Bears Offseason Wrap Up................

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, May 22, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Chicago Bears
    Bears offseason wrap-up

    May, 22, 2014
    May 22
    10:00
    AM ET
    By Michael C. Wright | ESPN.com

    With free agency and the draft in the rearview mirror and training camp just a couple months away, we assess the Chicago Bears' offseason moves.

    Best move: Bringing aboard experienced veteran coaches on defense. Chicago was mostly a veteran group on defense in 2013, with the majority knowing the system so well they needed little guidance. When injuries hit, several young players were forced to play significant minutes, and some of the coaches on the staff at that time weren't capable of properly teaching the inexperienced players. With the roster currently featuring so many young players on defense, it was important to hire experienced teachers/coaches, which is what Chicago got in Paul Pasqualoni, Reggie Herring and Clint Hurtt, who all have extensive backgrounds in multiple schemes.
    [+] Enlarge[​IMG]
    AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastHenry Melton collected 15.5 sacks for the Bears over four years before signing with Dallas this offseason.

    Riskiest move: Because of the money spent to re-sign some of their own and the resources poured into rebuilding the front four, the Bears skimped a little in free agency at the safety position, adding veterans Ryan Mundy, M.D. Jennings and Danny McCray. The club added Brock Vereen in the draft, but at this point it doesn't appear the Bears have done enough to address a position that was arguably the club's weakest in 2013. We've seen what Chris Conte can do, but he's coming off shoulder surgery. Perhaps it's just the unknown factor regarding the new additions at the position that give reason for concern.

    Most surprising move: Letting defensive tackle Henry Melton walk. As free agency approached, the Bears basically told Melton's reps to find a deal and then get back to them. But instead of doing that, Melton bolted for the Dallas Cowboys. As one of the team's draft picks from 2009, Melton was a homegrown talent, cultivated in Chicago's program. It's important to keep those types of players, and based on what he received from the Cowboys, money wasn't a concern. By letting Melton go, the Bears certainly didn't get better on the interior of the defensive line.

    Worth watching: The battle between Jordan Palmer, Jerrod Johnson and rookie David Fales for the No. 2 quarterback spot behind starter Jay Cutler. Let's not forget that Cutler hasn't played an entire 16-game season without missing time because of injuries since 2009. So there's a good chance the No. 2 quarterback will have to play at some point in the 2014 season. Palmer is the favorite to win the job, but he hasn't played in a regular-season game since 2010 and he has thrown a total of 15 passes in live action throughout his five-year career.
  2. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    He probably liked the idea of playing for Rod Marinelli again. And He would probably have expected a bigger contract from the Bears to stay here.

  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Michael C. Wright does a wrap up summary of the Bears offseason and hits the high points. Some of it I agree with, some I don't, and the some will have to wait until seasons end to judge.

    Coaching;
    Undoubtedly we needed to make some changes as far as the defensive coaching went. Many of us wanted Tucker gone and IMHO we weren't unjustified in those feelings. We didn't get that but at least we brought in two top veteran defensive coaches to help resolve the issues we had with the DL and LBs last year. Clint Hurtt was also very well respected in the college ranks. Maybe the best part is that Paul Pasqauloni has the experience and the background to take over as the DC should Tucker continue to fail in his efforts to rebuild his defense.

    Upgrading @ Safety;
    IMHO is wasn't practical to cover all of the needs in the DL and the DB in free agency. The going rate for the top Safeties was steep and for a change pass rushers were the better bargain so that where we spent our cap dollars. I don't think this is much of a shock because the Bears have never valued the Safety positions as highly as the have DE and DT, or LB and CB for that matter. Mundy is a younger player who may be coming into his best years and at the very least should be more dependable as a SS than Major Wright had been. FS is still up in the air but between Conte, Jennings and the rookie Vereen someone should emerge from that competition as a dependable solution. By improving the pass rush and changing the coverage schemes the Safeties should be under less of a burden this year.

    Defensive Line;
    Emery attempted to bring back Melton but he acted insulted that they weren't willing to make the first offer. Frankly I think that was the smart move on Emery's part. All it would have done is to have set a baseline offer that he'd have asked others to beat. When he refused to accept the Bears offers last summer and chose to play under a franchise tag I suspected he was over valuing himself and may have been tough to re-sign anyway had he not gotten injured. After his injury the risk of committing much guaranteed money to him was too great a risk without seeing him play first. Add to that the fact that the draft had at least two very good 3 tech DT prospects in Sutton and Donald who could be had for far less than Melton was looking for long term and the decision to let him walk was the correct one. That decision freed up the cap space to pursue Jared Allen and through that move we added more pass rush than Melton would have provided anyway.

