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Q: Considering the use of the shotgun formation in this offense, is not being able to practice and work out going to set (Olin) Kreutz back too far? He has never been very good at the shotgun snap, and we have a much greater risk of turnover in the Martz offense as it is. If we can't manage the snap, we are in for a long season. Martz uses more under-center passing, but our offensive line is going to struggle in pass protection again, so there will end up being a lot more shotgun formations in my opinion to preserve Cutler's life.
Joe Felicelli

 
A: The scheme may be new, but the center to quarterback exchange is not. Kreutz and Cutler had plenty of chances to work on that snap last year; Cutler had 256 pass attempts out of the shotgun, which was tied for 17th. Granted, the Bears didn't exactly thrive out of that formation, as Cutler's passer rating was just 67.5, with a league-high 16 interceptions and just nine touchdowns.
I agree, that Kreutz hasn't excelled with the shotgun snap. But, I don't think the time he's missed so far this off-season is going to hurt him, in that regard. Frankly, I think it's more important that Kreutz is as close to 100 percent as possible, given his advanced age (33).
 
Q: I noticed in the posting regarding the training camp schedule, there are no two-a-days. With the Bears implementing a whole new offensive scheme (and having young receivers to boot), don't you think that they may need all the practice they can get? I can understand altering the schedule due to extreme heat, but do you think they will be ready?
Eric T.
 
A: I think the days of traditional two-a-days has gone the way of the dodo bird.
Overall, contemporary players do a better job of staying in shape during the off-season, so coaches don't have to "whip them into shape." In addition, with trainers and doctors more mindful of heat exhaustion and overexertion, players aren't subjected to old-school tactics like coaches denying water breaks or making them sprint until they drop.
In Minnesota, Vikings coach Brad Childress put his players through a rough training camp in his first season. But, he eased back in each of the seasons since. Last year, for instance, the Vikings had two practices most days. But, having attended almost all of them, I can assure you that the morning sessions were glorified walk-throughs. I don't know how many fans I met who were disappointed to even attend them since the players basically stretched, warmed up then literally walked through plays, mostly on special teams.
Technically, the Bears - on occasion - will have two practices. But I expect those sessions won't be all that interesting to the untrained - or even trained - eye.
 
Q: Who are looking like the second-team cornerbacks this year and how do they look? Peanut  (Charles Tillman) most likely will get dinged up again and we need some depth behind (Zackary) Bowman and him.
 
Pete
 
A: In all honesty, Pete, I think it's way too early to tell. I know that's not the answer you were looking for, but I think the Bears intentionally want to head to training camp to see who emerges at the position. Right now, eight cornerbacks are on the roster. In the regular-season finale last year, the Bears had five cornerbacks on the roster.
Frankly, after Bowman and Tillman, the remaining players aren't handcuffing the team. What I mean is, all of them are expendable. After dumping Nathan Vasher, the Bears have a bunch of young players who have flashed potential. The most experienced of the bunch is Tim Jennings, who is 26 years old and has 21 starts under his belt.
If he doesn't pan out, the Bears are out $250,000 (his initial roster bonus). And if Josh Moore (their fifth-round pick) doesn't show he can contribute right away, then the Bears would be out $198,000.
 
Q: My question is in regards to Albert Haynesworth. He is refusing to show up for the Redskins (except when his contract mandates it) due to their new 3-4 scheme. He wants to play in a 4-3 penetrating scheme. Looking at his contract, the Redskins have paid out the majority of the front loaded money. Would it (behoove) the Bears to give them a second-round pick and let the teams we face decide who they are going to double team: Haynesworth, (Julius) Peppers or (Tommie) Harris? I think we could all but remove the blitz packages from our defense. Is this feasible?
 
Jim from Milwaukee
 
A: With no salary cap in place, anything is possible. But, the Bears have already maxed out their credit, so to speak, with the McCaskeys. And while they're always looking for talented players, I certainly don't think Jerry Angelo, Lovie Smith and company can justify asking for a player like Haynesworth. While his impact is obvious, Haynesworth is doing nothing to debunk his reputation for having a questionable work ethic.
 
