team with a new head coach and a new QB. From 2006 to 2009 the Saints added 4 new starters to the offensive line including Evans, Nicks, Goodwin, and Bushrod who did a nice job replacing an injured Brown. They found a new starting RB, Bush had a resurgent year and the Saints found better roles for him. They added Meachem, and Colston who missed a lot of 2008 with an injury. Sean Payton is no longer a first year head coach and the Saints have had a chance to really master his system.

The Bears have been using Lovie's system sense 2004, it has been matered by them and this is what it looks like.

The Saints were a new team in 2006 with a new system and young players, the Saints have been building a young talented team. While the Bears have brought in a Cutler and Peppers, the Saints have done a lot more than that. Brees having 4 years to master his offensive system, Pierre Thomas, Sharper and Shockey. Your talking about 11 new starters a lot of which are talented to go along with guys like Smith, Brees, Bush, Brown, Stinchcomb, Colston, and Henderson. That team is loaded with young talent and most of their good players are young and in their prime.

Sense 2006 you got a new head coach with a new system, a new defensive coordinator with a new system, and 11 new starters. And you consider these minor changes? The Saints built that team and it is hitting its stride now. The Bears have been trying to recapture past glory with an older team that peaked 4 seasons ago. The Bears and the Saints have been going in opposite directions.

The Saints have been going through growing pains the last couple of years with their young team. The Bears have been suffering from athritus for 3 seasons. They are very different teams doing very different things. The pretty much have the best offensive line in football, the best QB, and about 10-14 pro bowl calibur players and they are in their prime.

Yeah we got Peppers its all better now, we'er the same as the Saints. He's bringing 4 extra sacks and 8 more pressures than Brown for only 15 million more dollars, totally different team now.

The Saints have the best offensive system in football, they have an aggressive defense, the have arguably the best o-line, and are loaded with young talent. Not the same, not the same at all.

You want to be as good ass the Saints, you just need, 183 more points and about 40 fewer points allowed on defense. Martz is good but he hasn't had a 500 point offense sense 2002.

Creighton you make a point as well as I do. Trying to be positive here. Not trying to let myself down before anyone of us have even seen the full roster or even that, PLAY.

Creighton your post seem to give me old stats and rememberence of the bad, of all players on the Bears. Yet it humors me in a way. I want to show my other Bears friends your posting to not only give them a laugh but also some stats we might have forgotten over the years. Thank you and dont stop your great work...

Just to add a little to Creighton's comments: The Saints have ownership and management that wants to win more than anything, is willing to do whatever it takes to win, including spending money, and knows what they're doing. The Bears? Well, I'll give you three guesses and none of them count. Suffice to say that cutting Alex Brown, without whom the Bears will be worse, was strictly about saving money.

Wow! Why am I not a Saints fan? Buddy you complimented them more in one post than I've ever heard you compliment even one player with the Bears. So the Bears cut ties with one of their "average" players and got a better player and that doesn't rate a compliment?

OJ *cough cough* Atogwe *cough cough*
or
Darren *cough cough* Sharper *cough cough*

Except the Saints signed AB for 3 mil. per year. (I think) Correct me if I am wrong.
Which is what I said in earlier post. AB is not worth 5 mil per. So youse feel we should have paid AB 5 mil? When he signed for less with the Saints? I dont know if we offered 3 mil or not, but we couldnt keep AB at 5 mil. I would have offered 3 mil. But If I am AB - I would test the market before I signed for less money, that is just good business on his part.
The part of Creightons post that stood out to me was the Saints Oline acquisitions. We let our Oline go downhill and said it was the QB's fault all the time. Hogwash! Rex or Kyle either one could have played lots better if we had upgraded our Oline like the Saints (and Colts and...) That to me is Jerry's main problem, he has not drafted/signed quality Oline or even Dline, it all starts up front or stops in the Bears case.

WRD it is not just a matter of cutting ties with an average player and getting a better one. It is exactly like Wrigley Field Bear stated, it was about saving money not making the Bears better. The Bears would have been better with Alex than without him. Peppers can play left defensive end.

The other factor is that the Bears could have worked out a 1 year deal with Alex (non capped year) then tried to work some type of trade and at least get something for him instead of nothing, no draft pick, no LOG, the Bears got nothing.

The Bears owners are committed to keeping a competitive team but not a winning Super bowl team, look at the history, look at the decisions, it all makes sense. The City of Chicago and Chicago Bear fans worldwide deserve better than an average or below average team as the Bears have been, the last three years are an example and the 50 years before that with only two championships in 1963 and 1985 seasons, now if that is not a commitment to excellence, rather it is a commitment to medicrity, kiss your sister time.

It's a business decision and there is no way around it. I understand that. But the fact of the matter is that Brown is not a better player than Peppers. Why should Peppers be the one who is on the left side? Now I know this debate will always put me in the minority since every fan but 10 percent are dying over his loss. Let me say that I did appreciate Brown while he was here and appreciated how he carried himself but this all comes down to a trade and I see that for what it is. You have two guys, Wale and Brown, being paid well to help with results and what we've gotten from them wasn't on par with what they were paid. So we allowed them to go and we've asked other players to step up and take their place. Happens all the time in the NFL. When it happened with , say, Benson and Jones,there was not one person weeping over Jones being let go to make way for Benson. Just about all you guys were all for it. You wanted the guy with "potential" over the steady veteran. Benson has been in the league 6 years and he is still sitting on the bench during crunch time when his team was behind. You may want to think about what he did for Cincy over the last season but I will remember what he was doing in the fourth quarter of a make it or break it game. Sitting because he was of no use. After all those years he still don't have the "it" to get his team where it needs to be. People keep saying that it's an uncapped year like that is supposed to mean something. There aren't too many teams trying to pay more than what the cap was. And I doubt even the teams that could spend over it will go too far over it. People keep saying that Brown was willing to negotiate but the only one saying that is his agent. Now since have we started believing the words of an agent? It's not like Brown actually got the money he was going to make with the Bears with the Saints. The team is ready to move forth and fans aren't letting him go. Wale was just as good and I have yet to see one person complain about that. All I see is this bellyaching over this one player like he was in the pro bowl half the time he was here. He moved on to a team where his fan's call for "Who Dat" is more than appropriate. They don't know him. If you want to give the saints credit for picking him up you have to ask why they didn't sign him for the amount he was due to make with the Bears. Maybe they don't think he will be worth what the Bears already invested and didn't see a return in at that amount? I'm asking why is it that we can't get just one attaboy for any of the players we picked up. All I see is constant negatives even when they try. It's not because of the results it's because that is the nature of Bear fans to shoot down anything their team does cause they are mostly negative to begin with.

WRD,

No one here that I remember liked even drafting Benson, let alone cutting Jones in favor of him. I certainly didn't.

And why do you continue to propagate the lie that this was a trade? It was not. The Bears could signed Peppers as a free agent; they did not trade Brown for him. They could have kept Peppers and Brown, but they pulled their usual cheapskate crap instead.

It is fans like you who enable these awful owners and management to put mediocre teams on the field year after year. If fans stood up and said "No more!" and stopped, for example, going to games, ownership would do something positive. This is what we did in the '70s and it caused George Halas to first hire Jim Finks and then Mike Ditka, who were both responsible for the good teams in the '80s and early '90s. (The hiring of Ditka caused Finks to quit, but Finks started the major changes in the Bear organization that made them into a good team instead of the laughing stock that they had been.) If you just keep making excuses for the Bears instead of facing the reality that the team is far below where it should be for a major market team, the garbage we've seen over the past three seasons is what we'll have to look forward to forever.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on April 7, 2010 5:06 PM.

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