Tag:2010 Chicago Bears
Posted on: February 23, 2010 5:26 pm

Chicago Bears Secondary Needs

Well, gang...

... The entire league knows we have some issues on this team and its going to take some serious effort to correct it.  The task looks overly daunting, but I don't think its impossible.  I'm a firm believer in the phrase: When life gives you LEMONS...


Since we've already discussed coaches on several different threads and we've also discussed discussed free agents for the Bears as well as what's available, I thought it would be interesting to look at what would be available for the Bears in round 3 of this year's draft.  The Bears wilkl more than likely have the 10th slot in this year's draft, so they will be fairly early in the third round.

Like you, I would have preferred to have kept that 2nd round pick we used for Gaines Adam midway through this season, but to our benefit this happens to be one of the deepest draft classes since the 2004 season.  There is an enormous amount of talent at every position and that talent could very well be there all the way up until the 5th round at some positions.

I think the Bears have to address the "major issues" that have plagued this team for years.  I know many fans will be screaming for WRs and DEs and they CERTAINLY have more than enough reasons to believe that BETTER talent needs to be brought in at that position.  However, I have been a long time advocate for change at the secondary position.  There is where the most "change" and NEED is at this present time.

As many of you know, I am not a big fan of "peanut" Charles Tillman.  Even before he loss the extra weight two years ago, I thought he was better suited for the safety position and a much better run support player than a cover guy.  In 2009, he was the "tallest midget" in terms of "skilled" cornerbacks on this team, so there weren't too many options, but with ever growing concerns of his health (shoulders seem to be blowing out like Jerry Azumah's) and his coverage skills becoming more evidently "lacking" the Bears need to really address the secondary position in this draft.  In particular, a position that has eluded them for a very long time and is ESSENTIAL to the success of the Cover 2, the safety position .

Safety is often referred to as the quarterback of the defense. The safety position is arguably the most challenging position on the defensive side in football. The safety has to have the speed of wide receiver combined with the aggressiveness of a linebacker.  The number one rule of the FS is to NEVER... EVER... Allow the receiver to get behind you all while reading the play going on in front of you and being able to help the underneath receiver/LB in coverage or come up and provide a hit in run support.  Its a tough position and the Bears were hurt by their lack of skill at the position time and time again this past season.

Mike Brown was such a big factor in the success of the Bears defense.  Even in his limited time on the field in any season, once his services were no longer available, the Bears defense would slip a few notches.  He has a tremendous football IQ and in his earlier days had the physicality to make plays and tackles.  Whether the offense ran the ball or threw it, Mike Brown was able to contribute and make something happen for the defense.  This strengthened one side of the football field and forced QBs to "think twice" before throwing in that area of the field.  It also gave that underneath corner some assurance knowing that Brown was behind them in support.  That element has never "consistently" been there-- even when Brown WAS here.

Nate Allen of University of South Florida fits that billet.


Allen is a bit unknown right now, but that could easily change once the combine opens and he works out for a few teams.  This guy has the size, strength, movement, and understanding to be a great playmaking FS in the NFL.  Part of his understanding comes from being an all-state QB in HS and being able to transition that to the position of FS.  He simply makes plays and has a good nose for where the ball will be.

I like Al Alfalava, as I called him a "hidden gem" for the Bears in last year's draft, but I think he would be much better served at the SS position.  He is a hard hitter and makes pretty good tackles.  I do think he needs to bulk up a bit in the offseason, but I think he is a good football player and with Allen to his left could form a great safety tandem.

I also think Demetrice Morley would be a good choice to consider if Allen is not available in the third.   I say that because I think Allen provides good value at the 3rd round and most other FSs at his skill set will be gone around the same time or before.  Morley is a good player with speed and good hands.  However, he was involved in that incident earlier in the year with the 4 players from Tennessee who got in trouble with the law, so he will be a supplemental draft choice.  Given the Bears abysmal season and the amount of talent they gave up to acquire Jay Cutler, they should have a pretty decent seating in that portion of the draft and--perhaps-- Morley would be available there.  Morley would certainly need a bit of work, but the tools are all there.

Thoughts on SECONDARY NEEDS, 3rd ROUND SELECTION, or Nate Allen of USF?
Posted on: February 23, 2010 5:21 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2010 5:27 pm

Is there ANYTHING 2 B optimistic about '10 Bears?

