5 Gambles for 2014 Bears

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by BSBEARS, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Chicago Bears: Five Gambles For the 2014 NFL Season

    by Erik Lambert 57m ago

    Teams don’t win in the NFL without taking a few gambles each year. What are the big ones the Chicago Bears have made for 2014?

    Marquess Wilson
    It was assumed early in the off-season and has gained traction every week that second-year receiver Marquess Wilson was a shoe-in to take over the third slot on the depth chart behind Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. This is undoubtedly a risk considering Wilson only has two catches in his pro career so far. Chicago is banking that at 6’3″ with great physical athleticism that his hard work during the summer with Marshall and Jeffery will translate to the field.
    Shea McClellin at linebacker
    The defensive end experiment never got off the ground for 2012 first round pick Shea McClellin. Injuries and a lack of size really worked against him, leaving some to think he’s a bust. However, management and coaches agreed in order to salvage and perhaps still save the young defender, it was best to move him from end to linebacker. McClellin has speed and athleticism for the position and his ability to blitz from a standing position would be beneficial there. It remains to be seen if he can read and react the way he’ll have to in order to thrive.
    Keeping Mel Tucker
    There is no getting around facts in the NFL. The Chicago Bears fielded the 30th ranked defense in 2013 and were dead last in sacks and stopping the run. Responsibility for that has to go at the feet of coordinator Mel Tucker, which is why his job was on the line when the off-season began. Instead of removing him however, head coach Marc Trestman instead elected to make changes to his staff, adding more experience and giving Tucker more control over the scheme. The pass was given primarily due to the horrendous injuries the defense suffered, something Tucker could not control. Whether that was the right call will show in how the new defense performs.

    The health of Jay Cutler
    Anytime a team knows it has a proven backup at quarterback, the consensus feeling is to hang on to him at almost any cost. Chicago wished it could’ve done that with Josh McCown after the incredible run he had last season in relief of starter Jay Cutler. Instead the 35-year old took a bigger deal to start for Tampa Bay. The fact they were willing to let him go signals the Bears are ready to risk the stability of their offense on the health of Cutler, which has been shaky the past couple seasons. If he makes it through, the potential of the offense and the rest of the team skyrockets. If he doesn’t, the backup situation is not nearly as comforting as a year ago.
    Taking Kyle Fuller in favor of a safety
    One of the NFL draft questions that will be evaluated and scrutinized all season for the Chicago Bears is when GM Phil Emery chose to acquire Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller. While nobody questions Fuller’s ability, it was the fact the team went with him instead of one of the top two safeties Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor, both of whom were available. Safety has remained a rough spot for the Bears defense for years. May represented a great chance for them to fix it, but instead Emery favored gaining depth and future stability at corner with Fuller. How things play out in 2014 will determine if he made the right call.
  2. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    This article is spot on. I can only half agree with the QB back up worth. Not paying McCown $10MM was a wise decision and enabled money to be spent elsewhere. It does leave us at some risk though. Hopefully Clausen and Palmer will put that to rest in TC
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  3. Bear_40

    Bear_40 Veteran

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    I like the Clausen signing. A lot of upside.
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    To be honest, as much as I don't care for Clausen, he's not worse then McCown. He's at least to young and inexperienced to really have a true gage on; just between his college and little NFL career he's far more over rated then he should have been; right now he's below Quinn imo; but he's at least got the potential to possibly be more.
  5. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    To me there's a difference between a risk and a gamble. A gamble you cannot really recover from whereas a risk you can to some extent. Wilson and the LB's, are a risk, Tucker you can't really fire a DC in his first year. Cutler and his health may be the gamble and drafting Fuller is two of one half of another. If they went safety they would rant how weak CB is.
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  6. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    It's all the severity of the gamble, and I agree w/what you're saying SFB, the only one the team just cannot recover from is Cutler, if he cannot stay healthy and again misses significant time, and also cannot get his int's down or the ball out of his hands quicker then they still have to bring him back 2-3 more years minimum.
    If anyone else fails, they can work a replacement via FA and/or the draft. Shea should be playing for his next contract, Briggs and DJ should be looking at finishing their careers strong in hopes they might get 1more deal, even if at vet minimum. Bostic/Greene will both be looking to prove last year was not who they are as LB's, and Jones is going to be looking to prove he's got the ability to eventually make the D, and not just ST's.
    As for Fuller dead on, I was all for a S in the 1st and a CB in the 2nd or 3rd(hoping for at least SJB), but the CB group was far to thin if either of the starters went down, and while S was pretty pathetic, S was in fact apparently the deeper position.
  7. sluggobear

