... 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...
... Make LEMON DROP MARTINIS!
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?