Chicago Sun-Times

Like Rose, Wilson would like to stay at home

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Martez Wilson said the Bears were one of three teams that have interviewed him at the combine so far. That's fine with the former Illinois linebacker, who would mind doing what fellow Simeon graduate Derrick Rose is doing --- playing for his hometown team.

"If I could that would be great to play for a team I grew up rooting for but no matter who drafts me I'll be happy," he said.

Wilson is ranked among the top inside linebackers in 2011 draft class after leading the Illini with 112 tackles last season.

"If I do everything well that I need to do here and continue to improve even after the combine and impress scouts, impress coaches and general managers, I think my chances are very high," Wilson said when asked if he could be a first-round pick. "I'm confident in myself and I'll be working very hard. The sky is the limit."

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Sooner or later the Bears will need to start making plans to replace Urlacher and Briggs, and Wilson would be a step in the right direction. But this is not the year to take a high draft choice at LB. I would rather see them go after someone like Herzlich in the 4th or 5th round, and let him compete on the strong side, and backup Urlacher.

Hillenmeyer may have to hang it up for concussions, so we will need a smart, consistent player behind Brian, who surprised a lot of people with how well he played in 2010. I didn't think he was going to get back to that level, and I am glad I was wrong. But I did think Briggs took a step back in 2010. Hopefully it was an anomaly for him, but he seemed a step late a lot of the time, and missed a lot more tackles than I am used to seeing him miss. Maybe the ankle/knee issue that knocked him out for a game was bothering him the rest of the season, and I hope that is the case, but both Briggs and Urlacher have a lot of miles on them, and are not getting younger. Instead of keeping guys like McClover and Wilson on the roster year after year, how about we draft guys that are capable of playing on defense, and develop them behind Urlacher and Briggs. Give them some mop-up time, and when the starters get dinged, let them play instead of keeping a limping vet on the field. That is how the great organizations stay relevent year after year. They build their depth, and have a plan for the future. We have a plan for the next 60 minutes of game time, and then we set another plan for the next 60 minutes after that.

That to me has been Angelo's biggest failing as a GM. No long term strategy for an aging team, so we are likely going to experience another stretch like we did in the 60s and 70s, where we have talented players, but not enough of a team to compete.


Great comments. I agree whole heartedly. I have asked several times, why can't the special teams be made up {in part} from guys who could potentially start at some point. Corey Graham is a great special teams guy, but will the Bears ever give him a shot to be a corner?

I haven't seen any projections, but a couple of guys at LB that might be there in the later rounds could be Mark Herzlich from BC. Seems to have beat the cancer, although he didn't look too good at the Sr. Bowl. Also Casey Matthews might be there as well, but he seems to be moving up. Maybe it's the pedigree.

I don't think Angelo has a long term strategy because he's never had even one draft class where he's hit on everything. If you look at great GM's, they don't hit on every single draft pick, but they all have a stretch where they hit on almost everything. Look at Walsh and Vainisi of the early and mid 80's. Polian in Buffalo, Carolina, and Indy, and Belichick in NE. And it's that 2-3 year draft "bonanza" that sets the foundation for a very competitive team for a 6-8 year period. If Angelo doesn't:
A. Hit on every draft pick this year.
B. Make those draft picks count in the areas that will best help this team. {It really doesn't matter if Angelo drafts a CB and DT with the first two picks and they are instantly solid players while his franchise QB is having his knee MRI'd.}
...Then you are correct, this will be a mediocre team with some pretty good players at certain positions for the next 5-6 years. As much as I loved Payton, and Hampton {79}, and had high hopes for Dennis Lick and Ted Albrecht, the 70's and early 80's sucked from a success standpoint.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on February 26, 2011 4:22 PM.

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