Interesting since the last stats I saw had him between 295lbs and 307 lbs. Guess his agent told him to put on some pounds. Also looks like he's dropped down on some lists and Carimi has gained. I guess with this many potential 1st rounders that will shift everday right up til draft day.
Originally Posted by WindyCity
Wisniewski would be a great player for the Bears, but I do not know if he is worthy of the 29th pick.
But I would be fine if the Bears were aggressive in the 2nd round and moved up to secure Wisniewski as that would really add youth and talent.
1 OT Derek Sherrod [Mississippi State] 6'5" 321lbs.
*The Bears trade 2 and TE Greg Olsen to the Arizona Cardinal for 2 and 6th.
2 C Stefen Wisniewski [Penn State] 6'3" 313lbs.
Yeah, like I've been saying the past month; the more I see Wiz play, the harder it is for me to see him as a first rounder. He's not been bad this season, but he has lost some of the athleticism that made him exciting as an underclassmen and he still struggles quite a bit 1 on 1 against the power pigs. He is still far and away the best pure C in this draft, but he'd be much more valuable early-mid second to than he would be in the first.
Originally Posted by WindyCity
Angelo, Bears putting it on the line at combi
Angelo, Bears putting it on the line at combine
February 24, 2011 12:54 PM | 2 Comments
By Vaughn McClure
As general manager Jerry Angelo and his staff huddle in Indianapolis for this year's NFL Scouting Combine, the Bears are certain to closely monitor this year's crop of offensive line prospects.
"It comes down to protecting the quarterback," Angelo said in an interview with the Tribune last week. "If your quarterback is going to play to his ceiling consistently, he's got to be protected. That's a given."
True, the Bears' offensive line made some improvement in the second half of the 2010 season, but it still surrendered a league-high 56 sacks. Jay Cutler absorbed 52 of those.
One of the biggest questions related to the line this offseason is what the Bears' plan is with Olin Kreutz. Fellow captain Brian Urlacher lobbied for Kreutz, set to become an unrestricted free agent, to get an extension. But the six-time Pro Bowl center turns 34 in June, so the Bears have to factor that into the equation.
Angelo didn't commit to Kreutz either way, but did imply that there would be a benefit to keeping Kreutz in the fold.
"You always want a little mixture of veteran and younger players on the line," Angelo said. "It's just like in college ... you want your younger guys to look up to the seniors, right? And then there comes a point where the seniors graduate and those younger guys have had a model, so now it's their turn. Ideally, that's what you try to do at all positions and then collectively on your football team. And I think we've done a pretty good job of that -- creating a mixture of players."
As far as the starters on the line, the Bears have two 30-year-olds in Kreutz and right guard Roberto Garza (32 in March). Left tackle Frank Omiyale turns 29 in November, while left guard Chris Williams (26 in August) and J'Marcus Webb (23 in August) are the babies of the group.
The Bears, who own the 29th overall pick in this year's draft, have drafted two offensive linemen in the first round under Angelo: Marc Colombo (now with the Cowboys) and Williams. And Angelo was criticized over the latter after Williams missed the first seven games of his rookie season following back surgery.
"Was there a risk? Yeah," Angelo said of drafting Williams. "But we were made to feel like we were deceiving the truth. We will never do that."
If the Bears pinpoint an offensive lineman in the first round again this season, Wisconsin's Gabe Carmini, Florida's Mike Pouncey, Colorado's Nate Solder, and Boston College's Anthony Costanzo, and USC's Tyron Smith some of the offensive linemen projected to go late in the first round. Those five will join the rest of the invited offensive linemen in combine workouts starting Saturday.
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Biggs: Bears questions abound entering combine
INDIANAPOLIS -- The future of the NFL has been batted around in Washington this week with the owners and players meeting with a mediator in hopes of chiseling their way to a labor agreement.
But the focus shifts to Indianapolis beginning Thursday for a long weekend when 40 times, vertical jumps and bench-press reps become all the rage. Truthfully, the most important business at the annual scouting combine is the medical evaluations that are done on all the prospects. That, and there's always a ton of back-room dealing. How else do you think free agents cut deals minutes into free agency?
When free agency occurs this year remains up in the air. There are plenty of questions that need to be answered and issues that can be examined. Here are seven for the Bears:
1. What's up with Lovie Smith's contract extension? General manager Jerry Angelo announced the day after the loss in the NFC Championship Game that the Bears planned to extend the contract of Smith, who is signed through 2011. That was Jan. 24, one month ago. It's not a surprise.
