A cause for concern?

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by Henry Burris, May 13, 2014.

  1. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    Okay, so by now, we all know Emery prefers to draft players that can play multiple positions, but, and I'm not even referring to this season, but is it possible that this part of his talent evaluations could come back to bite him?

    It worked well with Long(who could play tackle as well), but so far Hardin, McClellan(Lovie and Trest used him incorrectly, but still) and both linebackers that could play at least 2 of 3 spots last year haven't really demonstrated enough that to say that part of his strategy is effective.

    Now we again have multiple players that can play different positions (Fuller, Ferguson, Vereen and possibly Sutton((who played at 300 last year, but normal playing weight was close to 280), we will hopefully have a better idea on how this strategy would work with a defense.


    In closing, we all know the D was hit too hard by injuries for fair evaluations across the board, BUT I think a fair question to ask is "Is Emery caring too much about a prospect's ability to play multiple positions?" Hopefully that question is answered this season in a good way
  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    HB it's a concern for me, I like the idea of versatility, but not at overall expense of the team and their ability to have great players at 1 position.
    But he has shown that he's willing to take guys that are just straight positional players look at Jeffrey and Wilson, Sutton, he's a 3 Tech DT, nothing else. Vareen is really just a S, even though he played some CB.
  3. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

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  4. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I think the fact that they have some versatility is a good thing as far as providing depth but each still has a primary position they will play with the Bears. This has been true of players in previous drafts and it's also true of some of the vet Free Agents we've acquired.

    Pep played both RDE and LDE and even moved inside as a pass rusher and it's probable that Willie Young will do the same at DE. Lamarr Houston can line up at either DE spot and move into DT to pass rush. Ratliff plays the Shade NT spot as a primary position but can also move to DT and the same with Paea. Collins plays both as well and although Ferguson is slotted as a NT for now and Sutton a DT that doesn't mean that with experience they couldn't handle another spot.

    Fuller will look to play NB this year and move to RCB when Peanut retires but he can also provide backup help for either CB spot now. I think Mundy and Vereen are probably interchangeable at Safety and so is Craig Steltz. Now that McClellin is playing a position more in line with his skills set we should get a better idea of what he's really capable of. A lot of us thought of him as being an heir apparent to Urlacher when he was drafted and that still could happen now that he's built himself in the image of a LB. I think quite a few LBs around the NFL can handle multiple positions but are usually better at one than another. Bostic should be playing SLB but that doesn't mean he can't eventually learn to play MLB. D.J. Williams played all three when he was here in Denver but he was primarily a 4-3 SLB or 3-4 ILB.

    I think Emery looks for a combination of athleticism and basic football skills and then allows his coaches to make the decisions about how to put a guy at his best position within the offense of the defense. IMHO that's just good personnel management. It seems to me he's also being more open minded about where players fit than he has been in the past. Recently he admitted that DE and MLB may not be the best spots for McClellin and Bostic so they're being moved around to see where they best fit.
  5. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    It's a valid question for sure. Do you go after players who play one position at a high level, or a guy who plays multiple positions but is not stellar at any single position? I understand the value in having Swiss army knife type players who you can play out of position. Lovie did this too. But sometimes it seems best to get the best player at 1 position and play him there. Let him excel at what he's best at.

    It reminds me of those hand tools that can do many various things but you end up cussing the thing after you've skinned your knuckles and made a mess of the job, when you could have bought the one precision tool that quickly does the job correctly and with ease. But of course that kind of tool is more expensive, and is made for one precise task only.
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  6. billatter

    billatter Veteran

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    Sounds more like a Trestman influence. Up here, he wanted every player to know every other player's responsibilities. A "walk a mile in my shoes" kinda thing. With multi-role players, that's more easily achieved and it produces a more cohesive unit that ends up being more than the sum of its parts. It also allows for more sophisticated schemes as multi-role players usually have a greater breadth of experience and with that a better overall understanding.

    It also doesn't hurt when the injury bug strikes. It also helps when making halftime adjustments to shut down those pesky GB 5-8 yard slants. ;)
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  7. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Angelo and Lovie did the same thing. At times it frustrated me. I see the advantages, but I also see the pitfalls if it is overdone. In the end you need players who excel at their position more than you need to jamb players into positions where they are mediocre at best. Sometimes you HAVE to play players out of position (I get that). We did a ton of that on the offensive line and it seemed to hurt the team. The results were not always good. Another example was Hester's case where we tried to pound the square peg into the round hole. I thought he ended up being less effective for the team because we had him trying to do things he just wasn't cut out for. Let the guy do 1 thing at a Pro Bowl level, rather than force him to be a #1 WR where he seemed confused and played like crap.

    In the end, do you want to do surgery with a precision instrument, or a Swiss army knife from your garage? They both cut. One does a better job though.
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
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  8. billatter

    billatter Veteran

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    Like everything, it's a compromise. Done intelligently, it'll work. Done in a desperate, haphazard fashion and it'll be a disaster. What Trestman did up here wasn't about playing people out of position or trying to turn people into something they were not, rather it was about everyone in a unit knowing everyone else's responsibilities and within reason, playing a comparable position if they had to do so. It was also about using complex schemes where people could move around, screw with the mind of the opposition, and still be effective.

    Thanks to the field, the rules, and 12 men per side, the CFL game can get very complex. It is not a game for the knuckle-brained. He learned the value of a smart, selfless team player. I have no idea as to the football IQ of the players being drafted by the Bears, but it would not surprise me if Trestman leaned toward those who had the intelligence to see the entire game and not just their little space.
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  9. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    Speaking of versatility, a friend (I had to borrow one) told me that he read that Fuller was going to play S until Tillman left, but I've never read anything like that. Anyone see anything like that?
  10. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    It's all been widely theorized, but Emery specifically stated he was a CB; then again he said that Shea was a 3 down DE soooooo
  11. Chicago_66

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    Not at a Pro Bowl level, at a Hall of Fame, never before seen, best in the league level. If Hester doesn't make Canton I directly blame Lovie. The dude would have been returning 5+ a year for his first 4-5 years if they hadn't tried to force him to be a #1 WR on an offense that had nothing besides Forte for the majority of Hester's career.
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  12. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    That's hasn't been mentioned by anyone in authority within the Bears organization. In fact Emery already addressed it for both Fuller and Peanut. Neither of them is playing Safety.
  13. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I agree. There is no downside to understanding how the entire defense works for that matter. But you do need to be careful to let a newly drafted youngster learn 1 position first. Don't overload the guy. I will always believe that we screwed up Hester by trying to have him learn a new position. He was never the same after that. Initially we had this wonderful instinctive player who used his instincts to run punts and kicks back for TD's. He was a huge weapon that teams feared. When he had to learn how to be a WR (keep in mind he was a defensive back in college) you could see the guy was no longer instinctive in running kicks/punts back. He was thinking too much and was never the same guy. But of course we had a crappy #1 WR......and then a mediocre ST's guy. I guess that is why in most cases it's best to let a guy learn to excel in one position and leave him be. Don't mess with success. If you want a guy at another position, then get a guy who excels THERE. Don't make your dentist your surgeon. Have a great guy at each role and it's all "good"......don't want my dentist trying to do my colonoscopy :smile:
  14. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    Guess I'll have to cross him off my friends list. Now I can't even borrow one....

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