Allen makes Bears a contender

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by riczaj01, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    22,298
    Likes Received:
    2,824
    Ratings:
    +3,403 / 9 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,586ß
    Arkush: Allen makes Bears a contender
    By HUB ARKUSH - harkush@shawmedia.com - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 9:54 a.m. CDT

    With the acquisition of Jared Allen, the Chicago Bears have now moved the needle on free agency as much or more than any team in the NFL, with the exception of the Denver Broncos, and have to be considered the co-favorites to win the NFC North.
    Are they Super Bowl contenders? Let's have a draft first.
    The Bears could be one of the oldest defenses in the NFL, but in Allen, Jeremiah Ratliff, Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, you can now state that half the starters on defense have been to multiple Pro Bowls. All but Briggs, along with Lamarr Houston, Ryan Mundy and Willie Young, were free agents. It is almost certain all seven of those free agents will be opening day starters.
    Plug in D.J. Williams, who has at times played close to a Pro Bowl level when healthy, and you’ve essentially got nine new starters – if you include Briggs – for the team that had such a disastrous second half of the 2013 season.
    As they suggested they might at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Phil Emery and Marc Trestman have rebuilt the Bears' entire defense in one offseason – albeit with the return of a few injured stars – just as they did with the offense in 2013.
    Of course, the rub is all those Pro Bowlers – with the possible exception of Jennings and Williams – are clearly past their primes, so how much will they have left and can they stay healthy? Allen was the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle and now it’s definitely worth a shot to find out. It won’t be a dominant defense, but now it should be good enough.
    I have written and said since they signed him that Lamarr Houston might be the best three-technique in the NFL, but I don’t see how he projects as a right end. With the option of starting Allen and Young at end and David Bass, Cheta Ozougwu, Cornelius Washington, Trevor Scott, Austen Lane and Izzy Idonije all competing to be the third and fourth rotational rushers, there’s now no need to waste Houston there.
    Certainly you can slide him outside and up and down the line on occasion – although, unlike Julius Peppers, Allen should not slide inside – but starting Houston at tackle would give the Bears a rare asset.
    Both Houston and Ratliff are talented enough to play the three-technique or the anchor/nose tackle, stuff the run or be disruptive in the backfield. Most teams don’t have one player like that. The Bears have two. If Nate Collins is healthy, don’t be surprised if Stephen Paea is the odd man out. Or will competition for a roster spot make Paea the player Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith hoped he would be?
    What’s left to do? Mundy deserves a shot to start, but he’ll never be mistaken for one of the top safeties in the league. The Bears still need two starting safeties, depth at cornerback and more pass rush. You can’t be overly excited about any of the six guys competing for the third and fourth end spots.
    And, of course, just because Shea McClellin and Jonathan Bostic are competing for the "Sam" linebacker spot doesn’t mean you have a good one, but you have to be a lot more comfortable with the experiment than you were yesterday.
    The Bears still aren’t better than the Packers. Peppers could very well prove to be a more compelling get for them than Allen is for the Bears, and Aaron Rodgers is still an easy choice over Jay Cutler.
    But the two clubs are competitive at every other position and it may be as simple as the team that stays the healthiest wins the North.
    Certainly, there is much work for the Bears left to do, but now we’ve got a border war!
    Oh, and by the way Vikings and Lions, how do you like that one?



    I know many don't like Hub, but I find him really refreshing, he's never over the top optimistic or trolling the Bears faithful, and he normally has some good insights. Is he always right, no but name someone that is, it doesn't mean they are good or bad at their job. This and the 2nd article are solid though.
    • Like Like x 2
  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    22,298
    Likes Received:
    2,824
    Ratings:
    +3,403 / 9 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,586ß
    Arkush: Bears, Packers clearly class of NFC North
    By HUB ARKUSH -– harkush@chicagofootball.com - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 8:48 p.m. CDT