Q: What will it take for Robbie Gould our kicker to make the Pro Bowl?
Bearman
 
A: The obvious answer is to be among the best kickers in the league. Since Gould went after the 2006 season, when the Bears played in the Super Bowl, three other kickers have taken their turns: Nick Folk (Dallas), John Carney (New York Giants) and David Akers (Philadelphia).
Obviously, there's not a lot of favoritism, with one guy earning a spot several years running. Last year, Akers and Nate Kaeding of the San Diego Chargers were the two leading scorers, among kickers.
Akers didn't have as high a conversion percentage (86.5 percent) as Minnesota's Ryan Longwell (92.9), but Akers did score seven more points. Gould was 14th in the NFL, with 106 points (33 fewer than Akers), and his conversion percentage was a solid 85.7. In 2006, Gould scored 143 points, converting 32 of 36 field goals (88.9 percent) and all 47 of his extra points.
 
Q: The Bears have four tight ends and despite the high injury rate to tight ends keeping all four would be a luxury.  Brandon Manumaleuna was just signed specifically to fit into Mike Martz's system so he's safe. Greg Olsen is a high draft pick and the best pass catching threat but an unproven blocker.  Desmond Clark blocks and catches well but he's the oldest and was hurt last year.  Kellen Davis is big, young, and plays special teams. So who is likely to go?
Chris
 
A: Well, I think you've provided a fairly solid analysis of the situation. The Bears did pay Clark a roster bonus (I believe close to $500,000) due in March, so they are going to give him a fair shot to make the team.
In addition to the players you mentioned, the Bears also have Richard Angulo, a tall, athletic player who Mike Tice coached in Jacksonville and Minnesota.
It's entirely possible that the Bears may try to trade one of the players. But I have a hard time believing they would part with the most tradeable one, Kellen Davis. He'll turn 25 in October, and he's flashed enough potential that they may not get the value they're looking for.
It's also conceivable that they do keep five tight ends, if they somehow - in their minds - consider Brandon Manumaleuna a hybrid position, perhaps taking a roster spot for a fullback. Eddie Williams and Will Ta'ufo'ou are competing at that position, but perhaps they opt not to keep a traditional fullback.
 
Q: Who would be your personal choice to replace Adewale Ogunleye as a team captain? Logic says Charles Tillman will take his place.
Timmer
 
A: Let's first take a look at last year's captains. They were Olin Kreutz and Jay Cutler on offense. Long-snapper Patrick Mannelly on special teams. And, originally, Brian Urlacher and Ogunleye on defense.
When Urlacher was hurt, he was replaced by Lance Briggs. And when Ogunleye went down, he was replaced by Alex Brown.
I would figure, then, that Urlacher and Briggs might be the defensive captains. But, I do think Julius Peppers has made quite an impression (and a positive one) so far this off-season. I would think Charles Tillman and Chris Harris would also be in the mix.
 
Q: Who is the key to the defense this year? I think its Tommie Harris because Peppers will be double teamed every down. How will we fill the void left by Brown and Ogunleye?
Kris R.
 
A: I also think the key is Harris. As they often say, the defense starts up front and, more specifically, in the middle. And in a Cover Two based scheme, the front four has to generate the pressure on the quarterback, so at least one of your interior linemen has to be a stud.
Peppers/ Harris has the potential to be as much a force as Jared Allen/ Kevin Williams in Minnesota. If they play up to their potential, opposing offenses will be forced to double them, which opens things up for the other two d-linemen on the field. That's why Ray Edwards had such a big season for the Vikings in 2009, and that's why the Vikings are so reluctant to pay him like an elite player. His production was a product of facing a single blocker, and the guys who cash in produce despite double teams.
Harris has been slowed by injuries the couple of seasons, and he has insisted several times this off-season that he's got a clean bill of health for the first time in several years.
Now, let's see if he can return to his Pro Bowl form.
 
