Can the Bears keep pace with the Packers?Thre
Can the Bears keep pace with the Packers?
Three positions that Lovie needs to upgrade this offseason. Matt Bowen
Since the Packersí Super Bowl XLV win this past Sunday, I have been asked about Lovie Smith and the Bears. In general, how big is the gap or separation between the two clubs? Bound to happen when a divisional rival wins a championship, plus we can all agree that Chicago has to make some upgrades to match the talent and scheme of Green Bay. And I don't think that distance between these two teams is that big.
However, I do see three positions that Smith and GM Jerry Angelo have to address this offseason through the draft and free agency to stay competitive with the Packers: offensive tackle, cornerback and wide receiver. Letís break it down.
1. Offensive tackle: The Bears struggle offensively vs. Dom Capers and the Green Bay defense. Part of that revolves around scheme, but it all leads back to protection issues. Until Chicago gets a dominant player at the tackle position, they will not be able to handle Clay Matthews or the zone and man pressure from Capers. One thing to discuss is the future of former first round tackle Chris Williams who was bumped inside to guard in the 2010 season. Does he stay inside or do we see him back outside to the tackle spot in 2011? Regardless, I see a club in Chicago that needs to invest in a tackle and find an upgrade over J'Marcus Webb that could possibly move over to the left side. Two names stand out late in the first round: Gabe Carimi from Wisconsin and Derek Sherrod from Mississippi State. I saw them both up close in Mobile at the Senior Bowl and I do think they can come into camp, compete and end up starting on opening day, Bottom line: Chicago needs to find a way to give QB Jay Cutler time to throw the ball vs. this Packersí defense. Invest in the O-Line and protect your quarterback.
2. Cornerback: We view Chicago as a zone based team because of the Cover 2 scheme under Smith, but the Bears will play plenty of single high safety looks (think Cover 1, Cover 3, zone pressure). You need numbers and quality depth at the cornerback position to play with the Packers empty sets and three wide receiver looks. Mike McCarthy wants to spread the field and work on the secondary. In Chicago, the top three corners arenít enough. Charles Tillman doesnít run as well as he used to, Jennings was taken advantage of in the NFC title game and D.J. Moore plays his best as a Cover 2 corner aligned inside of the numbers. Smith needs to create competition in camp and can find value in the draft at the position. Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, etc. Multiple weapons for Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers that the Bears have to match up with.
3. Wide receiver: Is Johnny Knox a true No.1? Thatís the question for Angelo heading into this offseason. I see Knox as a fit for what Martz wants to do with his WRs, but I view him more as a solid No.2. The Bears need another option, a legit player outside of the numbers that can consistently make plays vs. this Green Bay secondary. A big body that can matchup with Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson, win vs. press coverage, create separation and run the inside breaking routes of Martzís system. Where does that put Devin Hester? Align him inside of the numbers were he can win vs. the majority of No.3 corners in the NFL. Take advantage of his lateral speed and ability in the open field. But you need to get another receiver for Cutler that can play to make that happen. A player that can alter coverage schemes. The Packersí secondary is the best in the league in my opinion. Time to upgrade the WR corps in Chicago to compete.
I'd say no. Packers won the Super Bowl with something like 15 starters on IR. Bears were almost perfectly healthy all year. Next year the pack will be healthy again, better players back, they are the early favorites for the division next year.
That is, IF there is a next year
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Originally Posted by The Benjamin
god i'm so sick of that 15 IR player nonsense( and NO! most were NOt starters), even brandt the ex-packer Vp says its BS. becuase of the "no cap" of 2010, the packers put alot of players that normally never would have been IR guys, onto IR and brought in others, because no cap ramifications for why such an inflated number.. and honestly a few of the replacements lot better then the "over-the-hill" guys they replaced, so NOT getting the others back is an improvement. if al harris wasn;t Ir'ed and played, tramon willams maybe never gets time and he's better.. same for crap justin harell who anyone is better than him.. and Tausher just old and would not be back anyway- and players like josh bell,derrick martin,brad jones nothing but fodder and not missed or matter if come back. instead of 15 guys, realitically only finley and grant Significant top line players for packers of the 15 IR guys( some may argue nick barnett, but he's just not as a good as hyped, but if want to count him that's 3) , Which puts in a much different light
Last edited by dabears54; 02-10-2011 at 07:25 AM.
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Originally Posted by dabears54
Al Harris is the biggest joke injury excuse I ever heard when they talked about that last year. Coming off knee injury a year ago, 35 years old, and he was already getting picked on before that by every team they played. OMG how can they overcome that injury.
Their top guys on offense are rodgers, clifton, and jennings, defense its raji, matthews, woodson, and williams .... and all of those guys played all year other then a game here or there, thats what really matters .....
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yep -typical "myth building" from the cheese that unfort so mnay buy into w/o realizing the reality, i'd add in finley a big loss and Grant, but agree the rest of their playmakers healthy and played all year- and williams came in for harris, so that helped not hurt the team
Originally Posted by JustWinBaby
Fine, have it your way. They only lost two key players for any signifcant amount of time. They were a one dimensional offense the whole year. Beat us twice, and won the Super Bowl.
Next year they get their running game back and their TE.
Yeah, I'd say they are better than the Bears this year, and at the moment will be better than us next year too.
dabears54, would you be okay if the Bears signed Champ Bailey? He's got a good 3-4 years left.
Also, here's my mock draft (judge it more on position than player)...
round 1 - OTs Gabe Carimi or Derek Sherrod
round 2 - Marcus Austin (DT)
round 3 - Ras-I Dowling (CB)
round 4 - Greg Little (WR)
round 5 - Brian Rolle (S)
round 6 - Alan Pelc (Center), University of North Carolina
So because the bears were better then the packers in 2006, it meant we would be better than them in 2007 right? an we get back mike brown, tommie harris etc that were hurt in 2006, right?.. how did that turn out?.. And maybe the packers will be better, but to already be crowning their asses , sems very short sighted AND likely wrong.. Ask the saints, steelers,giants,indy, tampa etc what happened the year after their SB wins, despite "sure" they would get better the following year, and it not happening.. just saying way to early to say anything for 2011
Originally Posted by The Benjamin
They were a one dimensional offense the whole year.
Not any different than last few years actually benj, packers had 421 carries 1,606 yards rushing in 2010, 438 carries and 1,808 in 2009 and 437 carries and 1,805 in 2007.. so not sure the 12 yards a game less rushing in 2010 any different or the one less carry per game any more or less one one dimensional than last few years, don't you find that the SAME and not any different? same carries means with or without grant running the same( yards slightly different because a slighty better rb)
Last edited by dabears54; 02-10-2011 at 09:27 AM.
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yeah check the Cb/safety thread for talking about bailey
Originally Posted by GeorgiaJeff
Addendum to my previous post...
I believe the Bears will draft a DT before a CB or WR.
Brian Rolle, Safety
I was looking at the S position and wondering just how deep we are? Maybe Manning gets greedy? I think this kid is interesting!!! He's the cousin of Antrel Rolle, who we looked into signing last year!
He's a good LB that's known to be a little short and projects to a S in the NFL. He's a bit slower then the top S's in the draft, but 20 lbs heavier! He's runs with the 2nd tier S's just fine. I'm thinking put his mass in the box, in our D, with a shutdown CB in the secondary!!!
I hope the Bears pursue Champ Bailey (CB) in free agency.