    I don't believe it was as much of a surprise as Wright indicates here and with a healthier Paea, Collins and Ratliff joining the two rookies and the versatility Houston or Izzy have to move to DT to rush I don't buy into the statement that we're worse off at all. The money we would have spent on Melton short term was better spent elsewhere. It's pretty obvious to me he really didn't care if he stayed with the Bears or not. Let Jerry Jones have him.

    Quarterback;
    Following the rookie camp this has become pretty simple. Fales will compete with Palmer for the #2 spot, in all likelihood Palmer will start the season at #2 and Fales at #3. Jerrod Johnson will be the odd man out. If they thought they had a good developmental prospect in him they wouldn't have drafted Fales to begin with. I'm just hoping that for once Jay can play and entire 16 games season without missing any time due to an injury. We could use it.
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  4. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I'd agree with both statements and add that going back to Texas to play was also a contributing factor. When he turned down the Bears offers last summer and accepted the tag I figured then that he'd be a difficult player to re-sign. The Bears probably offered him a deal then that wasn't all that dissimilar to the one they gave Lamarr Houston and he turned it down, took the risk, and lost. He may or may not ever do that well again.

    We'd already committed to Houston and Young before he left for Dallas so the way I see it is that we had that money to use on Jared Allen instead and I think we're better off. Not only is he a better rusher but he's a spark plug and an emotional leader that should fire that defense up. I think Sutton will that kind of player as well and I don't think we'll see much difference between him and Melton once Sutton gets the hang of NFL football.
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  5. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    We are definitely better off the way it came down, but interestingly, the two players on the DL whose contract was up decided to both bolt. Peppers could have taken less money. In fact, that's exactly what he ended up doing. Melton could have stayed if he wanted to by allowing us to match the Dallas offer.
    It was clear that given a choice, both wanted to leave. I have said that something was going on with the defense last year that went beyond just injured poor play, and it's still my opinion. This might be some insight into it, but I really still don't have a reason why.

    When players want to leave, they don't like something about the team, they want to play for certain coaches, or they don't believe the team has as good a chance to win as their new team. That might be the case with Peppers, but not with Melton, although he might have wanted to play for Marinelli again.

    I just hope whatever it was is not an issue going forward with the rest of the players as their contracts are up. Allen would not have come here if he felt it was a bad place to be, nor would Houston. I dunno. Maybe it was just 2 disillusioned players, but I didn't like how the entire DL played. Not just in terms of output but also in terms of effort.

    I just want it to be different this year. We are definitely better off with Allen than Melton, but of course, Allen will not be around as long as Melton might have been. Melton possibly wanted Marinelli, but also got Jones in the bargain. I think he'll find the road is not paved with candy in Dallas. Thas is about as dysfunctional an organization as there is right now. There are a few that are right up there and maybe a little worse, but they are right up there and will stay there unitl Jones gets his face out of the decision making.
  6. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Melton is from Texas, he may have just wanted to be closer to family.
  7. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    yeah... might have been his childhood team. However, todays Cowboys are not your fathers Cowbows. Jones has meddled with them so much they have become a caricature. You would think a smart businessman would know when to let people that do it for a living run the team.

    It's like his own personal Madden game, and as the owner he definitely has to run it that way, but it's a shame to see where they were and what they are. I bet Cowboys fans were saying that about the Bears during the Miceal McCaskey years after looking at the Halas years... Stuff changes.

    I'm just glad our arrow is finally pointing up again.
  8. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    BiH, there were some hints dropped last year that there was dissatisfaction with Tucker as DC and with Lovie being gone (who essentially was the previous DC). Peppers sucked last year and it's fair to say his effort was questionable. Melton was very disappointing in the three games he played in during a "prove it" contract year no less.

    Based on that and the way things went down with them this FA, I'd say these two guys never bought in with the coaching changes and wanted out.

    I'm glad they're gone at this point, though I wish Peppers had left the division. He was well past his prime anyway. And Melton is coming off injury with only one standout season to his credit. No loss guys.
  9. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    I agree that there may have been something there with Lovie having left, and I also think I remember Briggs alluding to the fact of how Peppers was not being used properly. Peppers sat it out, but I saw no drop off from Briggs if he was disatisfied.

    I think EVERYONE is pretty anxious to see what defensive product the Bears are able to field this year. With the offensive capability in our division, defense is a top priority.
  10. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    I think it had more to do with Lovie being gone than Tucker being present.
  11. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    certainly might be the case, but Lovie being gone didn't cause players to not be in the right places and not seem to all be in the same defensive schemes.

    Anyway, we will know more when we see something. Even preseason will tell us SOMETHING!
  12. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Thought you were talking about the players attitude towards Tucker vs Lovie.

    Where did this hard left turn come from. :13 4 6[1]::13 4 6[1]:
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  13. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    BIH, Tucker's defense doesn't require any two players to be in the same scheme. That's the beauty of it. Players can wander aimlessly anywhere they want. It's designed to keep offenses from learning our D scheme and defeating it. Mel is a genius.