Here's an excerpt from what I wrote Nov. 20: "The irony here is that extending Smith, who is believed to be making more than $5 million annually, could be just as difficult as firing him if the Bears desire to rein in what they pay a coach who doesn't have control of personnel.
"Smith made a power grab the last time, saying he and Angelo reported to team president Ted Phillips. Roles are defined clearly and Angelo is the general manager. What's the going rate for a veteran coach without a Super Bowl ring and lacking ultimate personnel juice? Phillips isn't going to find a discount when you consider only six head coaches have been entrenched in their current positions longer -- Marvin Lewis, Bill Belichick, Jack Del Rio, Jeff Fisher, Andy Reid and John Fox, another lame-duck coach who appears headed out of Carolina."
Fisher is out in Tennessee and Fox, indeed, left Carolina. So there's what makes negotiations for a new deal for Smith interesting. Consider the last time he got a deal, it was a week after the scouting combine. So there is no reason to be alarmed. There's just some more negotiating that needs to be done.
2. Will Olin Kreutz be re-signed? The veteran center is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. He's seeking his fourth contract from the Bears and the bet here is the Bears do come up with a short-term contract, maybe two years. Kreutz wants to continue playing and there simply isn't anyone on the roster the team would like to replace him with. In fact, right guard Roberto Garza is probably the only candidate offensive line coach Mike Tice would consider, given all that goes into the position.
Kreutz is the most significant of the four starters headed to free agency that the team has to handle. The Bears need to add players to their line before they can consider subtracting players. Bringing back the undisputed leader and hopefully pairing him with a competent understudy makes the most sense. Otherwise, Tice would be forced to consider changes across the board. At least the club has draft picks to address the situation this year.
3. What about Anthony Adams? The Bears made a run at Adams before the end of the regular season and couldn't get something done. He was a bargain for four seasons and would have been an even greater value had the coaches not insisted on trying to play Dusty Dvoracek ahead of him for so long. Hey, at least they got it figured out. Adams is a valuable two-down performer and he's an inspirational guy for his teammates. If Tommie Harris gets released, and we addressed that issue Wednesday, the Bears would need to replace their two starters from the end of the season if they can't bring back Adams.
But as the case has been in the past when the Bears can't reach agreement with their players, sometimes they let them go to free agency. The free market establishes a player's value best. In the case of a guy like Adams, he wants to return to the Bears. It's likely something can be worked out.
4. What position will the Bears target with their first pick? Angelo likes to say he doesn't want to be hostage to a position, especially in the first round. No one will debate their top need is on the offensive line, but they're not going to have their choice of the top couple players, especially the tackles. Mock drafts I've seen -- and there are oodles of them to sort through -- have had the Bears going after four positions: offensive line, defensive line, wide receiver, cornerback.
The only one that would surprise me is wide receiver and that's because Angelo has been reluctant to invest top picks at the position in the past and the last time he did, Mark Bradley turned into a bust. In fact, Bradley had a case of the drops in OTA's as a rookie. The Bears were peeved at reports indicating such, claiming it was rookie nerves. Why did Bradley get run out of Kansas City before the end of the 2009 season? He kept dropping the football.
Not everyone would be pleased but no one would be surprised if the Bears went with a defensive lineman, given Angelo and Smith's desire to collect them. But a cornerback would make more sense if the Bears go with defense in Round 1.
5. What does Mike Martz have to say? The hubbub that surrounded Jay Cutler and his knee injury has died down. It will come back, it hasn't gone away for good, but Martz never spoke after the NFC title game and the appropriate questions are what happened to the quarterback and the offense in that game? So much focus was put on Cutler's knee but before he injured it, he was awful on the biggest stage of his career. What is the next step for the development of Cutler in the mind of the coordinator?
6. Will the Bears have three safeties in 2011? That depends on whether Danieal Manning returns. Make no mistake, the plan will be for Major Wright to be a starter. With Chris Harris under contract, that could make Manning expendable. That being said, he has real value and the club tried to get something done with him in December. The difference between what Manning is seeking and what the club offered was vast. We'll see if they can close that gap.
7. Don't be surprised if Corey Graham is popular in free agency. In casual conversations with other teams, his name has come up. Graham wants a chance to play cornerback and a team that relies on more man-to-man schemes might fit him. He's so good on special teams everyone could use him. It would be a little surprising if he didn't enter the free-agent market.
NFL COMBINE: BEARS LOOKING AT A ANOTHER EAGLE?
Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011
Posted 8:56 a.m. | Updated 1:53 p.m.
By John Mullin
If the Bears somehow find Anthony Castonzo still on the draft board when their turn comes at No. 29 (and that is highly unlikely), the 6-7, 305-pound tackle could become the fourth offensive linemen from Boston College taken in the last 15 Bears drafts.
That would suit the Hawthorn Woods native just fine, having declared that he will be a Bears fan "til I die."
The Bears already have interviewed Castonzo and shown interest, although "all the teams are just playing it easy right now," Castonzo said. "No teams are really saying, 'You're our guy' They've showed interest but not more than anyone else right now."
A couple did-ja-know's on Castonzo:
* His left foot is an inch-and-a-half bigger than his right one. Growing up he wore two different size shoes "but now I just wear 18's."
* The Bears have drafted Marc Colombo (2002), Josh Beekman (2007) and Evan Pilgrim (1995) out of Boston College. Castonzo didn't overlap with Beekman "but I do know him and was training for the Combine when I came into B.C.
"I think the mantra at B.C. is 'when you go into the NFL, be a tough guy, just work and be that blue-collar kind of guy. I want to take the reins that they've laid out for me and just be that next guy;'"
* Castonzo went to Fork Union Military after attending Lake Zurich High School because "I had zero scholarship offers coming out of high school. I was a 6-7, 220-pound drink of water and every school I talked to said, 'We don't think you're going to get big enough.' So I went to Fork Union Military Academy and got big enough."
But there's this Badger, see..
CSNNE.com colleague Tom Curran reports that Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi is
pretty direct: Carimi is the best tackle in the draft, according to Carimi.
"That's his opinion," Castonzo volunteered.
From a cred perspective, Carimi has some history on his side. Cleveland's Joe Thomas already is playing at a Pro Bowl level and if the Bears could get from Carimi what they got from Dennis Lick (the eighth-overall pick of the '76 draft) before his injuries, when he helped Walter Payton at a time when the Bears had nothing else on their offense, they'd be pleased.
New Denver Broncos coach John Fox apparently needs to get out more. Or at least watch a little more TV. Doesn’t he know how he’s coaching a legend (at least a marketing one) in Tim Tebow?
He must not, because on Thursday he showed he has a little Lovie Smith in him, not declaring that “Rex is our quarterback” as much as “Kyle is our quarterback.” The No. 1 quarterback job in Denver again appears to be ex-Bear Kyle Orton’s to lose.
Tebow made a bit of a hyper-hyped splash as a 2010 rookie but “right now, I think Kyle Orton's our starter,” Fox said. “We've got a very young guy, a high draft pick in Tim Tebow who got his feet wet last year toward the end of the season. He did an outstanding job. He's got some of the intangibles you're looking for.
And then, shoot, Brady Quinn I'm looking forward to seeing play. I've watched him play a little bit in Cleveland. He's a young guy that's got about 13 starts under his belt. So we'll see. But all three I think, I'm excited about.''
Orton has been talked about as possible trade material (and on member of the Bears’ hierarchy was adamant that Orton would be your ideal No. 2). But “I think it'd be pretty hard to be both [starter and on the market],” Fox said. “But as far as I'm concerned, he's under contract, and he's our starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos.''
A loose business plan for the NFL is to address needs first in free agency (see: Chicago Bears 2010 – Peppers, Julius) or trade (see: Bears 2009 – Cutler, Jay) with an eye toward making additional fills in the draft. That business model is gone this year, with free agency a huge unknown hostage of CBA negotiations and no trades permissible under the lockout scenario.
So teams have deep issues to confront.
“You don’t even know what the free-agent situation’s going to be this year,” NFL Network draft maven Mike Mayock said on a pre-Combine conference call. “Is there going to be free agency? Is there gonna be a four-year guy? A six-year guy? How are they going to deal with that whole thing?
“And if you don’t have those answers, I think what you have to do is go into your draft room and draft like you always do every year. You have to look at the big picture, and not just, `Uh oh! If we don’t have training camp, do we need a guy that’s ready to play today?’ I think if you start trying to answer questions with draft picks on the short term, you’re going to get beat on the long term. So I think the best thing you can do is take a step back and say, `We’re going to do what we always do. We’re going to draft the best football players that fit our scheme, because we can’t worry about things we can’t control right now.’”
The impasse in negotiations between NFL owners and players has not been bridged yet. But the two sides ended their stretch of talks with mediator George S. Cohen Thursday with the intention of resuming next Tues. Mar. 1. Cohen’s statement, the first real comments to come out of the sessions, made it clear that the sides are being civil but significant issues do remain.