Q: Peppers is going to be a force this year which we all know. Is there enough on the other side of the line to make the D-line what they used to be? I don't think Mark Anderson will ever be the same type of player he was his rookie season. He seems to get man-handled by lineman. Do you think the opposite side of Peppers will be effective?
Ro
 
A: Say what you want about Anderson, but he had 12 sacks in one season. And while he hasn't come close to that number since, Anderson is still a very credible player. I believe Anderson might thrive when he's not counted on to play every single snap. I'm not saying he's a third-down pass rusher, just that he's not someone you're going to leave in there the entire game, the entire season. Maybe limit him to half the snaps, rotating him with Israel Idonije.
Worst case scenario, Idonije plays a lot, and he has the mentality you're looking for from a player at that spot. He's relentless, and he'll never quit on a play.
There are plenty of athletes competing for time at defensive end. I think the Bears are in fine shape at the position.

Q: What are your thoughts on Rashied Davis? Do you think the Bears will keep him this year or go with a younger player?
JPGR
 
A: Devin Hester, Devin Aromashodu are Johnny Knox locks, and I think Earl Bennett has a pretty good grip on a roster spot, as well. That means one spot may only remain at the position. Juaquin Iglesias was a third-round pick, so I think the Bears would hate to waste such a high pick in only the second year. That means Davis could be fighting an uphill battle to make the team. But, Davis is a solid veteran, who can help in a lot of ways, including on special teams.
Iglesias will have to earn the spot. 

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23 Comments

Mark Anderson will probably never be an all-pro, but his game has gotten a lot better over the last couple seasons, especially vs the run. True, he'll probably never be much of a sack artist either, but I think between him and Israel Idonije, the two of them should be able to hold down the other side of the line opposite Peppers. Its also gonna be interesting to see how rookie Corey Wooton figures into the equation at end. If healthy, which will be key, this kid could be a beast for Chicago. Wooton is 6-6 270lbs and was still athletic enough to have made 4 ints during his career at Northwestern. Wooton was also 4th career wise at Northwestern with 38 tackles for loss, he could be one to watch out for this summer if he's healthy.

The tight end position is also gonna be interesting, as far as who will stay and who will go. I can see Greg Olsen, Desmond Clark, and Brandon Manumaleuna as locks. But I wouldn't count 3rd year tight end Kellen Davis as a lock to make it. True the guys got nice size at 6-7, but Davis doesn't seem to be much of a blocker and isn't the receiver Greg Olsen is either. Remember, Chicago brought in Richard Angulo for a reason. Davis is gonna have to step up his game as a blocker and probably beat out Angulo to stick, we'll see how it works out GO BEARS!!

Sean, it's the "dodo bird", not "do-do bird"... I don't know what a do-do bird is (but I don't want to be under it when it's flying overhead)... no wonder it's extinct.

The Bears kept 4 tight ends (with Michael Gaines), and 6 wide receivers heading into the regular season last year, but they kept only 2 quarterbacks to compensate for that.

I think the Bears could still keep 4 tight ends and 6 wide receivers even if they do keep 3 quarterbacks simply by foregoing the traditional fullback position (as Sean mentioned) and lining up Manumaleuna in the backfield in those sets requiring a blocking back.

So, maybe Rashied Davis and Juaquin Iglesias are safe after all, and maybe the Bears don't have to make a choice at tight end, either.

I bet Rashied Davis is a lock to make the team this year. The final spot will be between Earl Bennett and Juaquin Iglesias. The winner of the training camp battle between those two will stay and the other will have a "phantom injury" and be put on IR for the year so they don't have to cut him. Next year Davis will then be released.

Sean,

The bears are going to way of the dodo bird this year.

Any last minute rights you want to give them? Or are you still playing with the crystal ball and wiji board in hoping and wishing that they get better?

Lets see:

Kevin has made his official Rookie "He's gonna be a total Beast Claim." Anyone else you want to throw into the total beast prediction Kevin. Get them out now so I can write them down. I myself think Wooten is not ready to go and won't be till mid-season at which point it will be really hard to work him into the lineup.

2 out of five comments are about an extinct bird.

Val wants to use a Wiji board and Crystal Ball.

And yet another typical fan thinks Davis is a lock over Bennett who he lost his job to and a young third round pick.

Lets take a look at the questions now.

We have a question about who will be one of the defensive Captains.

A defensive end question, reguarding who will play opposite Peppers.(We see this one every week.)

A Rashied Davis Question.

The is Tommie the key to the defense question.(Again, and again and again)

More questions about the TE position.(Cause thats really important in a Martz offense, its the key to all of it, the TE.)

