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

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

  1. soulman

    soulman Position Coach
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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 Assistant Head Coach
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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 Position Coach
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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 Position Coach
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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 Assistant Head Coach
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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

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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 Hall of Famer

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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

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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.
     

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