Chicago Sun-Times

Could past influence Bears ability to land Smith?

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Expect to hear a lot about the receiver position when the offseason signing frenzy begins, even if it won't be and shouldn't be the Bears' No. 1 priority.

As tantalizing as many of the free-agent receivers might be, players such as Randy Moss, Braylon Edwards, Terrell Owens and Plaxico Burress don't fit offensive coordinator Mike Martz's disciplined scheme. Santana Moss would be the best fit but all signs point to him signing with the Redskins.

Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith wants to be traded to a contender and cleaned out his locker at Bank of America Stadium. He had the worst statistical season of his career while playing for the league's least-productive offense last season. At 32, his best years are probably behind him, but he fits Martz's offense, and the Bears have firsthand knowledge of how big an impact he can make after he torched them for 218 yards and two touchdowns in a 29-21 NFC divisional playoff loss in 2005.

Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer, via ProFootballTalk.com, reporting that although the Bears meet Smith's criteria of a playoff contender after advancing to the NFC Championship game last season, his preference is to play for either the Chargers or Ravens.

His preference may not end up being as big a factor as Ron Rivera's. If Smith can be added for a third- or fourth-round pick, General manager Jerry Angelo shouldn't hesitate, but here's another factor: Does the first-year Panthers coach want to give coach Lovie Smith a potentially critical piece of a championship puzzle after the Bears' coach chose not to retain him after the Super Bowl season in 2006?

I'm not saying yes or no, but it's an interesting question.

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3 Comments

Why not Steve Smith. Lets face it Smith had no one throwing the ball his way in the last few years and last year one of the worst offenses in the league. A jump to Chicago might be a stimulus to get that Super Bowl under his belt, he still has talent and may be working more than ever with the thought of joining a winning team since the Pather's are not going to contend, or if they do it would be a surprise to most.

If Ron Rivera wastes over 10 seconds thinking about that kind of question, I'd recommend he rent, not buy. The new head coaches in the NFL are really behind the 8-ball this year. They can't afford to let anybody get in their head about anything other than preparing a team for football.

He can worry about settling old scores after he finds his parking place at the office.

According to the __Suntimes__article, it looks like there may be an NFL season. That being the case, Smith might well be a solid addition. I like the receivers the Bears already have, but Smith has been great when given enough opportunities. i remember seeing him in many games in which he simply could not be contained. His hands are also strong in holding on to the ball , even when almost annihilated by a defender. he seems to fit the Martz system as well, but, as has been stated by other bloggers and by me enough times in the past, the offensive line providing protection for Cutler is the key.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on July 17, 2011 11:19 AM.

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