There was one good question about the Shotgun formation.

Nobody even asked for a list of who the current number ones are at each position.

Shock of shocks, nobody asked the big question of where Peppers is playing LDE, or RDE, or are the Bears flipping him in practice.

Or is the offense throwing a lot of picks in practice?

I got one question. Are they going to raise the prices on Beer again?

So in closing this is what Bears fans are concerned with: The dodo bird, R.Davis, one DE position, the second defensive captain, Wiji Boards and Crystal balls, Haynesworth???, having enough TE's, and Kevin yet again throwing down the total beast call. This should be an award given to a rookie every year. It doesn't matter if they are good, in fact it works better if they suck.

This board has become a total Beast.

Creighton everyone one here has an opinion and that is why they let fans speak out on this blog. If there was a question you didnt see ask it yourself.

I have a crystal ball and it shows me that J'Marcus Webb is gonna be a solid NFL tackle. It may not be this year but he will come around. He is gonna be a total beast. Even better then Metcalf.

Also Creighton if Sean thinks it is a good question and he has a answer for it then he is gonna post it weather you like it or not.Listen well all know your style Creighton. You like to spout off who is the worst player in Bears history is, Love to rip on Lovie and his boy Angelo and you dream in wet just to tell us how bad a player is because of injury issues they had 3 years ago.

If you think positive there is hope. If your gonna be a negitive Nancy all the time well there is no hope for you at all.

Creighton, if healthy, I'll say it again for emphasis, "if healthy," Corey Wooton will be a beast for Chicago, maybe not this season as a rookie, but I bet the kid can develop into a pretty good end for Chicago. Also Creighton, because of the fact I kinda get your style also, give Wooton a year to develop, because again, I realize you have no idea what the term "player development" means. According to you and all your wisdom, a player should be an all-pro straight out of college or their a bust.

Creighton said: "So in closing this is what BEARS FANS are concerned with," I'll stop right there, THIS IS WHAT BEARS FANS ARE CONCERNED WITH????????????????? Creighton, heres a good question I'm sure a lot of us BEAR FANS on this board want to know, what team do you root for??

Oh yeah, not to rub it in Creighton, but hows your boy Big Ben and the big bad Steelers doing? Just asking now GO BEARS!!

Man, there were like four different questions regarding Quentin Scott in the question thread. What's the deal?

Creighton does have some valid points. The TE question was redundant, the capt. question was irrelavant and the rotation at DE has been said over and over. Conclusion there is really nothing going Sean is bored. So why waste time no real questions can be answered right now until the pads go on then we can give this site a hit right now it's just crap because there is really nothing to talk about.

Many of you have sent in posts that include attacks against Creighton. As I've mentioned before, I'm going to do my best to weed those out.

I certainly think the back-and-forth on this blog is great. I especially like the ones with strong supporting arguments to back things up. What I don't like -- and won't approve, if at all possible -- are the postings that just blast another person for their opinions, whatever they are.

Name-calling absolutely isn't tolerated.

Creighton generally makes strong points and supports them, even if they tend to be negative. That's his right. But, like I would for anyone else, I also make sure that he keeps it clean.

So for those of you who are wondering why your comments haven't posted, they won't, unless you edit out the red flags I've mentioned.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Creighton is the king baby!

hahalmao!

but seriously, maybe as a fan base we have to rely more on wiji boards, crystal balls, wizards, and tarot cards...b-cuz the hype and expectations never match the season's realities. I realize that "we're close" (and actually think we are) but it might take some magical assistance to close the gap this year. Of course, if enough Viqueens continue to skip off season workouts...we'll see.

Don't count D-Lions out or as 2 easy victories this year either Chitown.

BEAR DOWN!

"By Creighton on March 25, 2009 11:48 PM

...In fact I am so sure that Angelo will not get him[Cutler]that if he does, I will be outside Soilder Field in a hot pink panties that say spank me, singing the Crackers Happy birthday to me while holding up a sign that reads Brando rules and I suck..."

still waiting

Sean Creighton underminds everybody in everyone of his post. You talk about attacks well look at his post he is making fun of every post above his. Then he is making fun of you because of what question you answered and will answer in the future. Yeah he might not be vulgar but read between the lines he is underminding every opinion that us other fans have.