That was the thread I read this afternoon on the Chicago Bears message thread.

I understand the frustration of many Bears fans with the bleak current outlook of the 2010 season.  With so many glaring holes and needs, its hard for even the most "unattached" Bears fan to say that there is anything to get overly excited for going into the Draft next month.

However, I will say is that there is hope for a competitive "season" (mind you that I did not say 2011+; which is an entirely different can of worms) if the Bears management can "pull a rabbit from a hat" in several key areas.

1.) Secondary-- The Cover Two system that the Bears employ has been missing a free safety since the oft-injured Mike Brown.  Mike Brown has great football instincts and will make a fine coach one day.  When he was on the field the defense clicked and played more instinctive and with a different vigor.  When he was not there, the Bears defense suffered and big plays were had often.  Is there a Mike Brown-like player in FA or the draft?  There are some names in FA that are available and their are some late round "true" FS that are available, but the Bears have to be committed to getting one.  Danieal Manning had the athletic ability to be a great FS, but I think management's intent to get him on the field playing as soon as possible by lining him up all over the field might have caused him some confidence issues as well as  consistency at position.  Mike Brown was ultimately going to be axed by Angelo for his inability to stay on the field, but Manning needed to be walked into the position; not rushed.  Bears have to address this position in order to make their C2 system work in 2010.  Its a must.

2.) Offensive Line-- I think the high rish/high reward mentaliy that the Bears have taken with the OL over the past 3 years has to end in 2010.  You can't keep playing players who are past their prime, out of their natural position, or better served in a mentoring capacity at one of the key positions for this football team.  Just by location alone, Chicago is better suited for teams who can run the ball effectively and play good defense.  The play action pass is the "cherry on the top" for a high profile defense in Chicago.  Point of emphasis:  Everything works from the ground in Chicago football.  That being said, you have to make sure you're putting your players where they are most effective and addressing needs at your pressure points on the line.  In 2010, the Bears need to severe ties with Orlando Pace from a starting OT perspective and have him mentor young Chris Williams and Frank Omiyale at the tackle positions.  The experiment with Omiyale at Guard needs to end and was probably predicated on Orlando Pace's arrival in Chicago.  Move Omiyale to tackle and find a Guard in Free Agency.  Bobbie Williams of the Cincinnatti Bengals is available this year and could be had for a modest salary (certainly not cheap) and a guaranteed starting position.  According to Football Outsiders, Williams was one of the best run blocking guards in the NFL last year (ranking no. 3, I believe) and would be a good compliment to C. Williams on the left side of the line.  Williams is the best lineman available in FA (in my opinion) and Guard is not as talented as other positions in the alter stages of the draft where the Bears will be making selections.  The Bears HAVE to get something done outside of the draft in this position and not wait til TC cuts to pick up needed pieces.

3.) Find out if they really have a pass rushing DE in Mark Anderson?-- They can't continue to overlook the fact that a consistent pass rush is needed from one of their DEs.  Alex Brown is a good run stopping end and I don't think they want to lose that in the starting lineup, but they have to find someone who can get pressure on the QB.  Aaron Kampman is a name I like and I think would be a good fit on that DL.  Kampman is coming off of a year where he was asked to play DE/OLB in a 3-4 in Green Bay and an injury the year before that.  He was a force two years ago, but how that transcends to today is anyone's guess.  Mine is that he can perform at a high rate if given a strong rotation.  And one thing Chicago does have-- defensive lineman.  If not, Aaron Kampman, they need to find someone to be a speed rush specialist behind Anderson in the lineup.  There are some names in the draft that are intriguing, but all this shores around what type of commitment the Bears are going to make with Anderson.

If these three things are done, then I just see it being a thing of chemistry and timing before it pans out.  I'm not disenchanted by the receiving corp as I think there is enough talent there.  I think if Cutler comes into camp determined to put in work and make the necessary progress in his game he can potentially duplicate his pro bowl season in Denver, and I think the coaching staff has had some failures, but they have also had some past successes.

I know... I know... That's a lot of "if's", but I think they are not unattainble.  Here's to a "competitive" 2010!  Go Bears!
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