    The Bears' 2013 season ended with the team snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in the final 30 seconds, allowing a far less than 100 percent Aaron Rodgers to drive Green Bay 86 yards on 15 plays and score a game-winning touchdown on a 48-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb on fourth and 8 with 38 seconds remaining in the game.
    Talk about a dagger.
    Early in free agency the Bears were feeling pretty good about themselves for signing Lamarr Houston, Ryan Mundy and Willie Young after being forced to release Julius Peppers due to salary cap restraints.
    Then the Packers signed Peppers, completely out of character with how they’ve built their team, and it seemed clear Green Bay was suddenly more improved than the Bears.
    That all changed with the Bears signing of Jared Allen.
    Understand that with Rodgers, the Packers were one of the best teams in the NFC. Without him, they weren’t as good as the Bears. But, with or without him, their defense was vulnerable, sorely in need of a player who could bring the unique abilities of a Peppers.
    If Peppers has even 75 or 80 percent left, with a healthy Rodgers the Packers are vastly improved.
    The Bears made a quantum leap on offense last year and, at times, appeared ready to reclaim supremacy of the NFC North from the Packers until their defense fell completely apart.
    If the offense stays healthy again in 2014, with the return of Jeremiah Ratliff, Lance Briggs, D.J. Williams and “Peanut” Tillman, the additions of Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and Ryan Mundy, and the shifts of Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic to the SAM linebacker position, the Bears may be even more improved than the Packers.
    So how do they stack up?
    Even the most vocal Jay Cutler fans have to give a clear edge to the Packers at quarterback. Not only is Rodgers the best in the league, with the free agency defection of Josh McCown the Bears could be vulnerable if Cutler gets hurt again.
    Running back is a slight edge to the Packers. Yes, Matt Forte is a Pro Bowler, but one with six years of NFL wear and tear, reaching the point in NFL running backs’ careers where they bear very close scrutiny. The Bears have nothing behind him.
    Eddie Lacy is also a Pro Bowler for the Packers and will get better entering just his second season, and the Packers are deep behind him with Johnathan Franklin and James Starks.
    Wide receiver is a slight edge to the Bears. The duo of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery is as dynamic as you’ll find in the league right now but Jordy Nelson and Cobb are an excellent duo as well, and Jarrett Boykin is better as a three or four than anyone the Bears have.
    Tight end is a clear edge to the Bears with Martellus Bennett until the Packers replace Jermichael Finley, and with a healthy Bryan Bulaga for the Packers the offensive lines are a draw.
    Until we know more, the defensive lines are also a draw. I’d take Allen and Houston over Peppers and B.J. Raji, but Mike Daniels, Jerel Worthy, Datone Jones and Josh Boyd offer a lot more promise than the Bears youngsters.
    The linebackers are also a draw. Lance Briggs and D.J. Williams pretty much cancel out Clay Matthews and Nick Perry and both clubs have a bunch of questions after that.
    The Bears get a slight edge in the secondary with Pro Bowlers Tillman and Tim Jennings being a little bit better than Tramon Williams and Sam Shields. Both teams need a lot of help at safety, although the Packers' Morgan Burnett is the best on either team.
    At least for now, picking a winner is just too close to call. What we do know is, with the signings of Peppers and Allen, 2014 may be the best season yet for the NFL’s oldest and best rivalry.
    • Hub Arkush covers the Bears for Shaw Media and ChicagoFootball.com. Contact him at harkush@chicagofootball.com or on Twitter @Hub_Arkush.
  3. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    9,586
    Likes Received:
    2,410
    Ratings:
    +2,771 / 3 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,357ß
    I'm really curious to see what Emery/Trestman do for our backup QB situation. I think that when the season begins, it may be THIS position that tips the scales between us and the Packers, as far as winning the division. Odds say that whomever the Bears #2 guy is, he'll be needed to start at least a few games. You sure would like to see a guy who can keep the winning going forward if Jay goes down.
  4. omc1969

    omc1969 Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    189
    Ratings:
    +216 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    37ß
    I love your disclaimer ric. Hub has always been a tool and as far as anointing GB as the Class of the NFCN ................. he needs to ......... :7_11_1[1]:
  5. blinddeafmute

    blinddeafmute DaBears Ditka

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    24,929
    Likes Received:
    1,345
    Ratings:
    +1,439 / 5 / -2
    ßearz ßuckz:
    50ß
    I'm really hoping that McCown was simply a product of the system, and if that's the case (like Flynn was in GB) then just about anybody will be able to fill that role and we won't need an overpriced veteran backup.

    I'm excited about these moves in FA on defense. The DLine is looking much better at the DE position already. If Ratliff can stay healthy we have the potential to have completely turned our Dline around in one year. Tillman was re-signed to a one year deal, and Jennings is locked down and we brought in a couple of servicable safeties. We have options to draft BPA on defense with our first pick depending on what is picked before us. I would be happy with Donald (DT), Dennard (CB), Pryor (S), or whoever is there are LB. I really think Dennard might be there and I would be happy with that pick. It is possible that someone will also fall to us in the second round which will shore up or defense.

    With a few solid picks on defense we could possibly completely turn the D around to a top 10 D. With our offense that makes us superbowl contenders.