Thank you for your time Sean.

Well well well. This has to tell you something. Sean you are the second blog admin that has to tell us Bears fans to lay off Creighton.
I dont know if it is that you havent been here long enough or you are doing your job the way you were asked to do it but Creighton creates all of these attacks against himself by attacking peoples names. He will twist words like you wont believe to make himself look good and the other fans look bad so..... It go's both ways buddy.

P.S. No red flags here.

Creighton,

There was one telling answer: "[T]he Bears have already maxed out their credit, so to speak, with the McCaskeys ... I certainly don't think Jerry Angelo, Lovie Smith and company can justify asking for a player like Haynesworth."

Translation: The McCheapskates, who care far more about how much money they can make off the team than they care about winning, will not allow management or the coaches to get another good player, because he'd cost too much.

Cutting Alex Smith was really lame and was due to this cheapskate attitude, depriving the Bears of the only legitimate starting end they had beside Peppers. And Tommie Harris hasn't been any good for years due to injuries and his legs are probably shot.

Haynesworth has major attitude and behavioral problems, but if the Bears want to win, they should at least explore getting him. Players like him are often more trouble than they're worth, but if the Bears eschew getting Haynesworth just because of money, well, that's not conducive to winning. And that's why many of us want new ownership that will do and spend whatever it takes to win.

Side note:

Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said Saturday after minicamp that Kyle Orton will be his starter heading into training camp.

"We've got a guy [Orton] who's going to go into camp as the starter, no question about it and he deserves it," McDaniels said. "If somebody comes in there and plays better than he does then that player will play."
"He is the starter, no doubt," McDaniels nonchalantly said.

Asked if the competition was even close right now, McDaniels said, "It's clear, I think, that Kyle is definitely ahead. There's no question."

Orton isn't really giving the competition much thought, just going about his business. That's always been his approach.

"I'm really happy with the way I'm playing and just really have more confidence right now than I've ever had," he said.

Orton is coming off a season in which he threw for a career-high 3,802 yards and 21 touchdowns. But Denver limped home down the stretch and missed the playoffs despite a 6-0 start.

In my own opinion Bears should have kept Orton and let go of Turner.

I'm with you, Brando! I guess we're not allowed to call anyone names anymore. Not other bloggers, that is. We can call Jerry, Lovie, and anyone working for the Bears any name we want (Creighton does every other time he blogs) but not Creighton. YIKES! They must be related!

"Name-calling absolutely isn't tolerated. "

Hey Jensen, did you work as a kindergarten teacher before this? Why don't you let the men talk like they've been doing when Biggs was still here. We don't need a moderator that thinks he's a nanny.

I agree with you, Sean, about editing out some or most of the trash talk. I guess I see this blog as a chance to air some personal opinions and ask some valid questions of general concern to Bear fans. Unfortunately egos and vendetta focusses show up all too regularly. I quit submitting for a while, but did ask a question that was not printed. That's okay, although I thought my question was better than some that were printed.In any case, all of our questions will be answered once the season starts and we see which players are left and playing which positions. Then we'll see if all these changes add up to a winning team or another bitter disappointment.

Last time I looked however it could have been changed recently, every citizen of the United States of America has freedom of speech. Sean, part of the intrigue of this web site is some of the colorful tone it takes at times. Treating us all like children and not allowing a little fun and free speech is like living in communist Russia or China during the cold war.

Val the cold war was not a war in very cold weather it was the nuclear threat that the U.S. and Soviet Union had during the late 50's and early 60's.

I cannot believe that grown men are crying because they want the right to call someone names. Sorry people, I really just want to read about football.

So with the Albert Haynesworth situation in Washington, I was wondering what type of financial obligations the Bears had in Julius Peppers. Obviously making him the highest paid player in history dictates that he's getting a pretty big check but what if he decides he doesn't want to play for Chicago next year? How much money can be recouped or what kind of protection do the Bears have against a total about face by their new franchise player?

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on June 11, 2010 12:37 PM.

Former Bear Taylor going into Grambling hall of fame was the previous entry in this blog.

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