    sluggobear Veteran

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    I believe, Tressman's offensive system makes QB play much better. With the offensive weapons we have, we will be all right with either Clausen or Palmer. With the OL playing so much better maybe Cutler stays healthy, and backup QB plays only in mop up duty. I believe Wilson will transition into the number 3 receiver as expected. The LB situation will work out whether Shea starts or not. Fuller will make rookie mistakes, but will benefit from the experience of playing and only become better.
    My only concern is whether Tucker can pull it all together.
  8. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Well said shorty. That's a perfect definition of the difference between them and one I've been pointing out to clients for 30 years. Life is full of controlled risks and we all take them from time to time. Gambling on the other hand is something best done in a casino with the belief that you will in all probability lose. These examples are primary risks, not gambles.

    Marquess Wilson had show enough talent in his college career to be though of as a possible high draft pick but wasn't some we scooped him up in the 7th. After how we saw what an offseason spent in Florida working out with Brandon Marshall did for Alshon Jeffery it's really not all that farfetched to project a similar improvement in Wilson. Emery has also hedged his bet there with another vet in Josh Morgan so IMHO we have two viable candidates for the 3rd WR spot.

    McClellin can't possibly play any worse at LB than he did at DE so I don't see a whole lot of risk in this move. To date he's been at least a semi-bust as a former first round pick. Personally I think the kid is just too good an athlete and football player not to be able to have an impact playing in space. That's his game. It's still up in the air as to how they'll use him but with his attitude towards the team I can't see him being a failure. He's gonna make some big plays this year.

    Did Tucker deserve a second shot? I would have said no and with most other teams probably not but now that a couple of players who weren't buying in are either gone or have changed their attitude he does seem to have the support of his unit. I just don't think the guy is a very good "grass roots" teacher of fundamentals or his schemes but we seemed to have fixed that problem by surrounding him with coaches who are. I guess the positive is that there no way that defense can even come close to playing that badly again this year so whether he deserved another shot or not he's getting it.

    Cutler needs to stay healthy and I believe he will. Looking at his past won't really tell us what we need to know. For four years he played behind an atrocious OL under at least two OC who insisted on running downfield passing games that required many 7 step drops. Under those circumstances a 3 year old playing in traffic would have had a better chance of staying uninjured than Cutler did. The passing game has changed, the line provided much better protection last year and both should improve this year so I'm staying positive about it. Whether or not Josh McCown is worth $10 mil isn't the question. He wasn't to us so I'm glad for him and the shot he's getting at TB. We have no other choice now than to trust Trestman and Cavanaugh with the job of creating another #2 just like him and hope again that we don't even need him come game time.

    The Fuller vs a Safety thing has been beaten to death and not worth revisiting. Fuller was the BPA at that point and more versatile than a Safety would have been. Whether or not Pryor may have more upside than Mundy remains to be seen but for now I'll take Mundy's experience over Pryor's potential and say we're better off today because of it. To me Dix was always somewhat over rated and apparently I'm not alone in that thinking because he never did become the top ten pick he was projected to be. I don't know if Vereen is better than Dix or not but I'm willing to bet he's probably as good a FS prospect as the guys who went in round two. I think he slipped through the cracks a little because of how much Minnesota moved him around.

    To me the biggest risks come from having a number of key vets who are at or above 30 years of age and possibly more prone to injury or a need to play fewer snaps. It's our depth that will probably come into play before this season is over and the teams with the best depth are usually the guys left standing in January.

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