Adrian Wilson in the mix to start

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by BSBEARS, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Adrian Wilson in the mix to start

    July, 23, 2014
    Jul 23
    7:48
    PM ET
    By Michael C. Wright | ESPN.com
    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago's signing of veteran safety Adrian Wilson in June slipped past some observers, with the pundits paying attention believing the team acquired a player no longer capable of consistently performing at a high level.

    The Chicago Bears obviously view Wilson differently. In fact, Wilson is very much in contention for one of Chicago’s two starting safety jobs, which are currently up for grabs.

    [​IMG]
    Wilson
    “I’ve talked to Adrian enough to know he’s truly a professional,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “He’s committed to the game and being great at the game. He’s got an opportunity to come back and play the game in a situation he thinks he can not only help our football team, but to continue to play at a high level. So we’ll see. We’re excited to have him. He’s been an outstanding player in this league for a very long time; one of the best to play this game.”

    The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Wilson caught the eye of the team’s personnel men with a strong workout in June, and one source within the organization believes if the veteran remains healthy, he could give Chicago’s secondary the intimidating presence it has lacked at the safety position in recent seasons. None of the contenders currently on the roster are as physical as Wilson, according to the source.

    However, Wilson, a five-time Pro Bowler, missed all of the 2013 season due to injury. It was reported that Wilson suffered a torn Achilles, but the safety posted on Twitter recently that he was dealing with Haglund’s deformity, which is a bony enlargement on the back of the hell that rubs against and irritates the Achilles.

    In 181 career games, Wilson has racked up 978 tackles, 25.5 sacks, 27 interceptions, 106 pass breakups, and 13 forced fumbles in addition to recovering nine fumbles.

    “We brought Adrian in for a workout. It was obvious he still has a very good burst,” Bears general manager Phil Emery said. “In terms of how he moved around, the burst he displayed, the hand and ball skills, there [was] no reason not to sign him, to put him in the competitive mix. The position is wide open. If Adrian Wilson walks in here and he’s in football shape and, like the rest of them, stays healthy, he can claim the job. But he’s gonna have a fight on his hands.”

    The Bears lost last season's starter at strong safety, Major Wright, to Tampa Bay during free agency, and free safety Chris Conte will begin training camp on the active physically unable to perform list after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. The Bears signed veterans Ryan Mundy, M.D. Jennings, and Danny McCray during the early portion of free agency before bringing aboard Wilson late.

    Mundy took the majority of repetitions with the starters at strong safety during organized team activities and minicamps. But in Chicago’s defense, the safety “positions are essentially interchangeable,” according to Trestman, which means that Wilson could wind up playing either spot for the Bears, as could Mundy and the other candidates.

    “We want to find the best two guys,” Trestman said. “In other words, if Ryan and Adrian are both at the strong safety position on Friday, that doesn’t mean Ryan can’t go to free [safety] on Saturday and Adrian can’t be at strong safety. I’m not trying to get into how we’re going to start this thing. I’m just saying we’re going to move these guys around and try to find the best two guys that can play every down.”
  2. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Sounds like Wilson will get as good a shot at it as anyone else. Now with Conte out it may very well be his to lose if they do not want to open the season with a rookie. Still expect Vereen to get in sooner or later but a few games on the sideline to see a few games and NFL schemes may have some merit. Be interesting to see how it shakes out.
  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I could see Vereen and Wilson starting. Wilson has to prove he's healthy and can still play though. Reality is that Wilson isn't here as a security blanket, he'll either be playing or be cut. It's up to the younger guys to prove that he's not better then them.
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  4. DavidL

    DavidL Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    I agree. No reason to keep Wilson around if he's not 100% fit to play by now.
  5. BearJim

    BearJim Veteran SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I know age is a factor but if Wilson is healthy & at least 80% of the type of player he has been over his career, he is our best safety. The thing is we don't know the answers to those questions yet. The goods news is we will know the answers soon. If the answers are no to either one we probably let him go & we are no worse off than when we signed him. If the answers to both questions are yes we have one of our starting safeties who will make WRs think a bit when running across the middle. Something we haven't had for several years.
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  6. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    With a ruptured achilles, most players can not come back. That is what I thought Wilson had. He has achilles surgery, but from reading this it must have been some sort of urgery to help the bony growth clear the achilles.

    If that is the case, and he never really ruptured the achilles, his chances go from very low to very high IMO. The fact that they liked his burst and movement lend some credibility to not having a career debilitating ruptured achilles. If he is back to form, we just got ourselves a hell of a starter at S.

    All of a sudden that position is pretty decent. Of course I am just practicing wishful thinking right now, and he has to produce on the field, but at least he sounds like he might be able to.

    Me likee
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  7. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Conte beginning camp on the PUP was pretty much expected as far as I was concerned and according to Emery they don't expect him to begin practices until after the first preseason game so were looking at another 2 1/2 to 3 weeks before he'll see any action.

    Hearing this about Wilson is good news indeed. I'd say the probability of him making the team is actually pretty good now and the longer Conte is out the better his chances get. As BJ posted even at 80% of his former self he's still gonna be a guy who can help.