    Here he is this off-season in the dark and dank cellar at Halas Hall as he tries to make Conte into an NFL safety (some fear he's using body parts harvested from Major Wright........has anyone seen Wright since we cut him? I didn't think so). By the way, who is this guy helping Tucker? Is he new?

    [​IMG]
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  14. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    No wonder Conte can't get there on time. He's got those flat square feet.
    He had asked Tucker for some bigger balls (those Canadian ones) and Tucker thought he meant the balls of his feet, so there was one of those errors in communication that was the problem again.

    Now Conte has to shop for his shoes at the same place Sponge Bob square pants goes. I think this has made him unhappy with Tucker. As a consolation prize, Tucker has offered to install a long snapper, but inexplicably this caused even more distance between them.
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  15. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    I saw an opportunity!
  16. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    I've enjoyed your posts JABF. I really have. It's been a blast here on the forum, but I honestly spend too much time here being unproductive. I've tried to swear off (it's like a drug) before and have come back every time. I'm hoping to quit cold turkey this time, so if you don;t see me posting any more, nothings wrong... I'm just trying to claim back some hours during the day.

    Take care everyone, and BEAR DOWN!!!!!
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  17. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I understand. On a serious note, I take "vacations" from the board for a week or so - a few times a year. Sometimes longer. I think Soul does too. Hope you come back after awhile though. Also, hope you (and everyone here) have a great holiday weekend!!!
  18. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Do not stay away to long. Hopefully a little break will fit your needs.
  19. BearJim

    BearJim Veteran SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I couldn't agree more Soul. To me the riskiest (if that's a word) move would've been to resign Melton to a big contract coming off a major injury & off the field issues.
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  20. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Pep definitely wasn't happy here last year and I think a lot of his lackadaisical play was intentional. Yeah he talked about not being able to go full tilt as often because of his age and yet the minute he arrived in Cheeseville all he could talk about was how much he had left in his tank.

    The real tip off to me is when he told Emery "watch me, I'm gonna have a great game today" in that Minny game and then went out an dominated it. There was a message to him in that comment. Pep was one of Lovie's pet acquisitions and I don't think he was treated the same by Tucker and as a result he didn't play as hard for Tucker and wanted him gone.

    When the D went into it's el foldolo act he saw a chance of that happening but that balloon was burst when they decided to keep Tucker. I pretty much knew right then and there Pep would be gone because there was no way he was gonna take a pay cut AND play for Tucker. He paved his own way out the door and I think it's thrilling him no end that he got picked up by the Packers for two reasons. 1) He wants a shot at a ring, and 2) He gets to show the Bears he can still create some chaos.

    I always had a lot of respect for Pep but what he did here wasn't all that dissimilar to what he pulled in Carolina to get out of there. If you all will recall the Panther fans were saying how he took plays off and wouldn't go at 100% at times yet when he arrived in Chicago we never saw any of that....... until last year. Then we saw it big time. At this point in time gimme Jared Allen and his high motor style of play and leadership over Pep any day. Pep was fine when we didn't need him to be a leader but last year when we did he mailed it in and that I won't overlook.

    Whatever Melton's reasons he was looking for an out too. It's obvious he didn't like the Bears offers last year and there was "no I want to be a Bear for life" in him anywhere that I saw or heard. Marinelli was his guru, Texas is his home, and JJ was willing to put some money on the table the Bears hadn't. Knowing Jerry Jones he never even gave him a chance to see if the Bears would match it. I'll bet my left nut it was a here's the deal take it now or the deals off the table. He's shrewd enough to know that he couldn't let Emery have a shot at matching it because it wasn't all that great.

    He can earn a nice chunk of change if he's his old self but I would bet the Bears would have been willing to do that too AND that the offer they made him last summer was better than this one without all the risk. Phil said that he wanted him back and from what I can see Phil doesn't play those games anymore after what happened with Urlacher last year and the criticism he took over it from certain people. I'm sure he would have been willing to come up with a prove it deal for him just like JJ did but Melton got all butt hurt because Phil didn't make an offer to begin with. Well in effect he did last summer but Melton turned it down so it was their turn to go first this time.

    Well like I've been saying about him I wouldn't want to sit across from Phil in a game of Texas Hold'em. He's a very good poker player. Melton and his agent asked him if he was gonna bet his hand an Phil wisely checked to see what kind of hand they were holding. They said we don't want to play and set off in search of a new deal. As soon as Melton did that I figured he wouldn't be back.

    Phil played it right. He had the better hand then and he knew he had at least two more aces in the hole in the draft who could replace Melton is he did leave and for less money. I'm more than satisfied with the replacements for Pep and Melton because those are two guys we let go and for the same money we came out of it with Houston, Young, Allen and Sutton and Ferguson. I'd make that trade off any day. It was a well played hand.
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
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