Help from Dave Wannstedt
For Ron Rivera, this is the best of times and it is the worst of times.
The new head coach of the Carolina Panthers was a teammate of Dave Duerson, who shot himself to death last week in Miami.
“This was the 25th anniversary [of the Super Bowl XX team] and with Richard Dent getting into the Hall [of Fame], and then this,” Rivera said Thursday. “We’re celebrating the life of another one. It’s a very sad situation, for his teammates, his friends, family.”
Dave Wannstedt was the one who cut Rivera in 1993, the end of Chico’s playing career. Wannstedt also was the one who gave Rivera his coaching break, as a defensive quality coach in 1997-98. Wannstedt and good friend Jimmy Johnson saw the head coaching in Rivera back then and had some sage advice.
Johnson told Rivera, “Dave told me you’re going to be a head coach someday. Don’t ever forget who you are and don’t forget what you do best. Be around that side of the ball.”
“So I will be around the defensive side,” Rivera said, then smiled. “But every now and then pop in to keep the offensive guys honest.”
[Submit a NFL Combine question to John Mullin]
Chico knocked at more than a half-dozen NFL head coaching doors in the past and was turned away every time. But if there was any bitterness at the snubs of the past, some in favor of since-failed coaches, it was not evident Thursday.
“It may be overdue but the biggest thing to understand is the opportunity and fit are right,” Rivera said. “The opportunity came with us not being in the playoffs and the fit being that they were looking for a defensive coach.”
Reid let Rivera write game plans and mentored Rivera. “The biggest thing was responsibility,” Rivera said. “Andy assigns every coach specific duties within the team…. You’re responsible for certain things.”
And here’s something for your reading list. Reid gave Rivera a number of book selections but the one Chico cited: “The Winning Edge” by Bill Walsh.
That’s somebody who should know.
The envelope, please...
The Carolina Panthers hold the No. 1-overall pick in this year’s draft. Ron Rivera was asked Thursday by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen: “So, who ya’ gonna draft?”
Rivera was an NFL linebacker. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t pick up some deft moves and feints. “That’s what we’re here to find out,” he said, laughing.
Nice to connect with Jim Harbaugh, the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and the Bears quarterback when I came on the beat once upon a Mike Ditka time.
[READ: Complete NFL Combine coverage from CSN's Insiders]
It was the first chance I had to tell him that my wife Kathleen, who joined me for the Commissioner’s Party at the San Diego Super Bowl in 2002 and met Harbs, thought he looked like Dennis Quaid.
“I’ll take that,” Jim said, laughing. “I’ve been called worse.”
What would Harbaugh have done?
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck arguably would have been the No. 1 overall pick of the 2011 draft or close to it. But he opted to return to Stanford for a final season.
Harbaugh, however, left for the 49ers and a deal worth $5 million per season. And he supports the decision of his former quarterback.
“Andrew made the best decision for his family and himself,” Harbaugh said. “We’d talked about it and I knew that’s what he was going to do, so I wasn’t surprised. It’s just a personal decision each of these young men make.
Harbaugh himself was a first-round pick in 1987. Would he have made the same decision in his day?
“Hypotheticals are never real good,” Harbaugh said, laughing. “I was never as talented as Andrew is. But it’s going to work out great. He’d have been a top pick this year and he will be next year.”
Combine more than just numbers
The NFL Scouting Combine begins in earnest Thursday with its inevitable blizzard of numbers, appraisals, information and more. A veteran NFL personnel expert gave CSNChicago.com a key prism with which to view some of the numerical results that will come out of various tests.
Don’t pay too much attention with the “fast” times or power numbers. But immediately put a big red flag on the bad ones.
Is that fair? Absolutely.
First, the Combine and its 40-yard-dash times, cone drills, vertical jumps and bench presses are less revealing than many of the face-to-face interviews anyway. And those take place out of sight from the general media public; each team has its own.
Also, results in shorts and T-shirts do not translate directly to NFL on-field success. Common knowledge there.
More to the point, however, is that agents and others have invested thousands of dollars to train specifically for the Combine. So those fast times and reps benching 225 pounds should be outstanding.
But, as this NFL vet explained, when a guy can’t nail it under pressure after all that preparation, not only should the guy demand his money back from the speed coaches and the rest. Red flags also should go up because it means that all that extra attention, coaching, etc. produced nothing.