    Wilson is another one of those guy like Ratliff who can be intimidating just standing there.
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  8. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan

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    We need some of that fear factor. Preseason and camp will shed some light on what he can still do, but having a 6'3, 230 safety supporting the run game doesn't sound bad.
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  9. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    If he's got Haglund's, then he will likely have some issues during the year. Even if he can only help for part of the year, I'm glad he's here. Great career in AZ.
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  10. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan

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    Hagland's deformity (assuming this is actually what AW has) from the little I've researched, seems significantly less debilitating and the long term outlook seems far better than an Achilles tear.

    Can you expand on why this might continue to nag him after taking around a year off and, I'm assuming, getting some of the best medical care and physical therapy Western medicine has to offer?
  11. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    If he's 100% healthy he would be a huge upgrade over Conte, Wright or whoever we had in the last couple of years.
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  12. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    Simple thinking, and certainly not a medical opinion, but if there is a bone spur rubbing against the Achilles.....then it would be fair to assume that soreness (at a minimum) would occur.
  13. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    NFL Safety is a pretty brutal position to play anyway. You're half a LB and the other half a CB but the collisions with RBs, TEs, and WRs are usually happening at a far greater velocity. I'm looking at our depth at Safety as much as I am our frontline talent. Chances are anyone playing that position will miss some time during the course of the year or play at less than 100%.

    Before this report came out I never even looked at Wilson as a potential starter. Now it looks like he could be if only for as long as it takes to either get Conte back at FS or for Vereen to be ready to start. Even if he doesn't make it through all 16 games without a break he may give us some initial relief at SS while Mundy moves to FS. I'm only looking at how much better off we'd be with the kind of experience he can bring so I'm hoping he sticks around one way or another.
  14. DaTreeBears

    DaTreeBears Pro-Bowler

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    To reduce a Haglund's you must split the Achilles not a complete detachment and not even comparable to a torn Achilles. A torn Achilles is from a defect in the Achilles while a Haglund's is a partial surgical detachment of Achilles. Wilson is going come back with no real foot issues and if anything he should be playing pain free from the fact the painful Haglund's has been removed.
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  15. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    There seems to be two main types of surgery for Haglund's. The more major of the two is called "Wedge Osteotomy" and I cut and pasted about it below. If you Google this you'll see that it sounds promising that he could be 100% now. I'm not worried about the surgery as much as his age. He'll be 35 years old in October. For a safety that's getting up there a bit in age. Doesn't mean he won't be solid for us, but you do worry a bit about the age factor. The heal surgery though, shouldn't be a big deal. Especially for a pro athlete in exceptional health and with exceptional medical care and physical therapy.

    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
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  16. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I can understand the 35 years old thing but we're also talking about a 6'3" 230lb DB who dished out far more punishment than he received during his career and another long time vet who coming off a years rest which hopefully gave his body a chance to rejuvenate some just as it has with Ratliff.

    You know what I really think has been happening this past year. Phil has been holding séances with the ghosts of George Allen and GSH and they're showing him how to build another "Over The Hill Gang" to win a SB with. Worked pretty well for Allen. :36 1 12[1]:
  17. MikeGolf97

    MikeGolf97 Rookie

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    My question is does that leave us with two strong safetys? Do we have anyone who can play the pass or just strong run support?
  18. mdbearz

    mdbearz Veteran

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    Every frigin safety we bring in is a Strong Safety type, and to say they are interchangable is crap.

    Playing a cover two type defense and we still constantly lose big games with the long ball.

    Conte was the only FS type Safety we have had on the team in years and he sucks.

    Vereen is also more of a Strong Safety.

    Tired of having smoke blown up my ..... about how we have the answer at safety.
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  19. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan

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    I agree. Especially since we are playing in the NFC North where Aaron Rodgers and Calvin Johnson reside. We need to be stout and salty, to steal Tuckers words, on the f****** pass too.
  20. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    You really need that type of FS more when you play a single high Safety and bring the SS into the box. If they continue to use Cover 2 then each guy covers deep on one half the field so in effect both are playing run and pass.

    I think we'll see far more variety and more deception in our coverages this year than we did under Lovie. He was a total slave to the Cover 2 because it creates more opportunities for turn overs and that's his game. Tucker was bound to run that same defense last year but not this year.

    I don't see us getting beat deep that much by speed WRs I see us getting picked apart more over the middle by TEs running seam routes and WRs hooking into those soft spots in our zones. I think it's the day of the universal Safety and any of these guys can do that.

    I agree with you that Conte is more the wide ranging coverage FS type but I don't think that precludes the others from handling both jobs. Instincts and experience can go a long way and as you point out Conte isn't exactly tearing it up back there. Anyway, a better pass rush will make everyone's coverage jobs a little easier.

    One other thing. Brock Vereen ran the fastest Combine 40 yard dash of all of the Safeties, also the fastest 20 yard shuttle, the fastest 3 cone drill, and the best bench press so why is he not a good prospect for FS? The guy has mad athletic ability. He may be raw but he sure seems to have the tools for it.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
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