    I'm really hoping that some of these FA pickups from within our division have an axe to grind and give it their all for the entire season (especially Allen).
    • Like Like x 3
  6. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    22,298
    Likes Received:
    2,824
    Ratings:
    +3,403 / 9 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,586ß
    Don't know about a top 10 D, that's asking a bit much but I can see a 15-20 ranked D easily. It's amazing how quality talent can make GM's and coaches look good, and the lack there of can make them look incompetent(see bellecheck in Cle)
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    9,586
    Likes Received:
    2,410
    Ratings:
    +2,771 / 3 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,357ß
    This is how I see it too. Regarding Hub in general, he often tells us what we don't want to hear - but it's often accurate, balanced & the unvarnished truth. Hub isn't anti-Bears. He just doesn't drink the Kool Aid like we do.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. blinddeafmute

    blinddeafmute DaBears Ditka

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    24,929
    Likes Received:
    1,345
    Ratings:
    +1,439 / 5 / -2
    ßearz ßuckz:
    50ß
    Top 10 might be a stretch. I am one that believes coaching can make bad players also look good/bad, and I don't have any "convadits" in tucker at this point. All in all I think these moves have been good because I am a firm believer in drafting BPA, and we don't have any huge holes to fill now on D that would keep us from drafting BPA. Hell, any improvement is going to be good.

    I'm hoping that Trestman/Emery can do to the D what they did to the O. If they do it will be huge.
  9. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    22,298
    Likes Received:
    2,824
    Ratings:
    +3,403 / 9 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,586ß
    Ya Mundy should be allowed to COMPETE for a starting job, just not w/Conte and DJ Manning and Steltz. Need at least 1 if not 2 rookies that stand a legit shot at taking those jobs from all of them.

    BDM, I have no feelings good or bad on Tucker, just think last year was a unhealthy scratch and want to see what his D looks like when the players/talent are there to make a decision.
  10. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    9,586
    Likes Received:
    2,410
    Ratings:
    +2,771 / 3 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,357ß
    I'd be a happy camper if we simply ranked in the top half of the league, rather than the bottom half. And I believe that is do-able.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. dachuckster

    dachuckster Veteran SuperFan

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    517
    Likes Received:
    285
    Ratings:
    +341 / 1 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    174ß
    Let's hope Hub isn't as wrong with his current assessment as he was about Kyle Long.
  12. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    22,298
    Likes Received:
    2,824
    Ratings:
    +3,403 / 9 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,586ß
    As wrong as he was about Long, he was dead on about Shea so give the man some credit; again not everyone is 100% on their assessment, and to be fair about the 2nd week of camp in he and stated he was dead wrong about Long.

    His current assessment has sound reasoning, just like his Shea and Long reasoning, and that's all you can ask for.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. blinddeafmute

    blinddeafmute DaBears Ditka

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    24,929
    Likes Received:
    1,345
    Ratings:
    +1,439 / 5 / -2
    ßearz ßuckz:
    50ß
    Yeah, having and experienced play caller will help tremendously on D. It's hard for any saftey to look good behind a third string Dline and mid round rookies at the LB position.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    22,298
    Likes Received:
    2,824
    Ratings:
    +3,403 / 9 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,586ß
    No doubt the S's were made to look FAR worse then they really are, but the problem is they were only GOOD w/a really talented DL and LB core, so when they lost that they lost their ability to be just GOOD.
    What I want is a S that will be just okay to bad behind a turrible DL an LB core not should be out of the league bad, and be awwwwwesome behind a really good DL and LB core. And nothing says that Conte/Mundy will be that.
  15. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    Messages:
    687
    Likes Received:
    268
    Ratings:
    +311 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    139ß
    I dont see it like that, Mundy is a competent starter, ur making 'Slauson mistake' all over again
    • Like Like x 1
  16. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    22,298
    Likes Received:
    2,824
    Ratings:
    +3,403 / 9 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,586ß
    For every slauson there is a Brandon Manumaleuna
  17. blinddeafmute

    blinddeafmute DaBears Ditka

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    24,929
    Likes Received:
    1,345
    Ratings:
    +1,439 / 5 / -2
    ßearz ßuckz:
    50ß
    Yeah, just the year before, Conte and Wright didn't look so bad. I know that the blown coverage against GB that lost us the game was caused by a last minute play change that Conte either didn't hear, or just didn't make the change. I'm not excusing it. I'm just wondering how much difference it would make to have someone better at calling the plays will make him look. And maybe that's all that is needed to get our D out of the gutter. It says a lot when your two safeties, as bad as they are, lead the team in tackles.
  18. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    Messages:
    687
    Likes Received:
    268
    Ratings:
    +311 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    139ß
    ok, so far Mundy seems like a decent starter for us, thats all im saying, he probably better than some other guys, fr instance ILB Bostic/Shea nt so good, fr now
  19. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    9,586
    Likes Received:
    2,410
    Ratings:
    +2,771 / 3 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,357ß
    Hey, I hope you're right. I don't mind eating crow. I eat quite a bit of it actually :-)
  20. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    Messages:
    687
    Likes Received:
    268
    Ratings:
    +311 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    139ß
    im worried bout our LB corps more, we always had good, sometimes great LB's, this one dont make me feel confident. hey, what happened to Anderson, he was real good at the beginning, where did he sign if he did?

Share This Page