So I’ll be more intrigued by the prospect who runs a 40 time well below his norm than by one who was billed as having 4.4 speed and runs a 4.28. Besides, if he runs a lot of 40-yard dashes in an NFL uniform, he’ll be the next Devin Hester.
* * *
We’ll be checking in throughout every day with updates both from head coaches as well as players. Check back as the sessions go along.
* * *
What is believed to be an unprecedented meeting of its kind will bring together a GM, head coach and one other representative from each NFL team for a briefing on various offseason issues involved in the looming lockout, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. What can and can’t be done, what’s allowed and not allowed with respect to players – those kinds of topics will be detailed, with good reason, since this is a potential first for the league.
Figure it also to give some measure of information on the state of the mediated talks between the owners and players that have been going on daily for going on a week. The information embargo has held for the most part and I agree with ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio that even without public utterances or substantive revelations, the fact that neither side is leaving “voluntary” sessions, which they are indeed free to do, has to be considered a positive at this point.
John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.
Bears meet with former Badger Carimi
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Bears met with Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi on Thursday at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Sure, the meeting shouldn’t be construed as anything more than the team doing its due diligence. But team sources said from the combine that the Bears are extremely high on Carimi, winner of the 2010 Outland Trophy, awarded annually to the best interior lineman in college football.
Carimi is high on himself, too.
“I’m completely confident in my game,” Carimi said. “I really don’t have any problems. I know I’m the best tackle out there, and I just have to play like it and act like it. I know I can play right away; that’s my best asset. I’m a draft-ready tackle.”
For the Bears, that could be welcome news for a team desperately in need of a makeover on an offensive line that last season gave up a league-high 56 sacks.
Interestingly, Carimi isn’t considered to be the best offensive tackle of the draft. But most analysts rate Carimi as a mid- to late-first round prospect, meaning there’s a slight chance he could fall to the Bears, who own the 29th pick of the draft.
ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Carimi as the draft’s fourth-best offensive tackle. Although he doesn’t possess the upside and athleticism of some of the other prospects such as USC’s Tyron Smith, Colorado’s Nate Solder and Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo, who are ranked higher, Carimi is regarded by many scouts to be more NFL-ready because of his versatility, polished technique and experience against top-notch competition.
“The talent level overall is probably better than has been the past few years,” said Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman of this year’s group of offensive linemen. “It's deep. You've got some guys who are versatile, who can play tackle or play guard. The more guys that are versatile and athletic, [the better]."
One AFC scout said he could see teams trying Carimi at left tackle initially, before eventually moving him -- if he fails -- to the right side or inside to one of the guard spots. Asked about Carimi, one Bears source said, “[I] love him.”
Carimi would seem to be a potential upgrade at left tackle over veteran Frank Omiyale, who struggled at times last season to protect quarterback Jay Cutler. Technically sound for the most part because of solid coaching at Wisconsin, Carimi could improve even more working with Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice, who has gained a reputation for his ability as a teacher.
“I’m physically stronger, have more career starts and better knowledge of the game than any of the other tackles out the there,” Carimi said. “That’s why I’m the No. 1 tackle out there. I have a better resume of going against better talent than anyone else, so that makes me more [NFL] ready. I’ve gone against four potential first-round players [Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn, Ohio State’s Cameron Heyward, Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt (in practice) and Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan].”
Carimi also seems to have pedigree on his side too, considering Wisconsin has churned out some top-flight collegiate offensive linemen in recent years (such as Thomas, Al Johnson and Chris McIntosh in the late ’90s). Carimi became a starter for the Badgers in 2007, when he replaced Joe Thomas, who was the No. 3 overall pick of the draft that year, and has been a Pro Bowler in each of the last four seasons.
Chances are Carimi won’t be available when the Bears pick at No. 29. But if he’s there, perhaps the Bears should take a chance considering they need help at tackle and guard, positions Carimi has demonstrated an ability to excel at throughout his career, and during a strong showing at the Senior Bowl.
“Obviously, I think I can play left tackle,” Carimi said. “It’s up to the organization what their needs and wants are. I can play right tackle. If they have a left tackle locked down, I’ll be a backup and left tackle, and they can put another guy at right tackle.”
They left out Derek Sherrod.
Originally Posted by dabears54
agreed, while not a big fan of sherrod's he should have been included
Originally Posted by GeorgiaJeff
I am not in love with Sherrod.
Originally Posted by dabears54
But his scouting reports are almost identical to Rodger Saffold from last year.
I think Sherrod is a solid value at 29.